How Does Teletherapy Work?

Teletherapy

For more than 20 years, teletherapy has helped people receive remote counseling from the comfort of their homes. Now that most of the U.S. is in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are feeling uncertain about leaving the house for any reason. On top of that, mental health is declining. In April 2020, a federal emergency hotline designed for people in distress reported a 1,000% increase in calls compared with the previous year. 

Teletherapy is more important now than ever before. Learn more about teletherapy, as well as the levels of teletherapy we offer at Sana Lake Recovery Center.

What is Teletherapy?

Teletherapy is counseling offered in any medium besides in-person: online, over the phone, email, text message, or webcam. It allows people to receive the kind of therapy they need at an affordable price and a time that’s convenient for them. Teletherapy uses technology to connect counselors and patients. 

Who Can Offer Teletherapy?

Only professionals who are licensed can perform and provide teletherapy. Online teletherapy providers can be almost anyone working in the mental health sector: marriage and family therapists, drug and alcohol counselors, psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists. This type of licensing varies from state to state, and counselors may only practice in the state in which they’re licensed. 

Mobile therapy apps like Talkspace and BetterHelp offer help to people regardless of location. These have become popular over the last few years, offering therapy via text message, phone, video, and chat. They work with your insurance provider and your budget to provide you affordable talk therapy.

Sana Lake can also offer teletherapy to people who are unable to leave their homes or need to work around a busy schedule. We offer several levels of this. 

Benefits of Teletherapy

There really aren’t too many disadvantages of teletherapy. Because of its many benefits, it’s become a popular mode of talk therapy over the last two decades. Studies suggest that it’s just as effective as in-person therapy as well.  

  • You can have sessions on your time. Whether you have work, school, or childcare to attend to, teletherapy can work around your schedule. You can have sessions at times and on days that work best for you. 
  • It’s convenient. You don’t have to drive to your therapy sessions. You can talk to a counselor just by picking up the phone, sending a text message, or logging onto a computer.
  • It’s affordable. Because teletherapists don’t have to pay overhead for an office and office staff, teletherapy is generally affordable. Mobile apps offer many payment plans that will fit your budget. 
  • You can participate in group or individual sessions. You have the option to choose what kind of therapy you want. You’ll have more attention in individual therapy, and in group therapy, you’ll get to share your experiences with like-minded individuals.
  • You’ll have privacy and confidentiality. You won’t have to sit in a waiting room to see a therapist; you can be in the privacy of your own home. You’ll also have complete confidentiality, just as you would receive from any medical doctor.
  • You’ll be satisfied with your experience. Many people who participate in teletherapy say they’re happy with their remote treatment.
  • You talk with licensed mental health counselors and psychiatrists. Every one of our medical professionals is licensed and has the background to properly treat mental health issues.

Finding the Right Teletherapy for You

When you decide to talk to a therapist, you’re making an important investment in your well being. As such, it’s not something you should rush into. Before choosing a mode of teletherapy, there are a few things you should take into consideration. 

If you have insurance, the first factor you need to consider is whether your provider covers a therapist or any mental health care in general. Websites like Psychology Today have databases in which you can filter out psychiatrists and licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs) by what insurance they take. You should also contact your provider and learn more about what your policy covers. There should be some level of behavioral health coverage in your plan.

If you don’t have insurance, you’re going to want the best bang for your buck. Contact your therapist to learn about his or her self-pay options. If the one you want is out of your price range, see if the office will work out some kind of payment plan for you.

Think about what gender you want your therapist to be as well. Some women might feel more comfortable talking to a female therapist, but some might want a man’s perspective. You must also research what areas of mental health your therapist specializes in. If you suffer from a co-occurring mental health disorder and an addiction, you’ll want to talk to someone who specializes in dual diagnosis

When you select the therapist that’s right for you, you’re more likely to get the treatment you deserve. The more selective you are, the better your sessions will be, and the faster you’ll feel better about yourself. 

Teletherapy for Substance Dependence at Sana Lake Recovery Center

Sana Lake offers different levels of teletherapy treatment. Each level requires its own specific time commitment. We understand that everybody has varying schedules and needs. Our licensed clinicians can help you determine which level of teletherapy is the right one for you.

Outpatient

Outpatient therapy is the least restrictive form of teletherapy. This level will allow you to attend therapy remotely while still having plenty of time to tend to school or work. You’ll attend one individual session and one group session per week. 

Intensive Outpatient (IOP)

Intensive outpatient therapy is a step above outpatient teletherapy. This will require a little more commitment, but it still gives you room for outside responsibilities. If you decide to participate in IOP, you’ll attend three to five sessions per week for three hours per day. 

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Partial hospitalization is the most strict of our teletherapy levels. We recommend PHP for anyone who has a more severe mental illness that requires more attention. PHP teletherapy sessions will take place six days a week for about five to six hours per day. 

Contact Sana Lake Today

We understand that teletherapy is essential, especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic spreading around the world. Contact one of our representatives at Sana Lake Recovery Center to see what teletherapy options we have available. We’re also here if you need more immediate assistance like drug and alcohol detox. Seek help today; we are waiting for your call!

Article Reviewed by David Sherman, MD

David Sherman, MDDavid Sherman, MD is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (FASAM) and board certified in Addiction Medicine with the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is a native Missourian and graduated medical school at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Dr. Sherman completed a two-year fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He leads a highly trained staff of master level certified addiction professionals. Men and women from all over Missouri and the United States come to Sana Lake Recovery Center to get the care they need and deserve.