There is nothing more rewarding than helping your psychotherapy patients achieve their goals. It’s easy to dream of breakthroughs and full-recoveries but the truth is, making real headway requires time, trust and an established therapeutic relationship based on consistent and regular interactions. But have you heard, “My child is sick and I need to cancel my appointment.” “My wife has the car and I can’t come.” “I don’t want to drive in this rain!” “I’m on the road the rest of week; may I reschedule?” If your experience is like mine, you’ve probably heard every reason in the book and they’re all good reasons, so what can you do? Still, you probably feel that same twinge when the patient you especially wanted to see, the one who was making such good progress, cancels.
Did you know that virtual therapy can help you to turn cancelations into opportunities to provide the same care in a new delivery format? Here are the top 5 reasons why a therapist should consider using new technology. Virtual therapy:
- Enables a continuity of care regardless of location—work around interruptions that would otherwise cancel a session by giving your patients the flexibility they need to participate in sessions from remote locations.
- Delivers access to treatment to prospective clients who might not otherwise receive care—this applies to patients who don’t want to be seen at a therapists’ office, are handicapped, have limited access to transportation or have a variable schedule, and so on.
- Gives patients the opportunity to determine where they accept the virtual therapy—from their home office, kitchen table, while on vacation or business travel, and etc. As a benefit to therapists, patients are generally more comfortable in their own environment, which helps you build trust and an open dialogue more quickly.
- Gives the practitioner a rare glimpse into the patient’s home environment which the therapist wouldn’t otherwise have. In my experience, I’ve even been introduced to family members, which provides added dimension to the therapeutic process.
- Allows therapists to see more patients and potentially shrink their overhead—therapists will notice less ‘down’ time and fewer cancelations. If they rent office space, they may need less space or need fewer hours of access, since they can substitute home office space for rented space.
If you’re curious about virtual therapy, browse our site, www.virtualtherapyconnect.com. There is so much information to absorb and think about. Maybe, though, you’ve notice that I feel passionately about this growing format, especially because it enabled me to continue to support my patients despite relocating to be closer to family. Even though we leverage technology, the human element is no less important than traditional forms of therapy. That’s why I always say, virtual therapy isn’t a new form of treatment; it’s just another form of delivery.
– Martha H. Ireland PhD, RN, CS, CEDS