Video therapy is just what it sounds like--it’s therapy done between client and therapist via webcam, using a secure service. Obviously, it requires both of us to have an internet connection and either a tablet or laptop (cam/mic included or separate).
Video therapy’s biggest advantages are convenience and comfort. Instead of traveling to the therapist’s office-- face traffic delays and more time off from work, which might increase anxiety and stress--you can schedule the therapy around your schedule at home, or perhaps in your office if that works for you.
The key is that you are in control of your space. You could be in your favorite chair, or on the deck overlooking the view from your home. All you need is a quiet space, where you can focus and connect.
Because of this convenience and comfort, you may find the process of therapy to be easier for you. You may be able to open up more easily, and to get more meaningful work done sooner.
For many people, video therapy seems to be just as effective as face-to-face therapy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy seems especially effective in an online setting. In fact, there are some instances where it may be more effective, possibly because it focuses more on self-help and self care for the client. While more research is being done on video therapy, I have found it effective for many of my clients.
No method of therapy is good for all clients--just like acknowledging that not every therapist is a good fit for each client. Some people may be uncomfortable with technology (or it might be part of their anxiety). Others with severe mental illness may be more likely to respond better in a face-to-face situation.
Video therapy may also not work as well with people needing immediate help in a crisis situation.
When done correctly, video therapy is as confidential as a visit to a therapist’s physical office. Technology needs to be compliant with HIPAA and HITECH Act, allowing access only to people authorized to view the session.
In my video therapy practice, I use a service called doxy.me. It is a powerful tool which allows us to have a full therapeutic session from the comfort of your home. Doxy is free for you as the client to use.
If you are planning on using a tablet, you can choose to download the free doxy.me app. You do not need to create an account with doxy.me. The check-in process is simple, especially if we’ve already done the paperwork in advance.
Doxy.me is HIPAA and HITECH compliant. It uses a virtual “waiting room,” where you can remain until it’s time for our appointment. It also has a live chat feature which allows us to send messages as needed.
Please note that at present, doxy.me only works on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari--it does not work with Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer.