Teletherapy: What it is and How Does It Work

Over the last two years, there has been an influx of therapists willing to see patients over the video, and patients requesting evaluations over video.

Some patients have had little to no interaction with their doctors in this manner, an experience that’s entirely new to them. Still, some hospitals don’t offer such services.

People that have done it before quickly learn that things like traffic, waiting in lines, and other related hassles common with seeing an in-person therapist were no longer issues. These activities fall under the definition of teletherapy, an innovative way for patients to connect with their therapists and healthcare providers like never before.

The information below serves as a teletherapy ultimate guide, one that will help you understand what it is, the benefits, and things you can expect from it. Let’s look further.

What is Teletherapy?

Teletherapy is often described as online mental health counseling over video call or the phone.

When people go to therapists, they’re seeking treatment for things like PTSD, depression, or different spectrum disorders. These are issues diagnosed by a doctor and prescribed through therapy sessions. Not to be confused with telepsychiatry, a teletherapist doesn’t frequently prescribe medication.

If a part of those meetings with a therapist is done at the home of the patient using an electronic device for communication, it constitutes teletherapy. On average, the method of communication is through video chat. The therapists who engage in this are certified and licensed.

Because anyone of any age could require some level of therapy, it’s normal for video calls to sometimes involve children as young as toddlers, to the elderly. In this situation, a parent, guardian, or caretaker might be needed to have a successful therapy session. The video is secured through some layer of encryption to prevent hackers or other websites from accessing the feed.

Much of the information that’s shared during teletherapy is private, so security is a major priority. There are other names for the practice. Depending on where you live or the language of the therapists in your region, it might be called telepractice, telespeech, online therapy or even telehealth. But the fundamentals of the practice remain the same.

It’s within the category of a home-based therapy since most patients do it in their residences. However, it might be conducted from a therapy center or school for young children.

How Does Teletherapy Work?

Teletherapy is done through phone calls or video conferences. It’s conducted and moderated through a telehealth organization.

The form these companies take varies. Some, for example, can be contacted through a web portal, or website. Others are available as downloadable apps on the web stores of all major operating systems.

If you own either a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or PC, you’re more than capable of trying out teletherapy sessions with a therapist. The basic process operates with the therapist working through the platform. It can be a video or messaging service that you or the therapist are familiar with, or something else.

The number of options available for communication has increased recently, especially in the last couple of years. Regardless of which platforms are done for communication, therapists should be HIPAA compliant. One feature resulting from this compliance is compulsory passwords needed to get into the video chat session.

After that, therapy time works about the same as it would with an in-person client. Introductions are made and details about the goings on of the session are shared. Things about patients, such as problems they would like to address, are also done at this moment.

If you’re never experienced it before, it may seem a bit out of place at first, but the therapy would eventually become as routine as having a conversation with a therapist in the room with you.

Benefits and Uses of Teletherapy

Compared to going to a therapy center, teletherapy has numerous benefits. Listed below are those provided to patients:

More Convenient

Since there’s no reason to leave the home, patients won’t have to worry about getting up to prepare themselves for a drive out to a clinic. For people living in areas with long-distance travel to such places, this could help them save on fuel costs and allow them to get other important errands completed. Sometimes, an appointment with a therapist could happen on the most inconvenient of days. But by having a computer or smartphone handy, there’s no demand to travel when telehealth services are utilized.

Comfortable, Especially For Introverted People

For some, particularly those suffering from disorders, being gregarious in front of strangers is difficult to do. Yet talking with therapists in a setting that’s comfortable and familiar can make a session with one more relaxed. What better environment is there to do this than a patient’s residence? This can allow patients to better open up and trust the therapist, giving them the space they need to better articulate their thoughts and feelings in a setting with less social pressure.

