What is Teletherapy?

Written by Nora Hug, LCSW

I’ll be the first to admit I was skeptical when the emergence of virtual therapy began. I felt that there was so much value to being in the therapy office and being able to feel each other’s energy. I was also perplexed with how I was going to translate all my play therapy techniques to online games. How would it be possible to create that same feeling and build rapport with clients through a computer?

I have since changed my point of view on the topic (mostly by force due to the onset of the pandemic). Over the years I’ve seen how virtual therapy can still produce positive therapeutic outcomes and how it’s still possible to form a strong relationship and bond between therapist and client.

Another positive I’ve seen is the increase in clients who have said they had more courage reaching out for help since there’s been a virtual option. And that the thought of seeing a therapist in person intimidated them.

In thinking about this shift and evolution of therapy, a few things stand out to me as major strengths to virtual therapy:

Convenience

Being able to do therapy virtually allows more options for scheduling sessions. You’re able to participate in a setting that is convenient for you, at a time of day that works into your schedule. Whether that be during a break in your day of Zoom meetings or the quiet time after the kids have gone to bed.

Comfort

Both physically and emotionally. Not only are we able to be in comfy clothes, maybe even with a blanket wrapped around us, but we are also given the option to participate in therapy while being in a place we feel safe and loved. This could be joining therapy feeling cozy on a couch or it could be out in nature. And sometimes this looks like having a pet close by during session.

Additional Privacy

While therapy is already confidential and the client’s information is protected by law, teletherapy can add another layer of privacy. It allows therapists to see clients in the state they are licensed and does not limit them to the town or city where their office is located. When you do not need to factor in travel time to your therapist’s office, you can choose to see a therapist who is not local to where you live or where you work.

All of this being said, everyone is different and everyone has different expectations about what they want their therapy to look and feel like. If you feel like virtual therapy is not a good fit for you, that’s more than ok. Do what works for you.

Interested in starting virtual sessions with Nora Hug, LCSW?

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