Virtual healthcare has been around for some time, but the pandemic helped people realize how convenient it is. Virtual healthcare, or telehealth, has grown in popularity recently as the technology has become more accessible. Telehealth uses telecommunications technologies to offer healthcare, health education, and mental health services over long distances. In other words, you can see a doctor from the comfort of your home without taking time off work, finding childcare, or dealing with traffic. It works when you think you might have the flu, but it also works for mental health visits. Here's what you need to know about a telehealth counseling session.
What Is a Telehealth Counseling Session?
A telehealth counseling session is a virtual healthcare visit for mental health services. It provides real-time communication between patient and provider using video conferencing on a computer, tablet, or smartphone and is a convenient way to get help while never having to leave your living room.
What Are the Benefits of Telehealth?
Telehealth counseling has many benefits, including:
- Rural. Many rural areas do not have easy access to a mental health professional. A telehealth counseling session lets them expand their options and connect with a therapist miles away to get the help they need.
- Transportation. Even with access to mental health professionals, some patients simply do not have access to reliable transportation. Virtual healthcare helps patients who have difficulty getting to a counselor's office by eliminating the need for transportation.
- Time. Sometimes, with all you have to juggle, making time for yourself falls to the bottom of the list due to limited time. Telehealth counseling provides services to people who have busy schedules or cannot take time off work for an appointment.
Does Telehealth Work?
While this type of therapy offers many patients easier access to quality mental health care, you may wonder if it works as well as in-person mental health visits. Yale Medicine reports that telehealth therapy appointments have "been not only crucial during the pandemic, but also often advantageous, even as many clinicians are again seeing patients in person" post-pandemic and beyond.
What Do You Do Before Your First Telehealth Session
There are a few things you should do before your first telehealth session to prepare. First, make sure you have a quiet and private space in your home where you will not be interrupted during the session. It's important that you feel safe and comfortable sharing confidential information in this space.
Additionally, make sure you have a strong internet connection. If you are using a Wi-Fi connection and experiencing lag or other internet disruption, try sitting close to your router.
A telehealth counseling session is a convenient and effective way to receive mental health care from the comfort of your own home. If you are considering starting therapy or are looking for a new provider, be sure to ask if they offer telehealth services.
For more information about making a telehealth therapy appointment, contact a local provider.