Despite the national emergency measures from the COVID-19 pandemic having expired on May 11, 2023, flexibility around telehealth for mental/behavioral healthcare will remain in place. Many agencies like ours plan to continue to provide people seeking or undergoing mental or behavioral health treatment, such as talk therapy, with the continued choice of in-person or remote service.
We wanted to know more about conducting our services remotely. With funds from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Riverview’s department of research conducted a case study on our experience conducting teletherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on data from our interviews and focus groups, we were able to identify four key things to consider when deciding.
1. Home internet/devices
To get the most out of telehealth, you’ll want adequate internet service in your home. You’ll also need a device with a camera and microphone, such as a smartphone, laptop or tablet. Headphones are helpful, too!
It helps to have a private space at home where you feel safe and comfortable to engage with teletherapy. It is important to reduce distractions or interruptions to get the most out of your work with your therapist. If this doesn’t sound like your home environment, in-person therapy might be the way to go.
What are your options to get to therapy? Therapy works best when it is consistent, so you’ll want reliable transportation getting to and from sessions. If you don’t have reliable transport, teletherapy is a good option.
Do you feel comfortable talking with others over video, or do you prefer meeting face-to-face? It is important to think about which modality best suits your communication style.
Be sure to ask your provider about your options. You might even be able to take advantage of both approaches for maximum flexibility and continuity.