Prior to March of 2020, telehealth was not widely used by psychologists, certainly not like it has been since the pandemic started.
Moving my clients to an online virtual platform has made a compelling case against my prior biases that psychotherapy needed to be primarily in person.
I owe this learning to my many clients, old and new, with whom the therapeutic connection felt palpable and deeply meaningful even from across the city or across the province.
I realized that offering the option of remote therapy provided access to services that in many cases in-person could not. Whether it was:
- new parents who could tend to their baby in their own home while receiving counselling
- clients receiving support over their brief lunch hour at work
- clients where transportation or severity of mental health issues was a barrier in accessing services
- the many clients who stayed home and were concerned about risks to their health due to COVID-19
- clients in rural communities who had limited access to services
Clients can now choose between virtual or in person sessions by simply selecting their preference when booking through their online portal.
The telepsychology platform is part of my practice management system. All clients have an electronic file that is stored in this secure, bank-level encrypted (SSL) web-based practice management system designed to store and manage client records.
This system includes information such as client appointments (booked by clients themselves on a client portal), billing documents, session notes, contact details, and other client-related information.
All practice data in the system is routinely backed up on 2 Canadian servers to ensure the privacy and protection of sensitive client information and to assist with Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) compliance. Clients receive an email reminder before each session that also has a link to their telepsychology video session.