As Andrew rightly points out, if there’s one thing in the mental health sphere that we’ve learned, it’s that these platforms, while not completely replacing face to face interaction, are certainly a better alternative to not getting any help.
Zoom, Teams, FaceTime, and other similar programs are how we safely see each other face-to-face during the COVID-19 pandemic. And while there are frustrations with these modern methods of communication (“You’re on mute!”), video conferencing still makes it possible to talk with each other on a deeper level than a simple phone call. For counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists, similar online video tools could allow them to help more people and to continue care no matter where people move. It’s time for states to get with the times and stop standing in the way of needed care.
That last bit, to me, is really the important part. I’m not saying no one needs proper credentials, and licensing, to offer therapy, but what I am saying is that if the physical location is limiting the ability of people to get care, when we have so many technological tools available to bridge that gap, then something will need to change.
As Andrew also points out, it makes no sense that anyone, with no credentials, skills, and from any location, can offer “life coaching”, while licenses professionals are unable to offer online therapy sessions. Nothing against life coaches, but let’s face it, there are a lot of people calling themselves that, some of whom are really helping folks, and others who aren’t. It makes no sense that the people we know are capable at offering talk therapy via online tools, can’t. It only hurts people who need that resource.