Fifteen Months Later...
Vanessa West, M.S., LMHC
The use of telehealth has been a complete game-changer for many throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. Many clinicians had to wander into the depths of providing online services at an extremely fast pace to ensure their clients were provided with the treatment and support they deserve. These clinicians have been rockstars at implementing services that for many was outside of their comfort zone. Clients have been, and continue to be, absolute rockstars with expressing their willingness and openness to engaging in the unknown world of telehealth.
In Iowa, we are catching up with other states with having the opportunity to continue mental health services through the use of technology and online avenues that are beneficial for both clients and clinicians. There are great benefits to this practice. Clients are able to obtain therapy from the comfort of their homes. This has been extremely beneficial in accessing families and individuals who reside in rural areas. Previously, people who reside in rural communities may not have a mental health practitioner within 50 miles of their residence which can be problematic for various reasons, including health and transportation obstacles. Many clinicians are now open to providing online opportunities whereas a year ago this was not the case in most instances.
Clinicians have been able to adapt to meet the client’s needs in unique, individualized, and sustained manners. Mental health therapy that has been provided over telehealth means has proven to be as effective as seeing a mental health clinician in office or face to face (McLean et al., 2021). Clinicians have incorporated various ways to communicate and engage with youth. The use of jam boards and thinking outside the box has been extremely beneficial when forming therapeutic relationships and connecting with children, youth, and adults over the past fifteen months.
Research has shown that mental health therapy conducted through the use of telehealth has been completed in a positive manner as reported by both clinicians and clients (Gentry et al., 2021). Is mental health therapy a road you have considered taking? I strongly challenge and encourage you to consider engaging in therapy through the use of telehealth. Therapeutic Innovations, PLLC provides mental health services to all individuals who reside within the state of Iowa through the use of electronic means.
Gentry, M.A., Puspitasari, A.J., McKean, A.J., et al. Clinician Satisfaction with Rapid Adoption and Implementation of Telehealth Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Telemedicine and e-Health, (2021).
McLean, S.A., Booth, A.T., Schnabel, A. et al. Exploring the Efficacy of Telehealth for Family Therapy Through Systematic, Meta-analytic, and Qualitative Evidence. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 24, 244–266 (2021).