Over the course of the previous 15-20 years a new kind of talk therapy emerged as part of the telehealth movement. While few therapists offered virtual talk therapy or teletherapy in previous years, the numbers have been growing. In the early days of teletherapy, it served as a method for treating those people who were unable to attend their therapy sessions in person.
Some reasons for these virtual meetings were initially things like health issues, proximity to the therapist’s office or a mental health diagnosis that was exacerbated by leaving the home. As therapists were able to successfully treat their clients by phone and eventually by virtual platforms, more and more therapists offered this option.
The most recent health pandemic has taken teletherapy to a new level. As therapists offices worldwide were forced to close their doors, clinicians realized that they needed an alternative to face-to-face talk therapy or patients would go without any treatment at all. This has led to a dramatic spike in teletherapy or virtual talk therapy.
So how does virtual talk therapy work?
In many cases it functions very much the same as an in person, face-to-face session. Providers use similar methods that they would use in their offices. They have made minor modifications in order to accommodate this new platform. In the case of a client who had an established relationship with their provider they can continue to meet with their therapist as they had previously. For someone new to therapy, they would likely undergo a virtual intake or assessment appointment in order to create a treatment plan.
Virtual talk therapy is done through platforms that assure you confidentiality and safety at all times. Just like when seeing a therapist in person, your confidentiality is a priority. Whether by phone call or video chat, you can meet with your therapist weekly, bi-weekly or in whatever cadence you and your provider feel is most appropriate.
In most ways, teletherapy functions almost identically to in person therapy. For many people, they even find that virtual talk therapy affords a great deal of flexibility and convenience.