There is a movement happening all across the globe, it is TeleMental Health and TeleMedicine. This shift is changing the delivery of Mental Health services in a profound way. Why choose web-based counseling? Busy schedules, traffic, being readily available and sheer convenience may be a few good reasons. There are security questions that need to be answered. For example,
- Is the video conferencing platform encrypted?
- Is it HIPAA compliant for privacy, which is required for any licensed therapist. (iChat, FaceTime, & others are already compliant)
- Do you have the comfort with the technology?
- Do you have a good broadband connection for smooth video & audio?
- Does the therapist have an informed consent describing the process?
- Is there a backup plan in the event of a lost connection?
As it turns out, I love technology and social media. To that end, I have developed 3 blog sites, 4 websites, and have done employee assistance work and executive coaching over the internet in a total of 15 countries around the world. There have been many advances in the technology that make TeleMental Health Services viable. Research is now beginning to demonstrate the benefits and outcomes of TeleTherapy. The studies are coming out quite positive and encouraging. There are now Distance Counseling Credentials, Certifications in online therapy and forums for creating an online practice. As you can see on this blog, I have a special connection that provides a direct link to a video counseling session. The article below is a good example of the trend.