What to Expect in Your First Telepsych Appointment
The term “telepsych” refers to behavioral health services that patients access virtually. In general, there are two types of telepsych services: teletherapy and telepsychiatry. Some patients may only use one or the other, while some people use both types of telepsych.
Due to COVID-19 and social distancing measures, many people are turning to telepsych. Not only do people get the help they need to get through such a difficult time, but they can do so without risking their safety or anyone else’s. However, having your first telepsych appointment can be nerve-wracking for many people. Knowing what to expect in these appointments can help people relax, focus, and get what they need from their telepsych provider.
If You Have Seen the Provider Before
If you are already a patient with a counselor or psychiatrist, your provider may have notified you that his or her services have moved online. While this change can be unnerving, you can rest assured that your provider will continue to give you the same care and compassion that you have come to expect.
If you’re changing from in-person therapy to teletherapy, you and your counselor will probably continue to work on the same issues you were already working on before. However, your counselor may check-in to see how you’re handling all the changes that the world has seen recently.
If you’re moving the telepsychiatry for medication management, you can expect many of the same services, but not all of them. Your doctor will still be able to prescribe your medications and may make adjustments as needed. You will answer the same questions about your symptoms as you typically do, but your doctor will not be able to check your vital signs, such as temperature and weight.
What New Patients Can Expect with Telepsych
New patients may be particularly nervous about staring telepsych services. After all, behavioral health is a sensitive subject that can be difficult to discuss in the best of circumstances. At PCPA, both teletherapy and telepsychiatry patients can expect:
Compassionate care with no judgment
Video conferencing with easy-to-use technology
A HIPAA-compliant connection to keep your information safe
In teletherapy, the counselor may spend much of the first session getting to know you, your background, and any issues you struggle with now. He or she may also give you simple coping techniques to start helping you until the next session. In subsequent sessions, you will learn new coping methods, identify unhealthy thought and behavioral patterns, and discover how to change those patterns.
In new patient appointments for telepsychiatry, your doctor will ask about all the medications you take now, including supplements. They may also ask if you have taken any medications for your mental health before and how those worked. You will also go over the symptoms you are having that brought you to the session and what kinds of medicines could help. The doctor can prescribe you medications if he or she sees fit.
Does Telepsych Work?
In a word: absolutely. Studies have shown that patients who get teletherapy and telepsychiatry services do just as well as those who attend in-person appointments. Some experts even say that telepsych can work better for certain patients because they are more likely to attend all their sessions. Most importantly, telepsych is much more effective than receiving no treatment, which can be dangerous.
If you need telepsych services for your mental wellness, do not hesitate to contact PCPA. Our compassionate and experienced providers can help. You can search for a telepsych provider today and start on your journey to emotional wellness.
Disclaimer: The posts on this blog are for informational purposes only and do not replace direct care from your mental health care provider. Contact your mental health care provider for specific questions or concerns about your own mental health. All posts are copyrighted, and the views expressed on this blog are representative of the opinions of Pacific Coast Psychiatric Associates (PCPA) as an organization.