How to Know If Telepsychology Is Right for You

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by Brianna Albers |

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With therapy becoming more and more popular, especially as an alternative to medication or, in extreme cases, institutionalization, it’s no surprise that psychologists are looking for alternatives to one-on-one, face-to-face psychotherapy. One such alternative is telepsychology, defined as “any therapy delivered by telecommunication tools or devices” by the American Psychological Association (APA). To shine some light on this rapidly growing, yet relatively new field, we’ve compiled four facts about telepsychology, originally published by the APA.

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1. According to the APA, telepsychology has many benefits, including convenience and accessibility. SMA patients may find telepsychology particularly intriguing, as many clinics are starting to rely on email, text messaging, or instant messaging, all of which eliminate the need for verbal communication and transportation to an off-site location.

2. The APA is still determining whether or not web-based psychotherapy is as effective as, for example, in-person psychotherapy. This means that, while SMA patients may certainly benefit from telepsychology, they may benefit more from one-on-one, face-to-face sessions.

3. Many therapists are integrating smart technology into the services they offer. However, not all self-proclaimed “therapists” are licensed — it’s easy to fake a degree or claim a license online. When researching potential clinics, be sure to seek proof of the professional’s credibility.

4. If considering an app or site to communicate with a web-based therapist, the APA recommends the platform be, at the very least, HIPAA-compliant. This ensures that your personal information, or whatever you choose to share as part of a therapy session, remains confidential — unless you or another person is in danger.

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