Easy Enough For Most Children To Figure Out

It’s no secret that children are fond of technology. Currently, many children are taught how to use messaging and video apps by their parents, friends, or even at school. Classes are sometimes conducted over video already. Sitting down and listening to a therapist shouldn’t be an issue for most children, even those with specific disorders. However, it’s always a good idea for parents to monitor their child’s interactions with therapists.

Opens Up A Wider Body Of Therapists And Providers

With telehealth services, patients have extended access to those working in areas that are far away from their locations. You can search for them in regions that aren’t within your routine driving distance.

Other benefits for patients

Since some professions have limited ability in production in a home environment, some may assume that teletherapy is one of them. On the contrary, it’s almost no different from having in-person therapy, aside from physical interaction.

For this reason, people undergoing therapy for their anxiety and depression could greatly benefit. Such problems are sometimes a part of a disorder or the primary issue. Depression can be so severe in patients, that it may make it difficult for them to get out of bed.

The ease of having a therapist to talk to over a video chat can motivate them to gradually overcome it, without feeling too pressured. Understanding and managing anxiety is the same. The level of progress changes from patient to patient, but being in a private setting with the added benefit of talking with a professional that can treat it could speed things up.

People that rely on telepractice are spread far and wide. But those in rural areas are sometimes far from the reach of a nearby therapist. Driving to a therapist on a whim isn’t something that everyone can do.

Patients with physical and severe psychological disabilities oftentimes cannot drive, even if they wanted to. Availability over a web app eliminates the obstacles of showing up for an appointment. And best of all, the amount of savings made possible from staying at home for this may run high. People that have had to visit therapists in the past who currently do it on video chat save the most from travel expenses.

Uses for Teletherapy

Therapy over the web is used for most issues that patients would walk into a center to do. It’s no different from caring done face-to-face. Here are some disorders that benefit the most from therapy over the web:

Autistic patients

Autism is a spectrum disorder that can have mild to severe symptoms. Things like tantrums, difficulty socializing, and speaking problems are common in people with autism. Therapy involving ABA courses can easily be administered to an autistic individual, the very young included.


ADHD can make it hard for patients to sit still, often in locations they’re unfamiliar with. Therapists may have a better ability to converse with patients diagnosed with ADHD.


Common symptoms of aphasia are problems with speaking and forming complete sentences. It can stem from numerous sources, including dementia. Therapy sessions by video might be a better solution for this diagnosis than traveling to a clinic, for the elderly in particular.

What to Expect

When speaking to a teletherapist for the first time, be ready to engage in conversation. You may have to answer questions, though nothing too difficult. This is done to allow the therapist to better understand your thoughts, emotions, and current feelings.

You must be open and honest with your thoughts, even if they’re unpleasant. The therapist is tasked with improving the emotional health and well-being of the patients they see, a process that could be reached quickly or slowly. Maintaining a good mutual relationship with a therapist can ensure that sessions are informative, positive, and worthwhile.

Pros and Cons of Teletherapy

Below is a concise listing of the pros and cons of seeing a therapist.


  • Useful for people that cannot drive, like the disabled
  • Oftentimes cheaper than going to a therapy center, even when paying out of pocket for health insurance
  • No waiting times or changes in appointments
  • Better for the privacy-minded


  • Depending on the patient, there could be a missing sense of connection to the therapist
  • Distractions are possible, especially for children, people with pets, and those with large families


Teletherpists help patients throughout the country. With more people than ever relying on electronic devices for communication, the number of people seeking to speak with therapists over their internet connection via video chat is likely to increase. It allows people suffering from disorders, depression, and anxiety to receive the help that they need.

Teletherapy at Mindvibe

If you or one of your loved ones have been struggling with their Mental Health it’s imperative to seek professional help.

Mindvibe Online Therapy has been in mental healthcare for years, and they have worked with many patients who have managed to find a way to deal with their mental health problems or get cured. They have a special focus on telepsychiatry which helps care for your condition regardless of your location using telecommunications technology.

Start an online evaluation now

Book Online