Remote Therapy

by Dr. Ervin on July 23, 2014

In the early days of my practice I saw patients in my office once, twice, even three times a week. It was psychoanalytic psychotherapy, wherein patients would tell me what they were thinking while lying on a (Freud) couch.

Therapy & Technology

Over the years I began seeing people less frequently due to the limits and pressures of time. I typically see people at least once a week now and occasionally twice a week, especially if there’s a crisis. For years, I only worked with patients in my office. On the rare occasions when someone couldn’t come in because of work reasons – like traveling – I treated them over the phone. Today I see all my patients face-to-face, even though 25% of them can’t come to my office.

In any given week, I will work in New York or Chicago, perhaps even Cambodia or South Africa. I’ve practiced in Thailand, South Korea, and the mountains of Canada. It’s called Online Therapy or tele-psychology: using Skype and VOIP  phones (voice over internet protocol) for ongoing, uninterrupted face-to-face psychotherapy.

Are you a candidate for remote therapy?

Most people are good candidates for remote therapy, but some patients cannot or will not use phone therapy, for very good reasons. It is never imposed; it’s always an alternative. Together in the office we get to explore the method and determine who is a good candidate for this therapy. When used, it becomes an extension of in-office therapy.

CC-License: CC BY Photo: Markus Spiske /

Many people with some fear about using the phone or Skype have been able to talk through their concern and try it out. So many have adjusted nicely, and when they’re called out of town for work we continue by scheduling phone therapy. For remote patients, no big spaces or separations adversely affect the work that they’re doing and the good that they’re accomplishing for themselves. I feel so fortunate to be able to work this way with my patients. It’s a new and often better method for many people and therapists alike.

Ask about tele-therapy today.

So when you tell your therapist that you’re going on a sabbatical or need to work in another city on a regular basis, ask about tele-therapy. You may be pleased that you did. If you have further questions or inquiries, please text (510-333-9493), email (, or call (415-956-1884).

Dr. Thomas Ervin, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with many years of experience offering psychotherapy to individuals in San Francisco. Dr. Ervins specializes in issues related to:

  • Depression, sadness, and loss
  • Anxiety, panic, and anger
  • Managing chronic pain and illness
  • Achieving maturity and relating better as adults.
  • Relationship issues
Photo by Markus Spiske / (CC-License: CC BY)

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