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Is Teletherapy Effective?

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

Short answer: Yes.

My first experience with Teletherapy (or "Telehealth") was when I was interning at USC's Telehealth Online Clinic my last year as a graduate student. I was unfamiliar with the platform and had to complete several weeks of training before I was permitted to work with patients under supervision.

After graduating from USC, I continued to utilize Telehealth services both professionally and personally. I used Telehealth while working for the CA Dept of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and I also use it to conduct home study interviews at Latino Family Institute, a foster/adoption agency. Personally, I've also used Telehealth to connect to my own physicians and health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In regards to general counseling and psychotherapy, "Telemental health services are unquestionably effective..." (Source: National Institutes of Health) The main caveat with effectiveness mostly concerns providers that prescribe medication (e.g., requiring labs or other testing to determine pharmaceutical therapy approaches).

Also, about 80% of people gain benefit by participating in psychotherapy. (Source: Psychology Today)

So, Telehealth is effective. In these unprecedented times, we are facing extraordinary problems and stress that we've never faced before. Utilizing Telehealth can be convenient and more time/cost effective than traditional in-person treatment. Telehealth reduces transportation time traveling to a clinic. Scheduling options may be more flexible. You also have the freedom to go to therapy in the private comforts of home.

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