I’m in the middle of my second year doing teletherapy and I’d like to share how it’s going and how I feel about it. First, I still enjoy teletherapy immensely and I’m so happy to be continuing into my second year. Most days I want to work in teletherapy for the rest of my career — no joke!
- Better Platform Skills – I’ve gotten better at using the platform (Zoom is what my agency equips me with). I was able to have a video conference not only with a friend who does teletherapy, but also with my clinical coordinator for some training at my request. Those two video-conferences helped me understand what it feels like when somebody initiates a meeting with you. There are different functionalities in the screen’s interface when you are on the other end of a meeting. Up until that point I did not know what it was like to have somebody initiate a meeting with you (because I was always initiating). Now I know what buttons on the screen that my clients see.
- Better Materials – I’ve also got better at using materials that I have and also using materials that I purchase online for Teletherapy. With respect to teletherapy materials, I’m using PDFs I already have and stuff I make more frequently, as well as total therapy materials and other re-purposed PDFs and power points for therapy sessions. This has made it very more easy to do sessions and I feel more confident about the materials that I have in front of my students.
- Financially Difficult Summer – Last summer was stressful financially because the lack of income (no teletherapy during the summer). I did not pursue a summer job, which is on me. Additionally, I have a child in childcare during the school year and continued to pay childcare costs — that expense adds up quickly! Even though I don’t work full-time during the school year, I have to pay for childcare. I believe that if I were working five days a week during the school year, I could save enough money towards summer expenses.
- 1099 Employee – Another downside is that I work as a 1099 employee, which means that I’m paid per hour and no taxes are taken out. It also means I don’t have benefits, but that is okay because my husband is able to provide those for our family. However, I do need the help from a certified accountant to calculate estimated taxes every quarter. I already have an accountant that I use every year for our taxes (because of owning a previous rental property many years ago when our our condo wouldn’t sell — talk about financial hardship!). It’s not hard to work with our accountant to calculate estimated taxes, but it is a hassle and I would prefer to have taxes taken out of my paycheck. If you are considering becoming a teletherapist, don’t let this discourage you because there are many teletherapy companies who will set you up as a W-2 employee (which means you get taxes taken out of your paycheck).
What’s going to happen next? In preparation for the summer without a steady paycheck, I’m already planning to pursue some kind of summer job. If you know of a summer job I would be right for, please email me: sarahwuslp(at)yahoo.com). Additionally, I am going to contact my agency prior to signing next year’s contract to see if there’s any way that I could be as a W-2 employee to spare me the hassle of calculating estimated taxes four times a year.
Do you have any additional questions for me? I wrote an eBook that covers virtually every question that you might have regarding teletherapy: Is Teletherapy Right for Me? If you have questions, I’d love it if you bought it instead of asking me. I get lots of questions every week. If the eBook doesn’t answer your questions, feel free to email me for more information. Thank you!