Sometimes, finding just one hour to get away for a therapy session is harder than you think. Between work, kids, errands, and the gym, life these days just doesn’t allow for more commitments. Scheduling can feel like fitting pieces of a puzzle together that just don’t want to fit.
Nowadays, you don’t have to meet in person for therapy; Lapde is also available for teletherapy, also known as telemedicine or distant counseling. Teletherapy is the use of technology such as Skype, FaceTime, or phone to provide clinical health care. This allows for continued care from a distance. Keep in mind, this method of therapy isn’t for everyone. It takes a level of willingness and a certain type of therapist to do this well. Lapde has the knowledge, technological ability, and experience to do this successfully.
Lapde has been using Skype since it’s release in August 2003. While first using Skype to stay in touch with her global family, she has now seen its capacity to offer therapy to her clients no matter what obstacle may arise. After you’ve built a rapport with your therapist, you do not have to start over and tell your story to someone new just because you’ve moved or are traveling out of the area. Therapy can continue seamlessly.
You can continue with regular therapy sessions even when one person is out of the country, on vacation, away visiting family, sick and contagious, or even if the car breaks down. With teletherapy, you can save on time, gas, and the headache of scheduling. Everything can be done electronically from scheduling appointments to providing handouts to making and receiving payment.
With convenience, comes sacrifice. As one would assume, teletherapy does lose some essential elements used in face to face therapy. It is much harder to pick up on nonverbal cues such as body language, sarcasm, or uncomfortableness. It can feel less personal because the therapist can’t offer you a tissue when you’re in tears, and she may not seem to be making eye contact with you on Skype but in reality she is looking at the image of you on her computer screen and not the camera. Also, some insurance providers will not pay or reimburse for therapy done over the phone or through video conferencing.
Currently, Skype is not considered HIPAA compliant. Skype meets the requirements for electronic transmission under HIPAA; however, Skype has been unwilling to declare that they are HIPAA compliant and are unwilling to sign a Business Associate Agreement, which is necessary for HIPAA compliance. On the other hand, it is said that Skype relies on the same type and level of encryption used by the United States government to protect confidential information. It’s also been brought up that people do not have encryption services with the USPS for mail sent to clients or with telephone providers so one could argue that someone is always at risk. For more information, this article may be helpful: Article on Skype and TeleMentalHealth
Lapde recommends that the first meeting be in person so that the two of you can get to know each other without the distraction of technology. Building a relationship with your therapist is crucial for effective therapy so starting off the traditional way with an in-person therapy session can help build a strong foundation that could later lead to telecommunication opportunities.
Skype is free. Skype sessions are the same price as a face-to-face, in-person session. See Rates for additional information on session prices. Payment for Skype sessions can be done through credit card or PayPal. A receipt can be emailed or texted to you for your records.
To download Skype, click here: Skype Free Download