Telehealth

What is Telehealth?

Anxiety Specialists of Atlanta offer secure telehealth treatment services. Telehealth services simply mean that real-time sessions (synchronous) are conducted on secure video/audio teleconferencing software. Sessions can be conducted on a laptop, desktop, tablet or even on your phone.
Though all intakes are conducted in person (at our offices or on location), a customized telehealth plan and schedule is created based on the needs discussed between you and your psychologist. We provide HIPAA compliant video-based therapy using a Secure Client Portal called “Telehealth by Simple Practice”. This option is available to anyone who originally resides in the state of Georgia. For anyone not a resident in Georgia, our staff will work with you and your state based psychological organization to go through the proper channels to ensure we are offering services that abide by state-based and nationally based guidelines and regulations for offering telehealth across state lines.

Why Telehealth?

Telehealth allows us to provide a treatment where problems actually occur (home, office, public setting) rather than an office setting that can sometimes lack the real world impact when treatment only takes place in office. According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, almost 80 million people living in the U.S. do not have access to mental health care services. Even in urban environments where providers are more available, cost, transportation and time constraints often prevent people from seeking mental health services. A significant factor contributing to this limitation of adequate mental health care is a lack of credentialed provider. Telehealth addresses this issue by increasing the availability and accessibility of services, especially by those specialized to treat various disorders.

What is the effectiveness of teletherapy?

A 2017 study reviewing 156 articles published since 2000 found that not only is teletherapy just as effective as in-person therapy but it is often more accessible and affordable than traditional in-person therapy. Before that in 2009 (Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, Vol. 16, No. 3), another team of researchers analyzed a set of 148 peer-reviewed publications and found that both client outcomes and satisfaction ratings were high. A 2008 meta-analysis of 92 studies, for example, found that the differences between Internet-based therapy and face-to-face were not statistically significant (Journal of Technology in Human Services, Vol. 26, No. 2).
There are many issues that are addressed by providing telehealth services, including:

  • Limited access to reliable transportation and time limitations associated with heavy traffic patterns
  • Being homebound due to medical or mental health reasons
  • Families that lack access to reliable or affordable child-care
  • Schedule demands due to work or family obligations
  • Existing clients who are traveling but unable to attend regularly scheduled sessions in our offices
  • Allowing providers to support patients between visits
  • Ability to address clinical issues in the real environments they take place, which can be most relevant for OCD and other Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Specialists of Atlanta is staffed exclusively with specialists, including our treatment specialty as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) specialists, treating a variety of disorders, including OCD, Social Anxiety, Selective Mutism, PTSD, Eating Disorders, and Phobias, to name a few. Unfortunately, there are simply not enough trained CBT specialists or providers who effectively treat the various disorders our team is well known for treating. Because of this, we receive inquiries regularly from all around the state of Georgia and from states surrounding Georgia from families and those in need who are unable to find a qualified provider in their community. It is for this and many other reasons that we are proud to be able to offer teletherapy services for those in need.

References:
  • Glueckauf, R.L., Pickett, T.C., Ketterson, T.U., Loomis, J.S. & Rozensky, R.H. (2003). Preparation for the delivery of telehealth services: a self-study framework for expansion of practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 34, 159–163.
  • Grady, B., Myers, K., & Nelson, E. (2009). Evidence-based practice for telemental health: American Telemedicine Association guidelines. American Telemedicine Association Publication.
  • Maheu, M.M. & Gordon, B.L. (2000). Counseling and therapy on the Internet. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31, 484–489.
  • Novotney, A. (2011). A new emphasis on telehealth: how can psychologists stay ahead of the curve and keep patients safe? American Psychology Association,42(6). Retrieved from: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/06/telehealth.aspx
  • Richardson, L.K., Frueh, B.C., Grubaugh, A.L., Egede, L., & Elhai, J.D. (2009). Current directions in videoconferencing tele-mental health research. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 16, 323–338.