Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Hilary Vidair, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Eva Feindler, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jill Rathus, Ph.D.


Due to COVID-19, psychologists were forced to rapidly transition to telehealth. While about 1% of American Psychological Association (APA) clinicians used telehealth for most clients pre-pandemic, 92% used telehealth post-pandemic onset (APA, 2020). However, research has not yet thoroughly assessed psychologists’ experiences providing child teletherapy. This study fills that gap by exploring psychologists’ experiences providing virtual child cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This study is important for teletherapy’s potential use for children lacking access to care. Eighteen clinical psychologists who provided CBT to children (ages 7-12) were recruited by sending a flyer to the researcher’s graduate program’s alumni and training sites, child therapy institutes, private practices, and doctoral programs. Snowball sampling was utilized. Participants were interviewed in four Zoom focus groups of four to six participants each. Auerbach and Silverstein’s (2003) grounded theory approach was used. The transcripts were coded for relevant text, repeating ideas, themes, and theoretical constructs. Interrater reliability was assessed and a member check was completed. Six theoretical constructs were identified: 1. Transition to Telehealth Impacts Families’ Access to Care – More Positively Than Negatively; 2. Importance of Focusing on Pre-Treatment Considerations When Conducting CBT via Telehealth; 3. Adjusting to Increased Engagement and Management Issues That Arise During Telehealth Treatment; 4. Telehealth Experience has Varied Positive and Negative Impacts on a Case-By-Case Basis on Psychologists and Children; 5. Psychologists’ Attitudes Regarding CBT via Telehealth Were Mixed, Though More Positive Than Negative; and 6. CBT via Telehealth for Children is Effective and has a Long-Term Future Beyond the Pandemic. The findings help explain how to effectively provide virtual child CBT and suggest improvements and future research needed.