Having a telehealth practice has been an interest of mine for as long as I can remember. I've had a few telehealth clients from pretty much the beginning of my career. COVID 19 hit and many therapists went online temporarily but I am one who decided to make the change indefinitely. Why? Here are 8 reasons!
Thanks to telehealth, I'm able to work with clients from all over Idaho and Nevada (the states in which I am licensed). This includes people in remote areas or in areas without a lot of options when it comes to therapists.
You can't beat the commute time. Not only is this great for me, but many clients have benefited from this over the years, whether in particularly busy seasons of their lives or just normal life and appreciating the ease of attending therapy with no extra driving involved.
3. Comfy feeling
I'll admit: I wear comfortable pants and sometimes even have a cozy blanket when the weather calls for it. My clients do the same and I love when I see that they've brought their own blanket to our session because to me, it means they're ready to be vulnerable and ready to work.
4. Creating a safe space
I try to be mindful of what clients see on my screen, hoping it gives them comfort. But what I love about telehealth is that clients can bring what they need to into our sessions to feel comfortable and ready to work. Sometimes this means their favorite tea or a candle. Sometimes it's nothing extra or special at all, just a familiar room in their home.
In Idaho, we definitely have days when the roads are really slick or the snow comes too quickly for plows to keep up. With telehealth, gone are the days of canceling appointments because of inclement weather.
Of course, if you're feeling too sick for counseling to feel helpful, then I'm going to want to reschedule. However, there are times when clients still want to meet but would really prefer to stay home and don't want to risk sharing their illness. With telehealth, this is possible.
I love when clients' pets make an appearance! It's so sweet to meet these special creatures. My heart swells when a pet knows just the right moment to be affectionate when a client could use the extra comfort, and my clients and I bond through laughing about cats stepping on keyboards.
Related but separate from #7: I consider it an honor to get a glimpse into my clients' lives. Seeing their homes feels vulnerable in a different way and I appreciate their willingness to show me their world in this way. Similarly, my clients know my office is in my home also. I value my clients knowing that I'm very much a human, too.
What am I missing? What are your favorite parts about telehealth?