Access to a phone line and the internet have made, now days, psychological help more accessible for most of the population; making them have the opportunity to receive it from any part of the world with trained counselors who speak the clients language and understand their culture.
What is TeleMental Health?
TeleMental Health is the mode of delivering services via appropriate technology-assisted media for electronic health information, such as but not limited to, a telephone, video, internet, a smartphone, tablet, PC desktop system or other electronic means. These electronic communications enable counselors to provide services to individuals who may not have adequate access to mental care.
What can TeleMental Health be used for?
TeleMental Health may be used for services such as individual, couples, or family therapy, follow-ups, mental health evaluations, immigration diagnostic evaluations, and trainings/education in a group setting. It is effective for diagnosis and assessment across many populations (adult, child, geriatric, and ethnic), for disorders in many settings (emergency, home health), and is equivalent to face to face care.
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Long distance communication between client and counselor is not new. Sigmund Freud used to communicate with his clients through letters and in the 80’s self-help groups started to appear on the internet.
There are different reasons why people can find obstacles to get to the counselor’s clinic, distance or finding the right schedule are some examples, but having the option to have the session online is more accessible. Besides, there are protocols that counselors use to assure the clients privacy every time they are in an online session.
Some of the benefits are:
- Access to care by enabling individuals to remain in their community, homes, or offices.
- Access to the expertise of a specific specialist.
- Facilitate client self-management.
- Access from various settings.
- Useful alternative.
- Clients feel that telesessions allow them to better communicate their feelings.
- Allow the client to better address their needs.
- TeleMental health sessions product outcomes equivalent to face to face sessions.
- Saves time when you are unable or unwilling to travel to a counseling office.
- Saves the traveling money expenses.
- Great way to connect with a counselor without the barrier of social fears or trouble meeting new people.
- You can access services if you live in a remote place where counseling services are inaccessible.
- It gives you the option to receive counseling services in a more private way.
- It gives you the option of working on yourself in a place where you feel comfortable.
- It gives you the option to try out counseling before committing to more counseling.
News studies suggest that, for some clients, receiving online counseling instead of face to face counseling might be a solution to assisting to the therapies and the sessions are as effective as the ones face to face.
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