The Covid-19 pandemic has forced therapists to find alternatives to in-person therapy, and now a good portion of clients either wish to continue teletherapy alongside in-office therapy, or to stick entirely to the online environment. On the one hand, online therapy makes life easier for parents as they don’t have to take their child to a far away therapist’s office, to sacrifice many hours of their day in traffic or to organize therapy time around going to and coming from work. On the other hand, speech therapists themselves can greatly benefit from a greater flexibility in terms of services offered, depending on the needs of their clients.
A few reasons to include teletherapy among the speech therapy services you offer:
1. Develop your speech therapy practice with new and old clients (including from abroad)
Did you know that there are parents abroad that are unable to find a native English speaking speech therapists? Teletherapy is thus an excellent way to increase your income in an accessible and comfortable manner. In short, there is a significant difference between the number of clients willing to engage in teletherapy and the number of speech therapists offering online services, in the long term.
The accessibility of teletherapy helps eliminate any geographical and communication barriers, so that potential clients find it much easier to plan and schedule therapy sessions. As a speech therapist, it will be easier for you to develop a broad and varied portfolio of clients from all over the country and from abroad, without having to actually travel anywhere.
2. Improve your safety
The crisis caused by the pandemic has highlighted our implicit vulnerability when working in direct contact with other people. As a professional category, therapists are generally more exposed to risks because they often work with children (who can spread viruses without manifesting symptoms) or with individuals that present with specific pathologies and may have compromised immune systems.
Using public transportation or frequenting crowded areas during rush hour can also contribute to the risk taken by a therapist exercising their profession. Teletherapy enables the therapist to work safely from home, irrespective of social distancing and lockdown measure, extreme weather conditions or other unforeseen external circumstances. Therapists know that if patients start skipping sessions, regression can occur pretty quickly, which endangers the patient’s long term recovery plan and reduces their motivation to subsequently continue therapy.
3. Work from home or from anywhere
Including teletherapy in the range of services offered by a practice that is already renowned offline will create significant opportunities for professional growth. Teletherapy is also an excellent way to grow and develop your practice if you’re a young speech therapist that is just kickstarting their career and looking for clients.
When working from home, it is important to maintain the same level of professionalism that your clients have come to expect from you in the office. Your clothing and the décor around you are important, as well as maintaining a calm and pleasant environment for the patient, without interruptions or distractions.
Being able to work from a flexible location enables you to work from home several days per week, or even to create a speech therapy practice that is 100% online. If you live outside a major city or in a remote area, this strategy can grant you access to patents from the city, which you otherwise couldn’t see on a regular basis.
4. Enjoy a flexible schedule
The technology behind online therapy services enables you to adapt your work schedule exactly as you want. For example, VoxiClinic includes an appointments calendar which you can use to quickly and easily manage your schedule for the entire week. By working online, you can organize therapy sessions at more flexible hours than at the office, as you eliminate the time spent with transitioning between clients. When you work from home, you can also hold therapy sessions at unusual hours, depending on the needs and schedule of each client.
Of course that working at unusual hours is not the purpose of teletherapy, but it’s nice to know that you have this option should you want it. In addition, having a more flexible work schedule can be useful when you work with clients from abroad, who might be located in a different time zone.
5. No more time wasted in traffic, going to and coming from the office
Commuting between home and work is not exhausting just for parents. Going to an office located at a significant distance from home usually means wasting precious time that the speech therapist could be spending either being more productive, or relaxing with their family. Both things are preferable to time lost in traffic, which can negatively impact our mental health and general wellbeing.
There are studies showing that major cities are the most congested places in the world, with people wasting hundreds of hours in traffic. This greatly contributes to the level of stress and exhaustion that we experience on a daily basis. Teletherapy is an easy method to eliminate the mental burden associated with time lost in traffic, meaning you will have more energy to do the things that really matter to you.