What is Telehealth Therapy

What is Telehealth Therapy? (2023 Review)

What is telehealth therapy? Telehealth is therapy’s way of keeping up with the digital world.

What is Telehealth Therapy

Telehealth therapy or psychotherapy? What do they mean? What are their differences? Read on to find out.

What is Telehealth Therapy?

Telehealth is a great method of delivering therapy. It is similar to an in-person session with a therapist, but it is conducted via phone or video conferencing.

In simple terms, telehealth therapy is the use of telecommunication technologies to provide healthcare services to patients remotely.

The primary goal of Telehealth therapy is to ensure that patients suffering from mild to manageable conditions receive care. It can foster a sense of self-reliance in terms of managing their condition.

The term telehealth therapy is the use of telecommunication technologies over a network to provide patients with therapeutic care.

It allows you to have the same experience you would have at your therapist’s office while sitting on your couch.

In a nutshell, it is the process of receiving counseling from a therapist via the internet. Telehealth therapy is also called online therapy.

Telehealth therapy implies improved access to affordable health care, regardless of your ability to go to an office.

This therapy is divided into two:

  1. Video Therapy: counseling session that is provided via video conferencing.
  2. Telephone Counseling: counseling sessions that are provided via telephone.

Examples of teletherapy

Telehealth therapy, also known as “teletherapy,” is any type of mental healthcare service provided by a therapist to a patient via a digital communications network or platform.

Here are some common examples of Telehealth therapy:

  • Participating in online group chats for group therapy
  • Conducting mental health therapy sessions over the phone
  • Receiving instructions for therapy over instant messenger or email
  • Receiving therapy using video-conferencing for a person, a couple or a group
  • Using mobile apps that help patients connect with counselors/therapists and receive therapy

History of telehealth therapy

Actually, telehealth therapy and distance counseling is not new concept. For example, in the twentieth century, Sigmund Freud and other mental health professionals wrote letters to patients in their care. Therapists were able to provide support and receive feedback from people in therapy through these letters.

In the twentieth century, telephones were used to provide mental health care. However, as personal computers and internet access became more common, the popularity and effectiveness of distance counseling grew. Self-help books and online support groups were the first forms of mental health services. Therapists began using web chats, instant messaging, texts, emails, video conferences, and mobile apps to provide treatment as technology advanced.

David Sommers was one of the first therapists to offer online therapy. He charged a fee for mental health services provided over the internet. Rather than providing advice in a single session, Sommers prioritized the development of therapeutic relationships with the people in his care. He had helped over 300 people by the time he stopped offering online therapy. Ed Needham and Leonard Holmes are two other notable internet therapy pioneers.

Now, thousands of websites offer online mental health services. These services are occasionally provided by therapists who work from an office but also provide online therapy. There are numerous online support groups for people suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues.

Benefits of telehealth therapy

Online therapy is particularly helpful for people who live in remote locations, have busy schedules, or have limited mobility due to disability or caregiving responsibilities.

There are numerous benefits of telehealth therapy. A few of them are as follows:

  1. Convenience.
  2. It can be easier and more efficient for you to access health care via telehealth therapy.
  3. More flexibility in scheduling a time convenient for you.
  4. You can talk to a therapist without physically coming to an office.
  5. Having online therapy sessions gives you exposure to a broader range of therapists who have otherwise been out of reach for physical sessions. This diversity gives you the benefit of getting connected with the very best therapists you can find.

How does telehealth therapy work?

Telehealth Therapy

Telehealth therapy is straightforward and very flexible.

It works by creating a communication channel between patients and therapists who are not in the same physical location.

The communication mode can be either video or audio-based. The patient and therapist agree on what works best for them.

In the video-based model, you can communicate with your therapist via a video chat platform. Both the therapist and patient must have internet-enabled smartphones or computers equipped with a web camera to aid in the video capture.

Group therapy sessions are also an option in which everyone in the room can see and hear everyone else.

The channels used for communication must be secured. And the people involved must maintain information security. This ensures that whatever is said between you and your therapist stays between the two of you.

What do you need for telehealth therapy?

The internet is the backbone of telehealth therapy since it provides a broader network through which you connect to the therapist.

Therapists who practice online can provide services via video, text, phone, chat, or email. As technology evolves, so can telehealth.

Necessities for video therapy

Video conferencing technologies make up a large percentage of the most preferred method by both patients and therapists.

For a video conferencing session to work, both therapist and patient must be using telecommunication devices with video conferencing capabilities.

