Examining Online Therapy Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Psychology Type: Essay Paper: #15630267 Related Topics: Online, Confidentiality, Therapy, Hipaa
Excerpt from Essay :

Online Therapy Services

The first online therapy site that this paper will examine is the site known as Betterhelp.com. This site assists people in dealing with some of the obstacles and challenges that life presents them with. This site asserts that these issues can be tough for any individual to face alone, and offers support from professional counselors as a means of helping one create bigger changes. One of the ways that the site pitches itself to potential clients is by the fact that help is discreet and affordable.

The professionals involved are all licensed, accredited, and trained professionals in the field of mental health: there are psychologists, marriage and family therapists, social workers and professional counselors. All of them have graduate degrees in their field and are all certified by their state professional boards, having completed all the requirements for practice. In order to work on the site, the professionals not only have to have completed all the exams, training and practice specified by their state, but they also have to have at least 2,000 hours and three years of experience in the field, working with patients.

While the professionals on the site are licensed to provide therapy and counseling, they cannot prescribe medication, made official diagnoses, nor can they complete any court orders. The therapy occurs in a virtual environment, where the therapist and client are given a virtual room, which is open 24/7 and where the two can communicate in complete and utter privacy. This virtual room is secure and the website has completely devoted a ton of energy and time to secure privacy and...

...

As Betterhelp.com explains, "Our privacy and confidentiality standards are by far more advanced than what is required by law or regulations so you can feel safe and comfortable" (betterhelp.com). The site helps to enforce that through these pillars: there's no need for clients to identify themselves to anyone; all information shared is protected by federal and state laws; insurance companies aren't worked with so nothing ever needs to be shared with them; clients can always shred messages that have been sent and received; the company engages in direct compliance with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act); messages are all secured and encrypted through banking-grade 256 bit encryption; the encryption system is given by Comodo, and all databases are encrypted and scrambled so that if the databases were ever stolen, they would essentially become useless and the information unrecoverable.

On the other hand, a website like Breakthrough.com is somewhat different. The potential user starts by browsing through the roster of licensed therapists -- via location, specialty, experience or any other criteria that they prefer. Once a promising therapist is found, the client creates an account in order to contact the therapist and schedule an appointment. One thing that breakthrough.com asserts as making it distinguished from the competition is the fact that they allow clients the opportunity to test out the rapport with the shrink, asking any questions they like: this allows one to do this before committing to an appointment so one can be certain that a good match has been found before committing.

Another way that breakthrough.com distinguishes themselves is by how convenient they are, without travel time or related issues. Also, appointments are available evenings and weekends, so that they can fit in to the busy schedule of all clients; finally, clients usually receive appointments within four days of making a request. 86% of clients who make an initial appointment continue to work with a given therapist. The company also markets itself as freeing clients from the limitations of their local therapists. Not only is it cheaper than traditional therapy, but it's completely private, eliminating the fear of someone seeing you in the waiting room of a shrink's office. Unlike betterhelp.com, they do accept insurance,…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Betterhelp.com. (2014). Meet the Counselors. Retrieved from Betterhelp.com: https://www.betterhelp.com/about/

Breakthrough.com. (2014). Why online therapy? Retrieved from breakthrough.com: https://www.breakthrough.com/why

Virtualtherapyconnect.com. (2014). Privacy and Security. Retrieved from virtualtherapyconnect.com: https://virtualtherapyconnect.com/virtual-therapy/security-and-hipaa


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