Roseann Bennett, LFMT, Discusses Why Telemedicine Can’t Replace In-Person Therapy

Therapist Roseann Bennett, LFMT, opened the Center for Treatment and Assessment a decade ago along with her partner, Dr. Todd Bennett. This is a nonprofit organization that offers mental health services to anyone in the community regardless of what their health insurance plan is or their ability to pay. Beyond earning both her MA and Ed.S. in mental health she also has been certified with post master’s certifications. These are in cognitive behavior therapy, clinical trauma professional, and child and adolescent trauma professional.


Over the past few years Bennett has seen the rise of telemedicine. Telemedicine is technology that allows people to seek help through emailing, texting, or using an app to contact a healthcare professional. She says that while there can be benefits to telemedicine it does have complications and so really can’t replace live face-to-face communication with a licensed therapist like she is.


Roseann Bennett says there are some positives to telemedicine. The first one is the convenience factor. You don’t have to make an appointment and carve a chunk of time out of your busy life. She says it can also be a low-cost option because a virtual therapist visit is less expensive than meeting one live. She says people in rural areas also don’t have to travel to a city where mental health services are available. Click Here for more information about Bennett.


However, there are cons. The first one Roseann Bennett mentions is the lack of privacy as data breaches are a regular occurrence. She also says a therapist can come to the wrong conclusion when meeting a patient only virtually, not picking up on what the real issues are.


Roseann Bennett also points out that those who have severe mental disorders must be seen in-person. Telemedicine can at best be a supplement to this but can never substitute quality in-person care, a point that online mental health providers completely agree with.


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