The United States is currently facing a mental health crisis: the growing opioid epidemic; an increase in depression and anxiety and even suicide; and a shortage of mental health professionals, especially in rural areas, but also inn urban and suburban areas.

Teletherapy, such as the work being done by Therapia, helps to bridge the gap between needs and services. Teletherapy uses technology such as video hookups and cameras to help individuals receive therapy even when they have no real world access to a therapist.

LICENSING

One of the biggest obstacle to teletherapy in the past has been a licensing issue between states. Normally, a state requires a practitioner to be licensed in the state in which their patient is being treated. Obviously, such a requirement was a great burden to practitioners working with individuals in another state.

With the proliferation of telehealth in general – which includes not just mental health providers but other healthcare practitioners – many states have signed on to a compact recognizing the licenses of other states in the compact. As a result, the possibilities for mental health practitioners to work as teletherapists are growing.

EDUCATING YOURSELF

To be a successful teletherapist, one needs to overcome a few other issues as well. For instance, putting a crisis management plan in place for online patients; or ensuring online sessions are kept private. A large issue is determining what population to work with, and how to find an agency to pay for it. Therapia Staffing is an example of an online therapy company that fits that bill.

DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND

Many believe that teletherapy will be a normal part of any therapist’s practice within a decade. Technology is always advancing and online therapy companies such as Therapia are popping up. Adding an online aspect to one’s practice is a natural extension and merely a way of combining one’s skills with the use of technology. It is also an excellent way of helping underserved communities. There are many who feel mental health professionals who ignore this aspect will soon be left behind if they don’t add teletherapy to their repertoire.