Telebehavioral health is the practice of behavioral health using a telecommunications system to provide clinical services, professional training, administrative and other services at geographically separate sites. Service can be delivered in “real-time” using the telephone and/or interactive video conferencing. Devices can run from desktop computers to smart devices such as tablets and smartphones. Not all treatment plans and behavioral health issues are appropriate for this form of therapy and assessment by the therapist would need to be determined.
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Texas, I may use technology-assisted services only after receiving appropriate education, training, and/or supervised experience in using relevant technology. At least 15 hours of continuing education and 2 hours every subsequent renewal period are required by the Texas Administrative Code §801.58. I am a Certified Telebehavioral Health Practitioner with the Telebehavioral Health Institute.
Online Therapy Preparation for Clients
Creating Confidential Space
Things to consider: Is the space private?
Can you lock the door? If not, will others who have access to the space respect your request for privacy and not enter the room?
Can you/have you had a conversation with them?
Were they receptive?
Can others outside the room hear you talking?
If so, can you create white noise with a fan or other form of background noise? (Preferably placed outside the doorway of the room you’re in)
Consider using headphones or earbuds so that your provider’s voice is kept private and is only hearable by you.
If you have a hard time finding confidential space, here are some examples that others have used. These are not ideal, but should be considered secondary choices if an ideal setup is not available. If you use any of these, please make sure that the space is comfortable to you. Being comfortable is also highly important.
- Laundry Room
- Actual last resort: your car parked in a safe, private spot. (We want to emphasize that private does not mean secluded. Please do make sure you are in a safe location.)
- A laptop or desktop computer are ideal — preferably the biggest screen size that you have available to you (that you can also have in a comfortable, confidential space)
- If you’re using a tablet or phone, please prop up the device so that it is stable and that the camera is about level with your eyes
- Whatever device you’re using, please make sure that the camera is about level with your eyes. It may require propping up your device or monitor on other items, such as books.
- Please make sure that you’re well lit and don’t have a bright light source directly behind you
- Clear Your Internet
- Be sure to move your computer as close as you can to your WiFi router (the box that makes the WiFi.) Or better yet — plug your computer into the router with a cable!
- After that, you’ll want to close out of any programs you don’t need which use your Internet connection.