Home Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy A Guide to Starting an Online Teletherapy Practice

A Guide to Starting an Online Teletherapy Practice

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Online therapy has been growing in popularity across the world for years now, and COVID-19 has only accelerated this growth. Teletherapy has been proven extremely effective at treating a number of mental health issues.

For example, online therapy can be just as effective as face-to-face treatment for depression, a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders found. Setting up your own teletherapy business isn’t necessarily complicated, but it requires implementing several key steps to make it a success. 

Invest in reliable video-chat technology

Your online therapy business will rely on modern video-conferencing technology that enables you to connect with clients. In particular, platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Facebook chat are popular choices for online therapy.

However, if you’re in the US, be aware that these platforms aren’t compliant with HIPAA regulations, which means  they don’t secure the privacy of client data. You’ll therefore need to invest in a HIPAA-secure technology instead; there are a number of affordable choices available.

Also, texting via traditional platforms such as WhatsApp and iMessage is not HIPAA-compliant. That’s why it’s important to partner with an experienced text messaging platform or HIPAA-compliant texting app.

Consider insurance

Setting up your own teletherapy business means making sure you have adequate insurance. In particular, it’s important to have  home health care business insurance, which protects you financially in case of injury. For healthcare businesses, the cost of this insurance depends on a number of unique factors, including your location and jurisdiction.
Additionally, check whether your malpractice insurance covers international work and its potential limitations. If you’re sued by a client from a different country, for example, you’ll either want insurance that covers your defence or be prepared to  accept a level of unmitigated risk.

Launch your own website

A well-designed and professional-looking website is a must for marketing to clients and winning their custom. On your website, be sure to list your services and explain clearly how you help your clients. Highlight your background and qualifications.
You also want to explain who you are and what you believe in to help potential clients connect with your personality and message. Additionally, making it possible for potential clients to book an appointment easily on your website will increase the chances of them doing so. 
As a qualified therapist, building an online therapy business can be a great way for you to refresh your career, grow your income, and work with clients from anywhere in the world; which is particularly useful if you live in a remote area with limited clients. Taking the time to set up your business correctly will ensure your endeavour is a success.

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg.

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