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  • Writer's pictureHayli Evans

The Rise of Telehealth Therapy: Redefining Mental Health Care

What even is "Telehealth" therapy and how do you know if it's the right option for you on your mental health journey?

Telehealth is a mode of health care that uses secure digital technology such as videoconferencing to connect clients and providers. Telehealth enables clients to receive care from anywhere there is an internet connection. For our purposes, Telehealth refers to virtual therapy. In my practice, I conduct my therapy sessions through an online, HIPAA-compliant platform called SimplePractice to ensure that all client sessions and information are kept as safe and secure as possible.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about an abrupt need for change in the way that therapists offer services to our clients. We knew that we needed and wanted to continue to see our clients throughout such a stressful and unsettling time, but many of us had never seen clients outside of our comfortable offices before. Utilizing Telehealth has transformed our industry, making therapy services more accessible and affordable for therapists and clients alike. We have, collectively, demonstrated resiliency and adaptability, and as a result, I believe that virtual therapy is here to stay. It feels as though the demand is higher than ever!

Why choose virtual therapy?

1. Ease of access.

Virtual therapy allows clients to see their therapist from anywhere that they have access to a secure internet connection. Clients can save time and money on commuting, taking time off of work, and childcare costs because they can feasibly see their therapist from the comfort of their own homes.

2. Fewer missed/late appointments.

I have observed in my practice that we have significantly fewer late or cancelled appointments due to the convenience of having therapy from wherever a client is located. COVID-19 taught us that it is wise to stay home when we feel ill, and sometimes a person might want to attend a therapy session while feeling under the weather. Now, many clients can keep others safe, rest, and attend therapy from their homes.

Anyone who lives in Los Angeles knows that traffic can be a real nightmare, and there really is no "central location" where it would be convenient for everyone to travel. Virtual therapy has relieved many of us from the burden of sitting in traffic before and after our therapy sessions, stressing about whether or not we will be on time to our appointment or to our next meeting.

Telehealth services have made it possible for some of my clients to see me on their lunch break, in their car, outside, when they go out of town (within CA) on vacation, or anywhere that they can find privacy.

3. Engage in your therapeutic work from a place that feels comfortable for you.

Therapy is a vulnerable process. Engaging in this work requires privacy and a place to express your thoughts, emotions, and to feel your body sensations. In my work with trauma survivors, I have found that many achieve success in meeting their goals largely because they are often able to attend therapy from the privacy and comfort of their own homes. They are able to be at home with their children, utilize their pets as grounding resources, and can easily move from a space of therapeutic reprocessing to mindful grounding, movement, meditation, or connection with others without getting in their car to drive anywhere.

4. Increased options of therapists to see, as they do not have to be in your immediate geographic location.

For many folx considering entering therapy, they might be seeking a therapist with specific specialization, personality, experience, age, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, faith background, insurance panels, fees, etc. Some locations may have limited resources to meet the needs of residents.

Telehealth broadens the client access to a number of clinicians that may meet their needs who may not be within a convenient distance for an office visit. In my practice (in LA), I see clients all over California (Los Angeles, Bay Area, Palm Springs, San Diego, and Riverside county) and appreciate the opportunity to connect with those who I might not be able to work with, otherwise.

There are some factors to consider when looking for a therapist that may indicate a need for in-person rather than virtual therapy. I will not provide an exhaustive list, but here are some considerations.

1. Safety.

Telehealth therapy is not recommended for those who are struggling with active/acute self-harm, suicidal ideation, or considerations of harm of another person. If there is in

stability that is leading to lack of safety of yourself or others, please seek more intensive care that can provide you with the time, attention, and safety resources that you need in order to be safe and stable.

2. Privacy.

If you are unable to find privacy to attend your therapy sessions on a consistent basis, visit a therapist in person! They have private office space for the purpose of allowing yourself to speak freely without fear of anyone overhearing you.

3. Internet access/reliability.

If you do not have reliable access to internet, virtual therapy will be at best frustrating, and at worst, impossible. If this is the case for you, seeking an in person therapist will likely be your best bet.

About the author

Hayli Evans is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) & Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) who specializes in healing trauma.

Hayli uses a trauma-informed, holistic, and collaborative approach to therapy, integrating the body, mind, and spirit into the healing process. She strives to meet each client where they are, tailoring treatment to each person’s unique needs. She works to empower clients to find their voice, to engage in their own unique healing process, and to move towards healthy lives and relationships.

She works with each individual to build a supportive therapeutic relationship where they can develop the skills necessary to achieve their goals and improve their overall quality of life.

Hayli is EMDR trained, has achieved her 200-hour yoga teacher certification, and has completed a Transcending Sexual Trauma Through Yoga certification. She is passionate about helping clients to find empowerment in their bodies through breath, mindfulness, and movement throughout the therapeutic process.

Visit to learn more and request consultation.

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