Interested in Teletherapy?
Teletherapy practices have rapidly expanded in recent years. A growing number of schools and mental health organizations are expanding to offer virtual therapy, as it has become increasingly difficult to offer these services in-person. Teletherapy can be a great way to deliver different forms of therapy, such as mental health, occupational, and speech language therapies. When deciding if you’d like to get started with teletherapy, it is important to consider all the pros and cons and whether it is the right fit for you (both as the therapist and the client).
The need for virtual therapy resources has grown rapidly in recent years. With many students living in more rural areas, it is tough to find accessible therapists within a commutable distance. This makes it difficult for schools to provide their students with a qualified therapist to give these services.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that, “there is a considerable national shortage of Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) projected over the next few years. An additional 28,800 SLPs will be needed to fill the demand between 2010 and 2020—a 23% increase in job openings.” With the increasing need for speech therapy and not enough SLPs to fill these needs, teletherapy allows SLPs to provide services to a wider range of clients.
Some children, particularly students with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Social Anxiety Disorder, may become distressed when leaving their home and travelling to unfamiliar places, or having an unfamiliar person come into their home.
Allowing therapists to provide services virtually allows these students to receive much-needed therapy without the complications of face-to-face therapy.
Benefits of Teletherapy
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages teletherapy can offer.
It’s more convenient for all parties involved
Teletherapy can be provided at any time and at any location. As long as you have a working webcam and internet connection, you can provide and receive teletherapy!
Both client and therapist can remain in the comfort of their homes
As stated above, many children may not be comfortable going into an unfamiliar environment, which can take away from their therapy experience. Teletherapy allows them to stay at home, which may make them more comfortable and help them achieve their therapy goals more quickly. It also allows the therapist to provide services from their home.
It is more affordable for the clients
Since teletherapy is offered at a lower rate than in-person therapy, these services can be made available to families who may not typically be able to afford therapy.
More flexible hours
Therapists can work with their clients to fit sessions into any mutually agreeable time. Since there is no travel time involved, it is much easier to squeeze a session into an already busy day-to-day schedule. Many students also prefer that therapy services be provided outside of their school day, so weeknights and weekends also become available.
It can offer supplemental income on top of your day job
Therapists can provide teletherapy services on top of another job they may already have. Since many students may prefer evening or weekend therapy, therapists are able to schedule sessions during off hours.
Downsides of Teletherapy?
There are some downsides of teletherapy, of course. Online therapy isn’t for everyone, both on the side of the therapist and the person receiving therapy. Some people need the face-to-face interaction of in-person therapy in order for therapy to be successful. Students may also have a difficult time focusing during virtual therapy, as they may get distracted by other activities they could be doing on their computer or by things going on in their home.
Therapists also do not make as much money with teletherapy as they do with in-person therapy. Schools and families traditionally pay lower rates to virtual therapists than they do for face-to-face therapists.
Despite the few drawbacks present for teletherapy, it is up to the therapist and the person receiving teletherapy to decide if the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
Interested in Beginning Teletherapy?
Here are some tips and tricks for getting started in the world of teletherapy:
- Learn the platform you are going to be using. Play around with the program and learn how it will work best for you.
- Be sure that the platform is installed prior to trying to sign on for your first session.
- Make sure your webcam and computer are up-to-date with the latest software to run the necessary platform for services.
- Close all unnecessary “background” programs that could slow your connection – and be sure your client does the same. Also be sure to disable any screen-saver programs that may interrupt your session.
- Ensure your physical setting/background is not distracting for your clients.
- Keep your sessions private. Try not to conduct sessions in public locations where your client’s privacy will be compromised.
- Be in touch with your client prior to your session time to make sure they know how to sign on for services.
- If working with a minor, be in touch with their family so they know what to expect from services as well.
- Allow yourself time before and after each session to prepare for your next client.
- Connect with someone who is experienced in teletherapy to ask any questions that may arise while learning this new process.
How to Get Started with Humanus
Here at Humanus, we connect therapists with students who need services. We work nation-wide with various schools and clients looking to bring on virtual therapists to provide services to their students. Check out our Job Posting section to see the positions we have open currently. You can also use the Humanus Chat to connect with us live to let us know you are interested in getting started!
Make sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on our current openings and needs!