TeleHealth therapy is therapy delivered through communication technology, from video conferences, internet applications, text messages, and emails.
What Is TeleHealth Therapy?
EMT can be conducted using video conferencing or internet applications such as Facetime, Skype, and Zoom or it can simply be therapy supplemented with text messages and emails. Even before the recent pandemic, distance therapy was growing more popular due to hectic schedules and time-consuming drives. But, in recent months, it’s often been the only form of therapy available for millions of people.
If anxiety and depression are affecting you or your child’s mood, we can help. We offer TeleHealth appointments via Facetime or Skype. We offer free initial consultations so you can learn more about what we offer. You can contact NeuroZone at (310) 821-3640 to find out more about our virtual appointments for therapy.
TeleHealth Appointments: Adapting Therapy to the Times
Even before safer-at-home protocols, demand for telemedicine, for adults, teens, and children, was on the rise. We live busy lives, battling LA traffic jams, rushing from one meeting to another, driving our children from afterschool sports to play dates. It’s often a struggle to maintain a healthy balance of self-care amidst so many responsibilities. It might not always be possible to travel to the office for an in-person appointment. Distance therapy via electronic devices offers valuable access to therapy that helps keep us healthy and thriving.
The same can be said for our children. Many factors can impact the mental health of our children: the prevalence of smartphones and social media, the constant bombardment of new trends from living in the capital of the entertainment industry, and the social obligations of family, friends, and classmates. Our children can often feel overwhelmed by anxiety or unable to focus and concentrate. Many children struggle with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) which has been compounded with distance learning and stay at home orders. Traditional therapy is not always possible before the pandemic.
TeleHealth therapy can give your children access to a therapist at times when in-person meetings are not possible. If your child had a difficult school day, unable to concentrate and focus, you might not be able to bring them in for a last-minute appointment. But with distance therapy, you don’t need to re-arrange your entire schedule, you just need to be able to get online and you and your children can access your therapist.
Even if you rarely, or never, use this option, like a safety net for a flying trapeze performer, it’s soothing to know that safeguard is there, just in case you need it.
How Effective is Telemedicine?
A recent meta-study that began before COVID-19 looks likely to debunk some long-held myths about electronically mediated therapy. Published in the Lancet medical journal, the meta-study of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) examines results from 17 randomized controlled trials and conducts a systematic analysis of the results of the trials. This review constitutes the most comprehensive assessment to date of electronic therapy results.
The meta-survey found that there was no difference in patient satisfaction between face-to-face therapy sessions and TeleHealth therapy.
This research indicates that telemedicine has a place in normal times, not just during COVID. This makes sense for a lot of reasons. People can participate in therapy through their computer or smartphone in the comfort of their own home. They can save money on gas and parking. And they avoid the additional stress of traveling from their home or workplace to the therapist’s office – which is not trivial when considering the stress and anxiety of daily life in Los Angeles. Just navigating from work or home through a busy city can increase stress and anxiety for most adults.
Equipped with this knowledge, it makes sense for therapists to begin incorporating distance therapy via electronic mediums into their practice. While some important options might not be available for distance therapy, it still offers a great supplement to office visits. At NeuroZone we offer teletherapy sessions via Skype and Facetime in our ongoing efforts to help our patients through tough times, whether they are COVID related or not.
Patients That Can Benefit From TeleHealth Therapy
At NeuroZone we help patients with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit disorders, learning disorders, behavioral disorders, autism, Aspergers, pervasive developmental disorders, sensory processing disorders, language disorders, cognitive problems, reading and writing challenges.
Any patient, adult, or child, that can benefit from therapy can benefit from teletherapy in some circumstances. At times when face-to-face appointments are not possible, distance therapy can provide valuable relief from stress and anxiety and aid in managing tough conditions such as PTSD and ADHD.
Telemedicine is a positive development for therapy. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to take advantage of the resources we have in our office to assist in the goals of therapy. We employ non-drug cognitive therapies such as neurofeedback and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to retrain your brain to help you achieve your goals.
