Patients get therapy through instant messages

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- In this modern world, we can do just about everything online and on our phone, and now that includes getting psycho therapy.

Cornelius Kelley from Colorado Springs can sit on the couch with a laptop, tablet or phone and meet with his therapist online through Ieso Digital Health.

It’s basically instant messages.

“For me it’s comfortable,” Kelley said.

Lincensed professional counselor Lindsay Dougherty says this is a great option for patients like Kelley who don’t need or want face to face interaction.

Kelley  is transitioning from a woman to man, and says he’s enjoyed the anonymity of the online chats.  “It’s on the computer, so no one is staring at you, and so I was able to get things out, and truly say how I felt,” Kelley said.

This platform is also beneficial for people without access to care due to medical conditions, transportation or availability.  About half the appointment times are outside of normal business hours.

Some people may worry about privacy, but workers say the  chat room is HIPPA compliant, secure and has two factor authentication .

So patients can sit in a coffee shop on their phone, and get cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, depression or stress, and managers say the platform is working.  “When they are online they feel more candid, and they are more open, and people can reveal things a lot sooner and quicker,” said Sheeba Ibidunni with Ieso Digital Health.

Of course some people prefer traditional therapy and need to hear tone, or see expressions.

“They have that ability to say this isn’t what I need or what I’m looking for, and that does happen sometimes," Dougherty said. "I’ve had less of that than I’ve had more positive responses.”

But in this digital world, Ieso and Dougherty were the perfect fit for Kelley.

Ieso Digital Health is available to some medicaid patients in 43 Colorado counties, and there are plans to expand.

If you are interested check out Iesohealth.com, or there are a growing number of companies offering similar services.