What is “teletherapy”?
Teletherapy is the online delivery of psychological services via high-resolution, live video conferencing. Teletherapy sessions are very similar to traditional therapy sessions with one major exception. Instead of sitting in the same room, clients and clinicians interact via live video conferencing.
During therapy sessions, the clients and clinicians can see, hear, and interact with one another in real time, using webcams, headsets, and a live, synchronous online learning environment.
If you’ve ever used Skype on your computer or Face Time on your iPhone, you’ve used a similar type of technology.
The actual therapy is the same as the therapist would deliver face-to-face, only teletherapy is done with a computer! Clinicians use traditional therapy techniques and activities and enhance those techniques through innovative software and tools and have the technology literally at their fingertips to plan and deliver high-quality services.
How will “teletherapy” at Relational Family Therapy work?
I will conduct therapy appointments using HIPAA Compliant and protected video conferencing services through Simple Practice.
Receiving therapy through Simple Practice will be very simple:
- Before the session, you will receive an email with an invitation to the session (please specify for us which email to use for this purpose). You may also access your session link through your Simple Practice Portal, which can be accessed from the Client Portal button on the top of my website.
- Please click on the link and you will be able to enter your therapy session, which will proceed normally.
In order to provide us with the best ability to serve you, please make the following accommodations on your end:
- Please find a quiet, private space for the session to take place. It is important that there are no distractions or other family members in the environment.
- Please use a computer for the session. If absolutely necessary, an iPhone or an iPad will work.
- Please ensure that you have a good WI-FI connection.
- It can be helpful to have headphones available (this can sometimes improve sound quality) although they are not required. Please set up for the session 5 minutes before it is supposed to start so that all equipment will be working and not cut into the session time.
- If any additional materials are needed (pen/paper/crayons) please have them available.
Why is Relational Family Therapy only offering “teletherapy” right now?
In an abundance of caution, I will no longer be conducting in-person therapy sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am instituting this policy to reduce social contact and increase safety for my clients, their families, and myself.
When will in-person therapy services be available again?
We are confident that we can continue to provide excellent care in these unique circumstances. We will continue to update you about when in-person sessions can safely resume.
Will “teletherapy” still be effective if my child is receiving Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)?
The good news is that, yes, we can use this treatment effectively remotely. In fact, there has been research specifically pertaining to providing PCIT via teletherapy with good outcomes. There will be some disadvantages (we will not have access to our controlled playroom and materials) but there will also be some distinct advantages (we will be able to observe you and your child in your home environment and help problem-solve any real-life concerns). If you are already using PCIT at home, then you already have everything you need for us to continue remotely. If you have not started, your clinician will explain everything during your CDI Teach session.
Materials you will need:
- A place/room without significant distractions and other toys
- 2-3 PCIT-appropriate toys and activities
- A computer/phone/tablet with WI-FI and a good connection
- Earbuds/blue tooth device for your device
Before the session:
- Set out toys in the place/room that you have selected (ideally with a door)
- Turn on computer and find a place where the clinician can see the play set-up
- Make sure that any siblings at home are entertained in another location
During the session:
- As always, PCIT will begin with a check-in and brief conversation about how practice is going at home through the computer screen.
Note about the Parent Directed Interaction (PDI) phase:
- If you have moved on to PDI, I will brainstorm with you to set up your time out chair and room in appropriate locations.
- One of the advantages of PCIT teletherapy is my ability to give you feedback on the location and set-up of your time out procedure.
An effectiveness open trial of Internet-delivered parent training for young children with conduct problems living in regional and rural Australia (Fleming et al., in press):
Rationale and Considerations for the Internet-Based Delivery of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (Comer et al., 2015):
Will “teletherapy” be effective for my child/family/myself?
If you have any questions or concerns about the effectiveness of teletherapy, please feel free to contact me directly. I will be happy to provide more information about how my services will work and if this approach would be a good fit. If you are a current client, please contact me directly for more details.
Are the rates and services the same for “teletherapy” and in-person treatment?
Yes, my rates, cancellation policy, and services have not changed for teletherapy sessions.