A recent survey found that nearly 6 out of 10 respondents would use teletherapy services, and this statistic reflects the growing popularity of telehealth services for mental health. If you’re considering therapy, telehealth could make things easier and more convenient, provided you find a teletherapist who’s the right match for you. Using this teletherapist research checklist can help you compare your options and select your ideal provider.

Exploring the Option of Teletherapy for Mental Health Support

Before getting into the details of the teletherapist research checklist, it’s important to take a step back and explore what teletherapy is and what it involves. Simply put, teletherapy is when you meet with a therapist remotely. You might talk over the phone, use a videoconferencing service, exchange text messages or communicate through a chat app.

Because you don’t have to travel to attend appointments, teletherapy can make accessing mental health support easier and allow you to fit therapy sessions into your busy schedule. Teletherapy also enables you to get help in a manner that aligns with your preferred communication style. For example, some people find it easier to express themselves in writing and may prefer text- or chat-based therapy as a result.

Teletherapist Research Checklist

Due to growing demand, the number of teletherapy services has increased over the last few years. When choosing an online therapist, options include large third-party platforms that connect you with a therapist based on your preferences and needs and direct services provided by an individual therapist or a group of therapists working out of a private practice clinic or treatment center.

This teletherapist research checklist is a tool to help you consider the full picture when finding a teletherapy provider and make an informed decision about which professional is the best match for you.

Qualifications and Credentials of Teletherapists

Teletherapy providers may have one of many official titles. Psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and social workers can all potentially provide teletherapy services. Many mental health professionals also specialize in certain fields or areas, making it important that you fully explore qualifications and credentials when choosing an online therapist.

Questions to ask:

  • What type of mental health professional are you?
  • What type of training do you have?
  • How long have you been a teletherapist? How long have you practiced in general?
  • Are you licensed to provide therapy in my state?
  • Do you have any special certifications?
  • Do you belong to any professional organizations?
  • What are your areas of specialty?
  • What types of therapy/treatment do you typically use?
  • How familiar are you with providing therapy for people with issues/symptoms/concerns similar to mine?
  • Will you be the only therapist who conducts my teletherapy sessions?
  • How will we monitor my progress?

Accessibility and Convenience of Teletherapy Platforms

Teletherapy can only be successful if you’re able to access it and the sessions fit into your daily routine. As a result, exploring accessibility and convenience is key when finding a teletherapist.

Questions to ask:

  • What communication options are available for teletherapy sessions? Phone calls? Videoconferencing? Text messaging? Online chat?
  • How do I schedule my teletherapy appointments?
  • Is there an app or software program I need to download? If so, what are the minimum technical specifications needed to use it?
  • Can I access your teletherapy platform on my mobile device?
  • What hours and days are you generally available for teletherapy sessions?
  • How long are your teletherapy sessions?
  • Is there a way for me to contact you between sessions with questions and concerns?
  • How can I get technical support for the teletherapy platform? Is technical support available 24-7 or only during specific hours?

Compatibility With Insurance Coverage and Payment Options

Knowing how much you’ll need to pay for teletherapy and when and how you’ll submit payment are additional virtual counseling considerations. Finding a solution that fits your budget will help ensure you’re able to continue teletherapy for as long as necessary to accomplish your treatment goals.

Questions to ask:

  • What are your rates?
  • Do you accept my health insurance? If so, will I have a copayment or coinsurance?
  • Do I pay for individual sessions or by the month? When is the payment due?
  • What payment methods do you accept?
  • What security standards are in place to protect my payment information?
  • What is your session cancellation policy? Do you charge cancellation fees?
  • Do you charge me automatically for sessions? If so, when do you deduct payments? How can I cancel automatic payments?
  • Where do I go for questions about billing?

Client Reviews and Testimonials of Teletherapy Experiences

Finding out what other people are saying about a teletherapy provider can give you valuable information about their services, expertise and experience. Look for reviews and testimonials on the teletherapy website. Then, conduct an internet search to see what people are saying about the teletherapist elsewhere. If you’re considering a third-party teletherapy platform, research the service by name to find out how satisfied customers are with its platform and overall customer service.

Making Informed Decisions About Teletherapy Options

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all teletherapy solution. The key to making the most of teletherapy is choosing an online therapist who fully aligns with your needs. To make an informed decision and set yourself up for the best possible outcomes, consult a few mental health professionals and use this teletherapist research checklist to guide your conversations.

Feel free to add additional virtual counseling considerations you may have to this list. For example, some people may prefer a therapist who’s a member of a minority community they belong to as well or want to find a teletherapist who shares their religious or spiritual beliefs. Customizing the checklist will help you find the right teletherapist match.

Take the First Steps Toward Finding a Teletherapy Provider

If you’re looking for a teletherapy provider, our team here at Sunlight Recovery is here to help. We’ll be glad to explore the information outlined on this teletherapist research checklist with you and answer any additional questions you have. Contact us today to learn how teletherapy can benefit you.