It appears that online therapy services are flourishing despite potential concerns with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), state licensing laws and other legal and ethical practices. Numerous services are currently seeking therapists to join their team. Psychotherapists considering an online sideline need to consider what state (or even country) their potential call-in clients are from, what rules are governing protocols such as how the company deals with inter-jurisdictional practice issues, consumer privacy, informed consent, suicidality, termination procedures, and more. It may or may not be in our best interest to jump in for the extra revenue though our presence might in fact change the way cyber-based therapy occurs.
My big question, however, remains, where’s the body in a telephone or text therapy session?
To be real, I’ve witnessed powerful sessions with clients via SKYPE using focusing and mindfulness and breath work and writing. And the reality is, my clients are well versed in body psychotherapy and have established a relationship with me so our time online isn’t necessarily new or novel. And in turn, I’m always nervous to delve deeper into a story online, to explore a character, a scene, an interaction, a curiosity, a wound. I feel conflicted in the use of online video calls for therapy sessions, and I hear they are bringing mental health support teams into remote areas where they wouldn’t have access, into the computer space of clients who might not venture into a clinic or office, into realms once inaccessible.
Here’s a list of the current popular online Therapy Service Companies and how to contact them for a potential job:
American Well (www.amwell.com): uses video conferences, costs $79.00 per session, some insurances do reimburse. To apply www.Americanwell.com
BetterHelp (www.betterhelp.com): uses asynchronous messaging, live chat, live phone, video conferencing, plans begin at $35 a week. To apply www.betterhelp.com/counselor_application
Breakthrough (www.Breakthrough.com): video conferencing, cost determined by therapist; some insurances reimburse. To apply www.breakthrough.com/for-providers/start
7 Cups of Tea (www.7cups.com): asynchronous messaging, plans begin at $37.50 a week or $150 a month. To apply www.7cups.com/online-therapy-jobs/
TalkSpace (www.talkspace.com): asynchronous text, video and voice messaging, plans begin at $32.00 a week. To apply www.talkspace.com/online-therapy/join-talkspace-as-a-therapist/
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