Fitting Telemental Health into Your Practice
So, now you know what telehealth, and more specifically, telemental health, is. The question now is, how can you use it in your practice?
The awesome thing about telemental health is that it can be utilized in any number of ways in your practice. Research supports the use of telemental health with many client populations, issues and modalities.
One caveat before we talk about ways you can use this service:
Not every client will be appropriate for telemental health services. You want to be sure that you have clear criteria and complete a thorough screening/assessment before offering the service. This step is in keeping with your clinical and ethical responsibilities as well as determining the best fit for the client and for you.
Here comes the exciting part! Let’s talk about the ways you can add telemental health to your practice. Some of these services may surprise you.
Telemental health has been shown to be a highly effective method of service delivery for many types of clients:
- Individual Therapy
- Couples Therapy
- Family Therapy
- EAP Services
- Clinical Supervision (will vary by your licensing board’s requirements)
While not considered therapy, coaching services are another increasingly common online service which may compliment a therapy practice:
- Personal Coaching
- Executive Coaching
Integrating Telemental Health Services
There are a number of ways to offer these services in your practice:
- You may consider offering this service to established clients with whom you already have a good therapeutic alliance.
- You may choose to offer an online option for new clients.
- You may choose to offer some combination of online and in-office services.
More and more, telemental health is becoming an accepted and poplar alternative to in-office services. You may find clients requesting it more frequently, especially those who are highly mobile, tech savvy or find it difficult to get to your office consistently.
Even some insurance and EAP companies are starting to recognize the efficacy of telemental health and may cover certain types of telemental health services. When verifying benefits, be sure to ask whether telemental health services are covered so that you know whether this service is an option for your client.
As you look at the list of services, you might be wondering about determining the types of clients who you might consider for telemental health. There has been some debate as to whether telemental health is appropriate for use with higher risk clients such as those with a history of self-harm or trauma such as PTSD. Research from the U.S. Veterans Administration has found that telemental health services can be an effective intervention for clients with issues such as PTSD and mood disorders.
What seems to be of most importance when choosing clients to work with in telemental health is the level of skill, experience and comfort of the therapist. If you’re confident in your clinical skills and have the training and expertise, you may be more comfortable with taking on more complex cases via telehealth. Other therapists may choose to limit their telehealth practice to certain types of cases or circumstances. How you offer and utilize telemental health services is up to you and the specific needs of your practice and clientele.
Providing telemental health services requires a specific skillset and training. Make sure you have received the training that you need to provide clinically and ethically sound services to you and your clients. Be sure to choose a secure platform that is built for the unique delivery needs of mental health services. TheraPlatform https://www.theraplatform.com/resources/280/hipaa-compliant-video-conferencing-platform-for-behavioral-and-mental-health-providers was designed with mental health providers and their clients in mind to provide the best telemental health experience.
With the right tools and training, you are on your way to bringing the best in mental health services to your clients and bring growth to your practice.