What Is VSee?
For all online therapy appointments, I use VSee instead of Skype. VSee calls its product a “telemedicine platform”. Unlike Skype, Vsee has embraced the big Federal law known as HIPAA, which governs privacy for individual health information. It offers the legally required service contract to health care professionals, which my office has completed. That agreement is necessary to legally qualify my online video communications as being sufficiently compliant legally for secure online therapy.
For users like myself and my clients, VSee is visually about the same quality as Skype. It is apparently somewhat better encrypted (most security vulnerability is due to local internet access, e.g. wireless network protection, including firewalls.)
Guidelines For Use Of Online Therapy
I make selective use of online video with clients. Most often, I use it with clients who are moving or traveling away from Seattle and wish to continue our work. These are all clients who have been seen for a number of office appointments.
Couples therapy via video is quite unproven as far as any increase or decrease in effectiveness. No public research is available on this.
Increasingly, online streaming video is being used for psychotherapy. The research so far shows that this medium is effective for a limited number of psychotherapeutic goals.
I prefer to use it with counseling & therapy clients I have seen in the office. A two-dimensional screen diminishes my view of the client in significant ways. Even the best audio quality loses some important nuance. The containment and consistency of the office setting is lost.
Having some in-person experience is vital to perceiving the video/audio accurately. To begin an intake with video would I believe require more appointments, in order to build a good clinical foundation including the client’s overall presentation (including gait, posture, etc.)
Registering With VSee
Registering as a user with VSee is free. It will download the app that streams the video to your computer. You can create ‘Contacts’ as easily as with Skype.