Here are what you will need for video telehealth therapy:

  • A computer or tablet with a microphone and a camera
  • Internet speed of at least 1 megabit per second (Mbps)
  • A private space (preferably a room with a door) without pets, family members or other distractions
  • Secure internet connection. Due to lack of privacy, public Wi-Fi is not recommended.
  • Proper lighting (preferably in front of your face)
  • Use Firefox or Chrome as your browser (Zoom and other live video options work best with these)

Necessities for phone counseling:

Here’s what you will need for phone counseling sessions:

  • A private space (no pets, family members or other distractions)
  • A telephone that you are comfortable using and has good sound quality

Why choose online therapy?

Why choose Telehealth Therapy

Online therapy is great for mental health issues.

In addition, online therapy can be a good option for people who cannot access care due to location, health, or transportation issues. It may also be appealing to people who do not wish to meet in an office.

Online therapy may be provided as a stand-alone treatment option. It can also be combined with traditional therapeutic relationships. A therapist may provide treatment in an office but switch to telehealth when a patient is out of town or unable to commute.

People who have difficulty accessing mental health services may benefit from teletherapy. It can also come in handy in other situations.

Some people prefer to communicate openly with a therapist via email rather than in person. Others may believe therapy is more accessible in this manner because they do not know when they will require assistance the most.

Online therapy sessions may be simple for people who are new to therapy.

The fact that treatment is provided in the patient’s own home may also help to reduce the stigma associated with receiving mental health services.

Many aspects of mental health can be addressed with online therapy. Some of these include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Food and eating issues
  • Relationship issues
  • Stress
  • Obsessions and compulsions (OCD)
  • Parenting issues

When is telehealth therapy not good for you?

Telehealth should not be used in certain situations. People with severe psychological or emotional issues, for example, may not always respond well to this type of treatment. Traditional therapy may benefit people with schizophrenia, severe depression, bipolar disorder, or suicidal thoughts. Individuals suffering from these and other issues may require intensive care.

Those who are uncomfortable with technology may not benefit from online therapy. Individuals who have little privacy at home, those who do not want to share personal information over the internet or phone, and those living in abusive situations may all prefer to see a mental health professional in person.

How to find the right  online health provider

People looking for online therapy have many options, but it is critical to exercise caution when looking for a therapist. Some telehealth providers are not qualified or licensed, which can result in ineffective treatment or a potentially dangerous situation.

Sharing personal information with the wrong person can result in identity theft and other types of fraud.

When selecting an online therapist, make sure they are licensed to practice in your state. It may be beneficial to confirm their full name, credentials, and license number.

A trained therapist should have a master’s degree in a health-related field.

A therapist who provides online mental health services may also have a website. Peruse their website to learn more about them and their methods, experience, and philosophy. You can also look for online reviews about the therapist’s services on reputable websites.

While a therapist may be well-versed in traditional face-to-face sessions, some may be unfamiliar with the technology needed for online therapy. It is critical that your therapist has the technical skills required to provide treatment online.

During your initial meeting, you may clarify all fees and payment options. Although online therapy is less expensive than traditional psychotherapy, some insurance companies do not cover online mental health services. It is best to discuss any concerns you have about privacy, confidentiality, or what to expect with your therapist. If your therapist is evasive or unwilling to discuss these concerns with you, it may be time to look for another provider.

Limitations of telehealth therapy

Telehealth may have some disadvantages. Concerns to consider before starting treatment include:

  • Nonverbal communication: Even with video conferencing, the therapist may miss signs like dilated pupils, nervous foot-tapping, or twitching.
  • Confidentiality issues could arise if a person’s email is hacked or a message is sent to the incorrect contact.
  • Delays caused by equipment problems.
  • Complications when treatment is provided across state lines: This may result in ethical and legal licensing issues. Counselors who provide online therapy can treat patients from anywhere in the country, but state licensing laws frequently prohibit therapists from providing care to patients from other states.
  • Inadequate technological skills may result in confidentiality issues. These privacy protection issues can result if sensitive information is not properly stored or equipment is not used correctly.
  • Difficulty dealing with severe or complex mental health issues.
  • Financial problems as a result of lack of coverage of some insurance policies.


Telehealth therapy, also known as “teletherapy,” is any type of mental healthcare service provided by a therapist to a patient via a digital communications network or platform.

We hope you now know all about the subject matter. If you need further clarifications, do well to connect with us via the comment section below. Thank you.


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