Telehealth therapy sessions available for more people; one center says some people won’t have to pay

HOUSTON – The fear of the unknown with the coronavirus is why one local therapist said people are experiencing depression, anxiety, anger, fear. Now, with the temporary lift on telemedicine restrictions that normally prohibit therapy sessions through the phone, thousands of appointments are moving online.

Ceci Hudson Torn from Ethos Behavioral Health opened her laptop, logged into Zoom and demonstrated how appointments work through telemedicine calls.

At The Lovett Center in Montrose, there are normally 2,000 appointments per week and now, Hudson Torn said the majority (about 90%) are online.

She said it’s working almost better than traditional sessions.

“Especially in the age of the selfie, people seeing themselves on screen, getting used to being onscreen has made them more comfortable with telehealth,” Hudson Torn said.

Right now, people across the world generally have the same concerns.

“Concerned about their physical health, their financial stability, and even their emotional health. Things have really changed for people being at home with your family, your children, being concerned about loved ones, no travel. It’s definitely unprecedented and has effects at every level,” Hudson Torn explained.

Her advice is to focus on what’s within your control and focus on your support groups: Talking to friends and family online, over dinner, even while playing games to feel connected.

If you need counseling, they're offering telehealth support groups at reduced and sometimes no cost for people who have lost jobs due to Coronavirus.

“They're all via zoom. They're at reduced and even free offerings to the hospitality industry, specifically for people that have lost their job, as a way to experience in a group setting, access to care,” Hudson Torn said.

The Lovett Center is generally a self-pay group. Other local counseling centers, like The Prism Center, accepts insurance.