After the stressful year and a half that educators had due to Covid-19, many therapists are entering summer break with an introspective look at their lives and careers. Teletherapy may not have been a choice before, but after school closures and a hit to their mental health and wellbeing, school-based therapists are making a choice to start their own telepractice or join a teletherapy company like E-Therapy.
Teletherapy is a great way for speech language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, and mental health professionals to gain experience, refresh their careers, manage their own schedule, and work with students from all over the country. It can also be a fantastic way to build more income, especially if you live in a remote area without many opportunities. But first you need to decide whether you want to start your own teletherapy practice or work for a teletherapy company.
How do you get started in teletherapy, and what you will need?
The process is relatively simple and very similar to getting started in any setting, with a few key pieces that help you to take your therapy practice online.
Start a teletherapy practice or join a company?
Something to consider when getting started in teletherapy is how you will receive and take on referrals for clients and students. You can venture out on your own as a private practice or you can work with an established teletherapy company. Either way has its benefits and risks.
Start your own teletherapy practice
Venturing out on your own means you are responsible for all licensing, insurance, tax, marketing, billing, and building a client list, plus bunches of other small-business and compliance related things. It takes a lot of leg work, but fortunately there are many agencies and organizations that help people establish their own small business. Browse this checklist of things to do to start your business. If it exhausts you just reading through the list, then it may be too much for you now.
An important factor in telepractice, your own or if you are with a teletherapy company, is licensure. Since you are online, you do not have geographical boundaries, but you must be licensed in the states your students are located. It is not difficult, just another step in building your business. You don’t need to do it all at once either, so start where you are, and add on as needed. ASHA has a state-by-state list of contacts and licensure information.
You are also responsible for your own technology. Teletherapy is built on video-conferencing tech. Happily, there are many popular video conferencing platforms out there – Zoom, GoToMeeting, even Facebook Live. Choose one that you are comfortable using, then learn it well, so if anything goes wrong during a live session, you won’t panic. Don’t forget security and privacy issues when researching which platform to go with!
Once you get the credentials and physical setup complete, you will need to learn to handle the never-ending paperwork. It could be a myriad of things from progress reports, to IEP meeting notes, billing cycles, and therapy plans. You name it, it’s your responsibility. Just plan segments of time in your schedule for paperwork.
Truthfully, setting up your own telepractice is a lot of work at the beginning. But once you get everything up and rolling, it should work fairly automatically. The best part is that you get to keep anything you bring in financially!
Work with a teletherapy company like E-Therapy
If you work with a teletherapy company, like E-Therapy, all the behind-the-scenes business details are taken care of. They will provide you with the proper paperwork and give you instructions that make it easy and quick. E-Therapy has a team in place that handles billing and insurance, so you will not have to worry about learning how to keep track of these tasks.
Our teletherapists use the eSMART platform, an all-inclusive, complete teletherapy management solution that has security and privacy components built in. You will also have access to a library of resources like tested activities for online therapy, plus diagnostics, assessments, and reporting.
Obtaining clients is easier, too. For example, E-Therapy works with public, private, virtual, and charter schools across the United States. Our account managers have hours for the states you prefer and can assign you referrals.
You get to decide when you want to work, having total control over your own schedule.
How to find the best teletherapy company
Try a simple Google search for companies that are hiring in your state or in a state that you would be willing to get licensed in. Once you find a few different teletherapy companies, see which ones fit your needs. It is important to look at things like:
- hourly rates or salary
- states and hours that are available
- indirect vs direct time
- how referrals come in
- platforms used
- the company culture
This will help you decide if it is the right place for you to start your journey into teletherapy. Check out E-Therapy’s Teletherapy Jobs FAQ for more info.
Take your first step to a teletherapy career with E-Therapy
E-Therapy works with hundreds of therapists and the need for more is growing. If you are interested in joining our team to provide live face-to-face online Speech-Language, Occupational, and Physical Therapy or Counseling/Social Work and Assessments/Diagnostics, then check out E-Therapy’s current Job Opportunities.
If you are not quite ready or if there are no jobs that suit you today, sign up as a therapist and we will be in touch.