Do Your Due Diligence
Before making any technology investment, you need to engage in both business and vendor due diligence processes.
Part of a therapist’s job is making patients feel comfortable enough to talk about what makes them uncomfortable. When looking to engage in teletherapy for the long term, you need to make sure that you’re comfortable with continuing to provide teletherapy.
From the perspective of your business, ask yourself:
- Why do I want to maintain my teletherapy practices?
- Am I confident that I can effectively provide teletherapy services?
- Do my patients feel I have provided effective therapy in a digital setting?
- How many of my current patients want to continue with teletherapy after COVID-19 passes?
- Can I reach new patients by continuing to provide teletherapy?
On the other side of the due diligence coin, therapists need to ensure that they maintain compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). You need to be able to prove that any technology vendor can prove that they maintain compliance as a Business Associate, but you also need to do some due diligence on your own.
From the perspective of choosing a technology, ask yourself:
- Is this a HIPAA compliant technology?
- Is this technology easy to use?
- Has this technology ever been listed in the news as leading to a data breach?
- Do I know anyone who uses this technology and what do they say?
Understand How You Want It To Work
Throwing technology at a problem doesn’t work. All technology adoption needs to start with people – who will use the technology and what they want to do with it.
Some therapists may choose to focus on telephonic therapy while others may want to move into videoconferencing. Additionally, you need to think about how your patients need the technology to work. Therapy is about your patients, which means you need to understand how they need the technology to work. You may not be comfortable with videoconferencing technologies, but your patients may prefer that because they prefer visual cues during the session.
When you’re trying to figure out what teletherapy technology to use, you want to ask yourself:
- How does this technology impact my ability to create a meaningful relationship with my patient?
- How will the use of technology impact my patient? Will it add to my patient’s existing mental health condition, such as anxiety?
Know the Tools You Need
Teletherapy is about more than just talking with your patients, it means connecting with them visually.
Grab your FREE Teletherapy Technology Checklist, HERE
You might have chosen a teletherapy platform, but you also need the tools that enable you to use it correctly. Not all the tools that make your teletherapy sessions successful will be technology. Some tools might be more targeted towards making your virtual “office” as comfortable for you and your patients as your physical office.
Some of the obvious and less obvious questions you should be asking include:
- Is the monitor big enough for you to see your patient?
- Does your computer have an appropriate web camera or do you need a separate video camera?
- Is your internet fast enough to stream your video and voice effectively?
- Do you have a table at an appropriate height to capture your face?
- Do you have a chair that is both comfortable and the right height for the surface your camera is on?
- Do you need a microphone for better sound?
- Do you need a headset to reduce environmental noise?
Best Practices for Engaging in Teletherapy
As therapists move towards 2021 and beyond, teletherapy presents several valuable benefits. First, until the COVID-19 health emergency passes, most therapy will need to be done remotely. As therapy occurs in an intimate setting, sterilizing an office in between patients is both costly and time consuming. Moreover, in-person sessions place both the therapist and the patient at risk. Going forward, many patients may find that with their busy schedules, teletherapy works better, reducing the stress involved in making time to travel to their therapists.
As you continue to evaluate your teletherapy practice, you want to consider how you can take what you’re doing now and improve upon it.
For more information about how to add to your teletherapy practice and have access to 180 therapeutic techniques, check out my book, Teletherapy Toolkit™
To learn more about HIPAA for therapists need, check out my blog HIPAA 101 for therapists.
Looking for ways to engage children and teens in teletherapy? Watch my FREE webinar for therapists, school counselors and professionals, and psychologists, HERE.
“Changing the way we view and treat children’s mental health.” Dr. Roseann
Ⓒ Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge & The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health
Are you a professional who wants more training from Dr. Roseann?
Sign up for her Professional Webinars and CE-Based Courses or purchase her book, Teletherapy Toolkit™: Therapist Handbook for Treating Children and Teens.
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Dr. Roseann is a Children’s Mental Health Expert and Therapist who has been featured in/on hundreds of media outlets including, CBS, NBC, FOX News, PIX11 NYC, The New York Times, The Washington Post,, Business Insider, USA Today, CNET, Marth Stewart, and PARENTS. FORBES called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health.” She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Medicine Mental Health Provider (CMHIMP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach. She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).
© Roseann-Capanna-Hodge, LLC 2021