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In the last few years online psychological therapy services have proliferated, partly through the relatively recent application of Medicare rebates to certain online psychology services.

You may be worried that online services are not as effective as in-person treatment for psychological issues.

It is true that there are some mental health conditions and clients who are better served with in-person sessions. For example, people who have challenges accessing or using online platforms may find the process overly demanding. Other factors such as the therapist’s level of familiarity and comfort with using relevant technologies can also impact delivery and effectiveness of online or telehealth psychological services.

Since 2020, I have offered both in-person and video-conference sessions (conducted in real-time), and may utilise other telehealth formats such as email, for related communication.

Drawbacks of online sessions include reduced non-verbal communications (inflection, tone, gestures) and sometimes hassles with technology, particularly if you view yourself as not especially computer literate.

There is also a raft of confidentiality and privacy considerations specific to the online environment that needs to be considered. I address these in our client consent process which clearly outlines the risks and strategies my staff and I use to protect your privacy in engaging in our online services.

To access my online sessions, you need a stable Wi-Fi connection and either a laptop with a webcam or a smartphone. The platform I use for sessions is HIPAA Compliant and has end-to-end encryption, ensuring your data is always safe and secure.

When you book your online consultation with me, an email with a secure link to the online “therapy room” is provided to you. Just prior to the time of your appointment, you simply need to click on the link. You do not need to download and install any software or apps. Sessions are not recorded.

Research into the effectiveness of online therapy is still emerging, however, there is wide-spread recognition that therapeutic outcomes are broadly consistent with the positive gains seen generally with more traditional in-person approaches.

In effect, for most common mental health issues, choosing whether to engage in online or in-person treatment is largely a matter of personal preference. Talk to your GP or psychologist about whether telehealth consultations are appropriate and suitable for you.