California Therapist Blog

Emotional health and relationship articles by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT.

Online Therapy Now More Than Ever

We are in a changed world with no end in sight yet.  As people have had to adapt their work, social and family lives to more online engagement via video, we have become more comfortable with communicating online.  Online therapy is not a new concept and many had already begun doing some of that work (myself included) pre-COVID but with a pandemic in full swing, the need for emotional and relationship support has never been so high, particularly in states like California.  Generally people are staying closer to home and in many communities across the country, going to an office to see a therapist is not possible.

There are other advantages to online therapy:

Convenience. 

If there’s one thing we’ve learned with being home more, is a new appreciation of just that.  With online therapy, a 50-minute session is just that, losing the need to factor in in drive times and even parking logistics in some cases.  For those who are challenged with doing teletherapy at home, you can get creative.  Since the pandemic I’ve had many clients “meet” with me from their cars (even while waiting for their kid’s sport practices).

Accessibility. 

If you have a good internet connection for video or even just a cell phone, you have accessibility to teletherapy.  And with so many therapists offering online services, they are at your fingertips.  In a way, therapy has never been more accessible and unfortunately, the need is now greater than ever.

Privacy concerns alleviated.

For those feeling concerned about a therapy social stigma of being “seen” going to a therapist’s office, teletherapy removes this obstacle.  Whether you are a higher profile person or simply prefer privacy, it can work well.

Increased perception of anonymity.

Over the past pandemic months, many therapists are observing that their work doing online therapy allows more quickly getting to difficult subject matter.  It is being theorized that there may be something about the client’s perception of being more anonymous in that setting.

It is important to also be aware of some of the current disadvantages to online therapy as well:

Missed Cues. 

Not being in the room with clients makes it a bit more difficult to build rapport and read emotions.  Verbal and non-verbal cues can take more time to catch and it’s helpful to connect with a seasoned therapist who has more experience doing this.

Ethical/Legal Concerns. 

Know your therapist’s license requirements and laws about where they are allowed to practice.  Many cannot legally practice out of their home states.  You will not be protected by having a licensing board to turn to should you have a legal or ethical issue that comes up with this person if they are practicing our of their zone.

Serious psychiatric situations.

In this crisis, major clinical concerns are being treated with teletherapy but keep in mind if this describes your situation, it’s important to find a therapist in your general area so they are better able to connect you to additional local support services, if needed.

If you live outside of California, I’m not legally permitted to work with you but see the Psychology Today Therapist Directory for other possible closer therapist.

If you are in California and would like to inquire about my online therapy services, CONTACT ME.

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