Assessments and Evaluations
We perform comprehensive assessments of cognitive function and neurodevelopment for all of our clients, whether they are adults or children. No matter what condition a patient requests treatment for, our assessments begin with quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG), also called a brain map. QEEG provides a peek inside the inner workings for the brain by monitoring brain waves in real-time. While it’s impossible to actually read someone’s mind, by brain mapping, we can begin to evaluate cognitive and behavioral performance along certain parameters.
Different types of brain waves (electrical activity of the neurons in our brains) are associated with different mind-states and modes of thinking.
Types of Brain Waves
- Delta (below 4Hz) – Delta waves are slow and mostly associated with sleeping. However, when individuals show excessive delta waves while awake it’s usually a sign of ADHD or a learning disability.
- Theta (4-8 Hz) – Theta waves appear in sleep but also when daydreaming or in a meditative state. Theta waves are important in intuition and learning although excessive theta waves also occur in patients with ADHD and correlate to lack of focus. Excess theta waves in the left hemisphere can relate to a lack of organizational ability while excess theta waves in the right can mean impulsive behavior.
- Alpha (8-12 Hz) – Alpha waves occur during states of deep relaxation such as meditation and calmness. States of imagination and tranquil concentration. Healthy individuals tend to produce more alpha waves in the right hemisphere than the left hemisphere with too little alpha waves in the right hemisphere correlating to people with depression.
- Beta (12-36 Hz) – Associated with mental alertness and states with high degrees of engagement and concentration. Beta waves are divided into three ranges. Low beta waves are 12-15 Hz. Mid-range beta waves are 15-18 Hz and high beta waves are 18-32 Hz. Beta waves are all associated with alertness and attention.
High beta waves (18-32 Hz) can mean the brain is involved in complex thought processes. Beta waves are important for stable functioning but excessive beta waves can mean anxiety, depression, and high levels of stress.
- Gamma (36-300 Hz) – Bursts of gamma waves correlate to peak concentration and can mean those moments of inspiration. Excessively low gamma activity can also mean learning disabilities or impairment.
Different combinations of brain waves can mean different things for each individual so a comprehensive approach must be taken to analyzing brain waves and their association to certain behaviors. Certain states, such as the positive state of flow, are associated with a combination of theta and alpha waves in the midst of activity.
Brain wave mapping provides the foundation of neurofeedback therapy. After accurate brain mapping through QEEG, a personalized neurofeedback treatment plan can be devised specifically for each patient which addresses the conditions. With neurofeedback, we can analyze how the brain is responding to stimuli, reinforcements, and rewards and retrain the brain into healthier patterns.
Brain wave mapping reveals situations where the patient’s brain is not operating in an optimal fashion. For example, we can identify what situations cause patients with ADHD to lose focus and lapse in concentration or when patients experience debilitating anxiety. Neurofeedback allows us to trace when and where undesirable mental processes occur. By tracking this activity we can begin to reorient the brain towards much more efficient processing and desirable outcomes.
TeleHealth Appointments with NeuroZone
While teletherapy can’t replace all the strategies we can implement in-office, it offers an extremely valuable adjunct to face-to-face therapy. It can be especially valuable at times when traveling to the office is impractical or impossible but circumstances mean therapy would be beneficial. We offer free consultations to accommodate curious patients.
At NeuroZone, we are dedicated to best serving our patients. TeleHealth consultations and therapy sessions can be reserved online or you can call our offices at (310) 821-3640.
- Candice Luo, Nitika Sanger, Nikhita Singhal, Kaitlin Pattrick, Ieta Shams, Hamnah Shahid, Peter Hoang, Joel Schmidt, Janice Lee, Sean Haber, Megan Puckering, Nicole Buchanan, Patsy Lee, Kim Ng, Sunny Sun, Sasha Kheyson, Douglas Cho-Yan Chung, Stephanie Sanger, Lehana Thabane, Zainab Samaan. (2020). A comparison of electronically-delivered and face to face cognitive behavioural therapies in depressive disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. EClinicalMedicine, 2020; 100442 DOI: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100442
- Katahira, K., Yamazaki, Y., Yamaoka, C., Ozaki, H., Nakagawa, S., & Nagata, N. (2018). EEG Correlates of the Flow State: A Combination of Increased Frontal Theta and Moderate Frontocentral Alpha Rhythm in the Mental Arithmetic Task. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 300. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00300