Telepsychiatry on the Rise With Video Conferencing

By Jelani Harper
Updated: September 27, 2011

Telepsychiatry on the Rise With Video Conferencing

Video conferencing’s growing popularity can be attributed in part to telepsychiatry, the means by which psychological therapy is conducted remotely. Video conferencing therapy sessions allows for a number of benefits for both therapists and patients, and is becoming an increasingly accepted means of reaching patients in supervised sites such as health care facilities and prisons.
“In three years this will take off like a rocket,” said Eric A. Harris, a psychologist who works with the American Psychological Association Insurance Trust. “Everyone will have real time audiovisual availability.”

“There will be a group of true believers who will think that being in a room with a client is special and you can’t replicate that by remote involvement. But a lot of people, especially younger clinicians, will feel there is no basis for this thinking.”

Both patients and therapists will benefit from reduced travel fees and parking expenses. Patients will have the means of reaching therapists during typical vacation months in the summer, and will no longer have to worry about cancellation fees due to unforeseen circumstances.

Therapists, for their part, will likely see a decrease in operating costs (including rent for office space), and may be able to charge less due to common video conferencing applications such as Skype.
 

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