Sheila Rauch, PhD: Telehealth PTSD Treatment Program as Effective as In-Person

Emory Healthcare Veterans Program’s two-week PTDS Treatment intensive for post-9.11 vets is a convenient and effective means for people to get needed treatment for PTSD, TBI, depression, chronic pain, and substance abuse from home. The results are the same whether accessing care via telehealth or on site.

Sheila Rauch, PhD is the deputy director of the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program.

For information about treatments for PTSD visit The Treatment Hub.

What’s especially cool is with the pandemic coming upon us about a year ago, we pivoted our program so that we can offer the whole program via telehealth. And with some new PsyPact legislation, we’re actually able to practice in I believe it’s 22 states pretty soon by the end of July and provide our whole two-week intensive outpatient program via that telehealth model as well. I’m very data driven so we’ve been looking at our outcomes and our transformative changes that we see when people come face to face. We’re getting those same magnitude of change with our telehealth model as well. So, that’s what I’m most excited about and what I love about my job is being able to help people take their lives back from PTSD. Our telehealth program offers everything that our face-to-face program offers, minus the acupuncture because we can’t put needles in people remotely, at least not yet. I was really excited with the pandemic opportunity to expand into telehealth because I’ve been working in telehealth in VA for years and seeing that it’s actually a great opportunity for people who will never physically be able to come to a specific site to get those specialized services and have those transformative changes still occur in their home where they’re able to access this care conveniently and effectively. We’re working right now with Wounded Warrior Project about how that’s going to look over the long haul. But I think we have a compelling argument for at least retaining it in some form. We know there are some patients who prefer face-to-face, and that’s going to be part of what we do. It’s part of what we’re charging back towards, now being able to offer our normal face-to-face program again. But there will be another group of people who for whatever reasons, they’re not able to take two weeks and be away from home, whether it’s child care or elder care or other obstacles. And those people will be able to access the same excellent, effective, transformative services via telehealth. BrainLine is powered in part by Wounded Warrior Project to honor and empower post-9/11 injured service members, veterans, and their families.

Posted on BrainLine September 23, 2021. Reviewed September 23, 2021.

About the author: Sheila A.M. Rauch, PhD, ABPP

Sheila A.M. Rauch, PhD, ABPP, is the Deputy Director of the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program and Director of Mental Health Research and Program Evaluation at the VA Atlanta Healthcare System. Dr. Rauch has been developing programs, conducting research and providing PTSD and Anxiety Disorders treatment for over 20 years. Her research focuses on examination of mechanisms involved in the development and treatment of PTSD and improving access to effective interventions.

Professional headshot of Dr. Sheila Rauch smiling at the camera, wearing glasses in a royal blue top