Natalie Staats Reiss, Ph.D. is a licensed Psychologist in the state of Ohio (License #6083). She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from ...Read More
The therapist loses many interpersonal cues by talking on the phone rather than meeting in person (although this may be addressed by using video phone formats). Next, this type of therapy may not be the best choice for certain groups of people (e.g., the goal of treating agoraphobic individuals is to get them out of their homes rather than helping them find ways to stay there). Licensing issues may become difficult, because psychologists are only licensed to provide therapy in a particular state. It is currently unclear what rules, regulations, and protections apply if a therapist conducts phone therapy with a client who lives in another state. Finally, billing issues may arise. Insurance companies may not pay for telephone therapy sessions, or may not treat these sessions as equivalent to traditional psychotherapy (so, the patient may actually have to pay more in the long run). Clients may assume that phone fees should be cheaper than face-to-face fees, while most therapists would view this as a billable hour of therapy regardless of how it is delivered.
Let us know what you think about the idea of telephone therapy. Is it a good idea? Would you seek out services if you had this option?