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  • Therapists Now Using Video Chat

    [caption id="attachment_3427" align="alignleft" width="289" caption="Therapists Using Video Chat"]chat[/caption]

     

    One of the main dilemmas in the film Up In The Air was whether or not people should be fired over a computer screen, or face to face. The question was never really answered, but I have a feeling every person had their own opinion of which way was best. Today, therapists are turning to online video chats when counseling their patients. Jan Hoffman of The New York Times discusses further in her story When Your Therapist Is Only A Click Away:

    THE event reminder on Melissa Weinblatt’s iPhone buzzed: 15 minutes till her shrink appointment.

    She mixed herself a mojito, added a sprig of mint, put on her sunglasses and headed outside to her friend’s pool. Settling into a lounge chair, she tapped the Skype app on her phone. Hundreds of miles away, her face popped up on her therapist’s computer monitor; he smiled back on her phone’s screen.

    She took a sip of her cocktail. The session began.

    Ms. Weinblatt, a 30-year-old high school teacher in Oregon, used to be in treatment the conventional way — with face-to-face office appointments. Now, with her new doctor, she said: “I can have a Skype therapy session with my morning coffee or before a night on the town with the girls. I can take a break from shopping for a session. I took my doctor with me through three states this summer!”

    And, she added, “I even e-mailed him that I was panicked about a first date, and he wrote back and said we could do a 20-minute mini-session.”

    Since telepsychiatry was introduced decades ago, video conferencing has been an increasingly accepted way to reach patients in hospitals, prisons, veterans’ health care facilities and rural clinics — all supervised sites.

    But today Skype, and encrypted digital software through third-party sites like CaliforniaLiveVisit.com, have made online private practice accessible for a broader swath of patients, including those who shun office treatment or who simply like the convenience of therapy on the fly.

    Read more at The New York Times

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