By Michael T. Greelis Ph.D., LPC
Chair, Advocacy NVLPC
Northern Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors
The Northern Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors (NVLPC) conducted a comprehensive survey of its members and other mental health providers on their attitudes and experiences with teletherapy. The survey focused on Northern Virginia but will be expanded to providers statewide in the next phase of the effort. Final results will be released on the NVLPC website in the next two weeks.
The survey was conducted to determine the response to teletherapy by members and use that information as support for advocacy with legislative and regulatory bodies to influence the options for teletherapy in the post-Covid19 world.
LPCs and other respondents provided an overwhelming endorsement of teletherapy for counseling and psychotherapy. 99.20% of respondents said that they were “able to provide effective counseling services using teletherapy (e.g., Zoom, doxy.me, iPhone, etc., or telephone only).” NO responses accounted for only 0.08% of the total. 98% said that their clients view “teletherapy is an effective service delivery medium?” A full 98% of respondents told us that 97% of their clients prefer the continuation of teletherapy in the future. Most preferred a hybrid version of counseling with teletherapy and in person meetings combined while 14% said they would prefer teletherapy only.
In the months since the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended virtual appointments for almost all health care visits, practitioners have adapted to the format of teletherapy video conferencing. There have been a few articles about the downside of teletherapy. Our survey results make clear that on the bottom-line question of provider and client preferences, the continuation teletherapy as a companion to in person meetings is a clear choice for the post-Covid19 world.
We asked LPCs and other professionals describe what diverse/hard to reach populations they’ve service adopting teletherapy. The results in the chart below show a substantial increase in the reach of services provided by NVLPC members, most of whom are in private practice as solo practitioners or members of a group.
The survey was conducted between late January and February 14th. It was developed by Michael T. Greelis, PhD, LPC in behalf of the NVLPC Board of Directors with the assistance of Audrey Lipps, LPC and Wendy Rood, Resident in Counseling and Chairman of the NVLPC Communications Committee.