Neat Computer Desk

Telehealth

Considerations

Telehealth appointments are a great alternative to an office-based visit in many circumstances. Research has shown that telehealth services can have comparable outcomes to office-based therapy services. However, telehealth services are not appropriate in all situations. It is important to discuss if telehealth is a viable option for your treatment needs.

  • For telehealth to be comfortable, it is important consider both your environment and your equipment.

  • To be fully prepared for a meeting, please ensure you have strong Internet connection on your device. Ideally, your internet speed should be at least 15Mbps. One way to check your internet connection is to go to speedtest.net. Simply click "Begin Test" and Speedtest will tell you exactly what your download and upload speeds are. 

  • Prior to the appointment time, make sure that others at your location know that you are heading into a meeting. You’ll likely feel more comfortable joining the meeting if you know that you won’t have interruptions.

  • Don’t hesitate to run a test for your web-cam or external web-cam (if you don’t have a built-in camera). The HIPAA compliant platform that is used for telehealth has a test function that can be run before the meeting for both visual and audio technical assistance.

  • Some individuals prefer the use of headphones for telehealth meetings as an extra safeguard, to ensure that other individuals in the home do not overhear the conversation.

  • One of the unique variables to meeting virtually is the ability to see yourself in the meeting. This can be a powerful tool to help see yourself as others see you in conversations. Conversely, it might not be your preference or you may feel it distracting from the conversation to see yourself online. Feel free to close out that window, cover that part of your screen with a post-it, if this is the case.

  • Just as you would with in-person sessions, it’s important to be consistent with telehealth sessions. The predictability and stability of these meetings can provide an intense amount of support to you during these unusual times. Structure leads to consistency, which itself is therapeutic.

  • In terms of when to plan sessions, consider your schedule and prior commitments. It is important to schedule when you are able to invest time and emotional energy into preparing, participating, and the reflecting on the session. Outcomes are more likely to be successful when appointments are scheduled during convenient times, and distractions of work and children are minimized.

  • It is helpful to keep another method of contact available during telehealth sessions. An example of this would be to keep a cell phone available with you while using a computer or tablet to connect for the session.

  • Remember, most importantly, wherever you choose to take the call, it’s important to relax. A therapy session should serve as a safe haven from stressors — a place where you can clearly focus on yourself. Recreating this private, “me” time space can prove somewhat difficult at home, but with some creative thought and planning it is definitely achievable.