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Telethearapy in The US Military

Posted by Chessie Skates on May 21, 2013 10:52:00 AM

Soldiers in Afghanistan face difficult emotional situations on a daily basis with nowhere to turn except inwards. Social workers and psychologists are looking to turn these hardships into an opportunity to extend a helping hand through the marriage of video conferencing and therapy – teletherapy.

The logic behind teletherapy for US soldiers is that there aren’t enough providers to give the needed care and attention the individuals need. A computer and video conferencing system is able to connect just one provider or therapist with multiple soldiers (patients) and can provide continuity and consistent support and care for them.

One therapist says that they provide in-person battlefield circulations each month, but she believes this is not enough. With the teletherapy system in place, the counselors can be available nearly 24/7 for support. As these soldiers are dealing with highly emotional and stressful situations 24/7, it is important for them to be able to speak with a doctor when they need to, and not wait four weeks for a therapist to make their rounds and then hopefully be able to make it for a session. Hearing another person’s opinion other than your own is incredibly valuable, especially when the person is more removed from the situation as these therapists are.

Teletherapy for government has also been a recent hot-topic for the courts system. In Colorado several courts are using video conferencing to handle appeals which cut costs by no longer transporting inmates for each court appearance, save time each day with being able to review more cases, and save time overall by not having inmates wait as long for their appeal to be scheduled. 

Topics: Military, Teletherapy, Tele Therapy, Telehealth

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