Since the digital age, online resources have become a tool for everyday life. It has simplified life for many people. However, does it also pose a problem?
There seems to be an app for everything now, and therapy is no exception. Telemedicine has landed in the hands of the consumer over the past decade. Many health professionals have signed up.
Online therapy, has been introduced. These programs provide mental health help online. The invention seems to have a vast array of supporters and non-supporters.
There is a lot of buzz around online therapy. Some people think it’s a great invention. Others think that it isn’t as effective as traditional therapy. So, what is online therapy, and does it actually work?
What Is Online Therapy?
Online therapy, or teletherapy, connects registered psychotherapists and patients online. It allows a patient to connect comfortably, conveniently and privately to a therapist. It encourages more people to get involved with therapy.
There are many different methods of online therapy, including:
- Online chat
- Texting/text messaging
- Video chat via smartphone
But, most licensed counselors recommend video sessions for the most beneficial talk therapy.
Online therapy is a virtual connection between the patient and a licensed therapist. Talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, otherwise known as CBT are usually offered. Some therapy methods are unavailable over online therapy.
Online therapy has plenty of research backing it, however it has some limitations.
Benefits of Online Therapy
Even though there are naysayers, there are many benefits to online therapy. Many supporters appreciate the convenience of online therapy.
We’ve outlined some of our favourite benefits of online therapy:
Online therapy is more private than face-to-face therapy. Especially when the method of communication is email or online chat. The patient can withhold any information they see fit. This provides more comfort and privacy to patients who are new to therapy.
Therapy is no longer an hour-long excursion with transportation! Online therapy is much more convenient for people who live busy lives.
Psychologists may not be as accessible in smaller towns or rural areas. Online therapy is accessible for majority of the population. All you need is a computer and an internet connection for therapy in your own home!
For those who live rurally, online therapy provides a solution.
For individuals who are uncomfortable with therapy, online therapy provides a comfortable option. Unfortunately, there are people who are skeptical about therapy. Some patients may have deep-seated issues that might involve a painful healing process.
Online therapy provides patients with online therapy that is comfortable for them.
Patients are less likely to become overwhelmed. Hopefully, patients are more likely to continue ongoing treatment.
Therapy is expensive! Some patients do not have health insurance. Online therapy is commonly cheaper than in-person therapy.
Online therapy typically runs an average of $180 per session. In-person therapy is usually $230 per session. Therapy costs the provider money – and it isn’t a cheap transaction. Therapists have to pay for rent, overhead and staff just to keep their company buzzing. With online therapy, they can connect with patients without spending thousands of dollars to do it.
Is Online Therapy Effective?
The short answer is yes! There is differing research done on how effective online therapy is. It is dependent on the patient, how severe the mental illness, and how the patient best connects.
Studies suggest that online therapy is more effective than in-person therapy for teenagers. Online therapy provides teens with a less intimidating meeting with a therapist. Teens who used online therapy fared better than teens who underwent in-person therapy.
Some people said that online therapy didn’t allow a open relationship with a therapist.
A large part of therapy is a comfortable and trusting relationship. Online therapy may struggle with this. The therapist is unable to analyze the patient’s body language and behaviors. This may make the assessment difficult.
Online therapy has had its stake in the marketplace. However, like most things, the benefits or drawbacks will be personal.
Therapy is a sensitive subject that requires open-mindedness and trust. Each patient will have their own individual way of viewing therapy. Regardless, any therapy is more beneficial than a patient solely using self-help techniques.
Online therapy services are an excellent psychological modality for many people. Others may not reap the same benefits from it.
Each patient needs to commit to taking their mental health seriously. You must personal decisions on what is best for you. It’s no different than choosing to pursue online therapy or in-person therapy.
The best option for any patient is to do research and take the steps to a more positive state of mental health. Made an educated decision about your mental health.
Regardless of what you choose, having a therapist you trust is important! Make sure you can connect with your therapist before you commit to them. You need to have open and honest conversations!
Mental health is not a “one-size-fits-all” topic. Each patient has to be responsible for making decisions for themselves.