Phone based therapists?
September 5, 2012 2:59 PM   Subscribe

Know of any phone based therapists? Seeing a lot of research based sites in my searches but no actual therapists doing this.
posted by mrflibble to Human Relations (6 answers total)
Just ask! I saw my "in-person" therapist a few times by phone, when I was hobbled by a knee injury. My sister's therapist accommodated her in that way.

However! I must add that I think it should only be done as a last resort, because I don't think it's the most effective way of doing therapy. A lot of nuance is conveyed in person via body language & nonverbal communication (on the part of therapist & patient).
posted by honey badger at 3:04 PM on September 5, 2012

I've been doing therapy 95% via Skype for a while now. That said, it started as in-person therapy and then converted to Skype when I moved, which may make it easier.

I think Skype / video conferencing is far superior to phone for the reasons honey badger mentions.
posted by wildcrdj at 3:50 PM on September 5, 2012

My therapist does about 50-75% of our sessions on the phone now since she moved offices to another town and I couldn't get there easily because I have no car. She also has to be out of town frequently, so she's had to implement phone sessions. But they do tend to be more difficult than in-person sessions, and she's said she wouldn't want to do 100% phone only. Maybe Skype (and if I ever move away, we'll probably do that), but offering phone sessions isn't something she does on a regular basis. I gather it's fairly rare to find because most people really do prefer seeing you in person to check your body language.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:59 PM on September 5, 2012

Telephone and internet psychotherapy is new and the ethics and legality (i.e. what do you do if you are licensed in one state and your client is in another?) of it seem not to be totally sorted out yet. I think that is why you don't see many telehealth therapists outside of the VA just yet. If you haven't yet, try "telehealth" in your searches.
posted by gilsonal at 7:36 PM on September 5, 2012

To answer gilsonal's question, as least in regard to mental health counselors: the American Counseling Association's code of ethics prohibits counselors from distance psychotherapy where the client lives in a state in which the counselor is not licensed. That is, I (licensed in Georgia) cannot provide counseling to someone who lives in Wyoming unless I'm also licensed in Wyoming. The security implications are significant also, especially in light of managed care and federal privacy regulations.

The exception is within the VA and the Department of Defense, in which someone licensed in one state can practice under the VA or DoD umbrella in any VA/DoD facility nationwide, but only AFAIK on secure transmissions done between remote bases and stateside hospitals.
posted by catlet at 8:33 PM on September 5, 2012

Posted too soon. "...but telecounseling is only done, AFAIK, on secure transmissions..." etc. The licensure issue doesn't come into play when it's VA/DoD.
posted by catlet at 8:34 PM on September 5, 2012

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