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  • There have been numerous studies (links below) investigating the effectiveness of telehealth.  For years it has been used by therapists to support clients in rural areas, clients with agoraphobia, clients with mobility-related disabilities, and clients who prefer or need more flexibility.  Evidence shows that clients not only reap the benefits of virtual counseling but those benefits are sustained over time in a way that’s comparable to in-person therapy.  Research shows that telehealth works just as well as in-person therapy.
    Although there is nothing quite like the energy of in person sessions where we can feel each other’s energy, and see full body language cues.  Telehealth is just as effective as long as your therapist can see your whole face.  There are 43 muscles just in your face, so as a Highly Sensitive Therapist, I can see those minute cues even more clearly than in person.  
    Looking at a screen rather than a live person feels different.  It requires a bit more effort to look at the screen for eye contact and can be challenging  for your eyes to focus on the bright screen.  Eye contact is different.  In person, if I look at your eyes and you look at my eyes, we are making eye contact.  In a video session, if I look at your eyes, it will appear to you that I’m looking down.  One thing that helps is to back up a little bit from the screen so we see more of one another.  If you’re closer to the screen, it’s important to look at the camera, then look at the person, and back and forth throughout the session.  So if you’re meeting with your therapist and it seems like they’re looking down rather than At You, that’s why. And vice versa.  
    All therapists at The A Treatment Center are licensed or registered in the state of California.  That means that if a Psychotherapy client is in California, we can legally practice therapy. 
    Telehealth is defined as happening where the client is physically located at the time of service.  If a client is in Southern CA or Northern CA  our license allows us to ‘see’ that client, even if we are physically in a different state.  If a client is Out of the State of California and we do a session with them, we are considered to be practicing without a license in whatever state they are in unless we are solely doing Hypnotherapy which is a Worldwide certification and does not require licensure.  Hypnotherapy guidelines are discussed  (insert link).

    Due to COVID-19, many people have decided to go to their home states to be with their families and wait out coronavirus.  If this is your situation, and you have an already established, ongoing relationship with a therapist, ask your therapist to contact the licensure board of the state you’re physically in.  Some states are making blanket exceptions to state-by-state telehealth restrictions under current circumstances.  

    Privacy Issues:

    When a client comes to our office.  We have walls, music and white noise in the waiting room. However, with telehealth, privacy is a two-way street.  We do our part by making sure that our therapists are in a private space where they can’t be overheard, and that the video interface they’re using is confidential and HIPAA compliant.  But there are also considerations on your end.  If you live with others, it may be difficult to maintain privacy.  Even behind closed doors, people feel less free to talk candidly when they’re worried they might be overheard. Finding a safe, secure, private space is important. 
    Some clients are doing video sessions from their car.  Others are doing phone sessions while taking safe, socially distancing walks around their neighborhood.
    If you have concerns about this, ask your therapist, we would be happy to help you find a creative solution.
    Telehealth can give new insights to your therapist. I mentioned above that video sessions don’t allow for that sense of your energy, body language or just that “vibe” we get being together. But telehealth sessions have perks.  We can see your home environment, your pets, your art or hobbies.  It is helpful to give a more well rounded view of who you are as a person.
    Personally I miss seeing my clients live & in person.  I also miss my friends, family, favorite restaurant etc. 😌
    I look forward to getting back to our new normal, where we can meet in person and feel that in person connection.  But in the meantime, I am thrilled we have such advanced technology that we can be there for our clients and help you face these challenges, worries & fears. 


    Studies supporting telehealth;