Because of the need to practice physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, since March 14, 2020 I've shifted all of my work from face-to-face to teletherapy. Teletherapy refers to a range of ways of conducting sessions that are not face to face, such as via telephone or videoconferencing. Now that I'm familiar with the technology, I plan to continue offering teletherapy as an option, even after the pandemic is over and I'm able to meet with people face-to-face again.

Being able to “meet” for sessions at a distance is convenient when the weather is bad, when the client isn't able to come in to my office, or when either the client or I are traveling away from home. However, it's not legal for me to work with clients across state lines, because I am licensed to practice psychology only in New York State. Thus, during normal times, I could be prosecuted for practicing psychology without a license if I conduct a teletherapy session with a client who is physically located in another state. However, during the current COVID crisis, some states have waived that requirement. It's unclear whether and when those legal restrictions will be put back in place.

I use a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform called Zoom (yes, there is now a version of Zoom that is HIPAA-compliant). As back-up platforms, I can instead use (like Doc see me; get it?) or Sessions, in the event that we're having technical problems with Zoom on a given day. Skype, Facetime, some versions of Zoom besides the one I use, and some other popularly available videoconferencing technologies are not very secure and, thus, do not comply with HIPAA laws.