Originally, I stumbled into virtual therapy accidentally as I was striving to meet the evolving needs of my clients. At that time, I had been working with a particular client for four years who was moving to London. This client, though highly functional, wanted to continue to receive weekly coaching and monitoring so we held regular video conferences using Internet-based tools. Shortly after this started, my home state of Virginia experienced a record snowfall; schools were closed for two weeks and everyone was snowed in (talk about cabin fever!). Using web-based distance therapy enabled me to keep in touch with my clients and maintain a regular therapeutic schedule despite the weather! Over time, the benefits of distance therapy grew: I connected with mothers during their children’s nap times, coached clients overseas, and kept up with students returning to college.
As you can see, bringing technology into my practice was a natural evolution yet I worried about information security and confidentiality. I knew I needed the help managing compliance! So, when Dr. Ireland told me about Virtual Therapy Connect, I signed on immediately; in fact, I was one of the original Beta testers! Virtual Therapy Connect enables me to offer encrypted messaging to my clients, which I couldn’t utilize before, and helps me to better manage protected health information. I chose to be part of this community so that I could offer this level of protection and confidentiality at no cost to my clients; they value my commitment to their privacy and confidentiality! Virtual therapy hasn’t shifted the way I work; it’s just opened up a new portfolio of services.
– Michelle Market, LPC, Virtual Therapy Connect Practitioner