Covid-19 and Telehealth

The Current Dilemma of Telehealth vs. In-person Visits in Covid-19


  • Donna M Harris-Richards NEAFAST, AASECT


There is a current dilemma among licensed mental health, behavioral health and sexual health practitioners, along with certified specialists, regarding best practices during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; whether and when to open our offices for in-person visits. With a lack of published data supporting the efficacy of online telehealth visits vs. in-person visits, the controversy surrounds which one is better. Here, I offer the opinion that telehealth is a 100% safe, effective, reliable method of treatment; anecdotally, as successful as in-person visits. Overall, I conclude that telehealth is a viable treatment option, critical to the safety of the public, while supporting clients seeking treatment from licensed mental health practitioners.

Author Biography

Donna M Harris-Richards, NEAFAST, AASECT

Donna Harris-Richards, LICSW, CST is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist and Couples and Relationship Therapist in private practice on the Massachusetts South Coast in the historic and charming seaport city of New Bedford. She works with clients to develop and maintain sexual health, relational health, mental health, well-being, passion, and  improved quality of life. Her professional counseling style includes narrative therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness and evidenced-based practices, earning the reputation of being a highly effective professional, setting clients at ease. With over eighteen years of experience she has helped clients with relationships, sexuality, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, trauma, parenting, substance use, illnesses, disabilities and more.

Donna provides treatment utilizing Telehealth full-time from her office in New Bedford, MA. Her professional, real-world experience in the arts and business for more than forty years has given her a broad, unique range of experience useful in helping others meet their goals. Her podcasts have garnered a worldwide listenership. You can hear them and read her blogs on her website:





How to Cite

Harris-Richards, D. M. (2021). Covid-19 and Telehealth: The Current Dilemma of Telehealth vs. In-person Visits in Covid-19. New England Journal of Relational and Systemic Practice, 1(2). Retrieved from