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Teletherapy Platform For Therapists To Engage With Patients

A good therapist-patient relationship is the foundation for successful therapy. Building trust and mutual respect takes time, but engaging patients starts the moment that they decide to get help. Many therapists worry that teletherapy works against forming this therapeutic alliance with patients, but research shows that patients don’t share this concern. In fact, the more adept the therapist is at delivering services digitally, the more positive the patient response.

Behavioral health treatment is predicted to be delivered virtually more often than in-person by 2030. As such, it’s crucial for mental health providers to be prepared by using and understanding teletherapy technology. Read on to find out how you can offer seamless teletherapy to your clients.

Who Benefits from Teletherapy?

Mental health clinicians strive to support patients throughout the therapeutic process — diagnosis, treatment, and management. Of course, the more engaged a patient is in all aspects of their treatment, the more likely that they will respond favorably to these interventions.

Teletherapy is just as effective as face-to-face, regardless of the degree of mental health impairment. In fact, online services can reduce the number of hospitalizations among the seriously mentally ill population. Virtual visits are less stressful than traditional therapy visits for many patients. There’s no need to drive around looking for the office, find parking, wait, or interact with staff. Patients can sign on from anywhere they feel comfortable, lowering stress for people new to therapy.

Various therapeutic models and approaches have been studied in the context of teletherapy. Both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) show similar effectiveness delivered online as in person.

Measurement-based care (MBC) is also well-suited to teletherapy platforms. Clients report feeling a stronger alliance with their therapist and express greater satisfaction with counseling when their therapist uses MBC. These patients also report feeling more involved in their own care and more respected by the clinic staff. Digitized behavioral health platforms make implementing MBC a straightforward process, as follows:

  • Assessments included in teletherapy platforms make tracking patient progress and adjusting treatment plans easy. You can schedule patients to complete these assessments on a regular basis which gives you a clear picture of their progress.
  • Reviewing the assessment results with clients helps make expectations and concerns they may have clear. It prompts more insight into their care and gives you important information about their goals and understanding of their situation.
  • Repeated self-assessment is thought to promote insight and self-reflection. Patients who might otherwise resist looking at their overall situation get used to thinking about their symptoms and considering where they are on the path to recovery.

Teletherapy’s accessibility empowers caretakers, differently abled clients, and others with barriers to accessing care to get mental health services in ways not possible before.

Enhance Patient Engagement with Teletherapy Platforms

Digital platforms offer a range of options that make therapy more accessible and increase patient engagement. High patient engagement strengthens the alliance between therapists and their patients, which is a key part of successful psychotherapy. It also increases the odds that a patient will continue in therapy until their desired result is achieved.

Unfortunately, many patients stop therapy prematurely. In fact, attrition levels have remained almost constant, hovering around 50%, since the mid-20th century. It’s understandable – mental health conditions like depression and anxiety can make it hard for clients to keep appointments. However, it means that appointment reminders are crucial to keeping patients engaged.

A behavioral health teletherapy platform like CarePaths can send automatic reminders instead of in-person phone calls, or in addition to them, according to patient needs. These decrease no-shows and help keep patients engaged in therapy.

Teletherapy platforms also remove barriers to attending sessions that can seem insurmountable, particularly for people with anxiety or depression, or those with few resources. They expand the ways patients can interact with their therapist:

  • Front door services provide patients with immediate access so they can make appointments and engage with your practice.
  • Secure messaging gives patients a convenient way to ask questions and send information.
  • Patients can make and change their appointments online.

Alternatives to traditional therapy, like teletherapy and text therapy, take your services directly to the patient. Those who aren’t available during your normal hours may be able to squeeze a tele-visit into their lunch break because they can connect with you via their computer, tablet, or phone. Minimizing the time that they need to set aside also increases the likelihood that they will remain in treatment.

Text therapy and messaging are often rolled into comprehensive teletherapy platforms like CarePaths. A relatively new addition to the therapeutic toolbox, text therapy has already been shown to be effective in mental health crises, and in reducing PTSD, depression, and anxiety symptoms.

  • It provides patients with a way to express themselves to you immediately while also allowing you time to formulate your response. Used in addition to teletherapy or in-person visits, text therapy helps avoid build-up where patients hold on to significant information until their appointment. Thus, the chances of a client forgetting to bring it up or inadvertently overlooking other important issues are minimized. Notably, these services sometimes require private payment as health insurance companies will not always reimburse it.

Final Thoughts

Video psychotherapy and other online therapy services will expand your engagement with patients. Teletherapy has grown tremendously over the past few years, and for good reasons. As more patients seek out this option, you should offer a service that you’re comfortable with. Behavioral health EHR platforms with teletherapy tied into them, such as CarePaths, will empower you to offer online treatment in a secure, user-friendly format.

At CarePaths, we help therapists work more efficiently and empower them to manage their practice their way by offering online therapy services, online scheduling, appointment reminders, secure messaging, and more. Learn how we can help you get up and running fast. Start your free trial today!

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