Telehealth for psychology offers you more flexibility and convenience in how you access mental health support. Here’s how it could benefit you.
Seeing a psychologist can be a fantastic way to support your mental wellbeing, particularly if you’re going through a difficult time.
And now you may not even need to leave your house to get support, with many psychologists offering appointments over phone or video call.
Here’s how telehealth for psychology works, and how it could benefit you.
In this article
What is telehealth?
‘Telehealth’ is the term used for healthcare services that are delivered over the phone or video call, rather than face-to-face.1
It’s been around for a while, but the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in popularity, with telehealth services becoming more widely available to Australians, whether you live in a city, a small town, or a rural or remote area.1 2
Benefits of telehealth for psychology
In a telehealth appointment with a psychologist, you’ll receive the same service you’d get in a face-to-face session.2
Whether you’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition like depression or anxiety, or you’re dealing with a life challenge like grief, relationship trouble or work stress, a psychologist can teach you tools and strategies to improve your wellbeing.3
Some of the benefits of online psychology appointments may include:2
- You can access a wider range of mental health professionals than just those in your local area.
- With more choice, you may find it easier to find a psychologist who’s a great match for your needs.
- You can avoid any stress or inconvenience involved with travelling to appointments, which can be particularly beneficial for those living in remote or regional areas, or people with mobility issues.
- You may feel more comfortable talking in the familiar surroundings of your own home than in a psychologist’s office.
- If you’re unwell or need to isolate – or you’re particularly concerned about being exposed to illness – you can still attend your appointments and get the support you need.1
Getting the most out of your telehealth psychology session
For a good video appointment, you will need:4
- A quiet, private space where you feel comfortable talking
- A smartphone, tablet or computer with a camera, microphone and speakers
- A stable internet connection.
With just a little preparation, your session should feel pretty similar to a face-to-face visit.
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of a psychology appointment:5
- Open up. Sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences as honestly and freely as you feel comfortable doing can help you get the most out of therapy.
- Work together with your psychologist. Think of your treatment as a partnership and be an active participant in your sessions.
- Take time to reflect in between sessions. Your psychologist may give you ‘homework’ to help you understand and apply what you have discussed.
- If it’s not feeling right for you, feel free to speak up. Your psychologist may have ideas for different approaches you can try, or you may decide to see if a different psychologist is a better match.
How to find a psychologist
Talking to your GP is a great starting point for seeking mental health support. You can discuss what you’re experiencing, and they can give you some support, provide information on treatment options, and write you a mental health care plan.
Your GP can refer you to a psychologist who may be a good match for you.
You can also search for a psychologist online using the Australian Psychological Society’s Find a Psychologist tool.
Does health insurance cover telehealth for psychology?
Yes, HBF extras cover can pay benefits towards:
- Seeing a psychologist or clinical psychologist, including telehealth consultations, up to your annual limit.
Benefits for telehealth appointments are the same as what you’d usually get for face-to-face visits.
Find out more about HBF extras cover for telehealth.
If you’re an HBF member, you can check what you're covered for by logging on to myHBF or calling us on 133 423.
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This article contains general information only and does not take into account the health, personal situation or needs of any person. In conjunction with your GP or treating health care professional, please consider whether the information is suitable for you and your personal circumstances.