Taking into consideration the current global crisis the Covid-19 pandemic has caused, Puglisi Counseling, LLC wants you to know that you are not alone, and support is available. From the comfort of your home, you can have access to affordable, high-quality mental health services using telehealth. For the past several years, even prior to Covid-19, telehealth had started becoming a prevalent means of gaining access to mental health services regardless of the ability to come into an office. When Covid-19 surfaced, telehealth became a gold-standard for providing clients the ability to remain safe in their homes while accessing quality mental health treatment.
Unlike traditional therapy, telehealth-based therapy provides the individual the ability from nearly anywhere in the state of Pennsylvania, if they had access to a stable and secure phone or internet connection. Throughout the years, there have been many names for online based therapy including teletherapy, tele-mental health, internet therapy and distance counseling. Even before Covid-19, some insurance companies were already covering telehealth-based therapy for several years. When engaging in psychotherapy with telehealth, the client has the option of using a secure video conferencing platform, although the option of phone therapy is viable as well.
One of the greatest benefits online therapies has provided to clients is the ability to access high-quality mental health services from the comfort of their home. It has alleviated many barriers to treatment, including lack of transportation, distance between the home and therapy office, and accessibility for people with physical limitations. Clients who live in remote locations or have considerably busy schedules will often find convenience in using telehealth for services. For some individuals, telehealth provides individuals with more confidence in seeking treatment, as it allows them to overcome the fear of the stigma attached to mental health support.
Telehealth-based mental health treatment can include a variety of services, including traditional therapeutic sessions like individual or group therapy, mental health evaluations, psychoeducational sessions and more. In some instances, individuals will switch between in office and telehealth appointments simply based on weekly schedules that may otherwise inhibit holding the session, like running late from work and switching to a phone session or being out of town and unable to attend in person. Telehealth provides convenience and flexibility to prevent disruptions in treatment. In fact, on limited occasions, telehealth can provide individuals with the ability to reach their therapist outside of normal scheduled sessions for emergency appointments when available to prevent crisis.
The clinicians at Puglisi Counseling can provide telehealth therapy through a variety of platforms. We can utilize secure video platforms, such as Zoom, TherapyNotes Video Conferencing, among other HIPAA compliant telehealth options as well as phone services. In some cases, and on a limited basis, Puglisi Counseling can offer text or email-based services, though this may not be covered by insurance and should be discussed prior to engaging in this form of treatment. However, with the evolution of technology, there will be significant improvements made to telehealth services. When interested in telehealth services, your clinician will guide you in choosing the best communications option available.
There are many situations that may cause an individual to opt in for telehealth-based treatment as opposed to in-person sessions. These circumstances may include physical limitations, location challenges, time constraints, and transportation issues, or it may simply be preference due to convenience. Telehealth can provide individuals with treatment for a variety of circumstances including:
Recent research and academic studies have found that telehealth-based mental health services are just as effective as face-to-face therapy when treating a variety of issues. Many therapeutic treatment modalities have been modified to successfully be utilized with telehealth, including EMDR, DBT, CBT, and other interventions.
The decision to engage in therapy using telehealth rather than in-person is a personal choice that needs to consider your life circumstances and personal preferences. There are many benefits to telehealth, but some individuals simply prefer in-person treatment. Talk with your clinician if you may have concerns regarding telehealth and discuss what would be the best option for you.
In some situations, telehealth is not recommended as a method of accessing mental health treatment due to a variety of reasons. For instance, individuals with severe emotional or psychological ailments may not always find effectiveness in receiving telehealth-based therapy. Individuals who experience psychosis, severe emotional disturbances, or frequent self-harming thoughts may find that they benefit more from face-to-face therapy instead. However, access to in-person therapy may prove to be difficult in which case telehealth is the only viable option for therapy and should be considered as an alternative.
There are other situations in which a person may not benefit from telehealth-based services. These situations may include a lack of understanding of technology, individuals without privacy at home, domestic violence in the home, and age factors that limit comprehension and engagement.
The clinicians of Puglisi Counseling have been practicing telehealth-based services for many years and have extensive experience in assisting individuals get the most out of online treatment. With the use of telehealth, Puglisi Counseling seeks to encourage more individuals throughout Pennsylvania who may otherwise be unable to access quality mental health care to engage in services. Using HIPAA compliant technology, Puglisi Counseling can maintain confidentiality and always ensure privacy. If you find that telehealth may be the best option for you, then do not hesitate to reach out for support.