Since the digital age, online resources have become a tool for everyday life. They have simplified life for many people. However, do these on-line resources 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 generated a vast array of advocates as well as 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
However, most licensed counselors recommend video session 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 , are usually offered. Some therapy methods are unavailable by way of online therapy. It is important to note, however, that while online therapy has plenty of research backing it, it does have some limitations.
Benefits of Online Therapy
Despite the 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 below:
Online therapy is more private than face-to-face therapy, especially when the method of communication is email or online chat. In these instances, the patient can withhold any information based on their own discretion. 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 the 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 harbour mixed feelings about in-person therapy, online therapy provides a comfortable option. Unfortunately, there are people who are skeptical about therapy. Some patients may have deep-seated and complex issues that might involve a painful healing process.
For these persons, online therapy provides a practical and sensitive solution Patients are less likely to become overwhelmed and more apt to continue with 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 costs and staff just to keep their company buzzing. With online therapy, they can connect with patients without spending thousands of dollars.
Is Online Therapy Effective?
The short answer to this question is yes! There is differing research done on how effective online therapy is. It’s efficacy 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 setting for appointments with a therapist. Teens who used online therapy fared better than teens who underwent in-person therapy.
Conversely, some people are of the view that online therapy does not conduce to an open relationship with a therapist.
A large part of the effectiveness of therapy is largely dependant upon a comfortable and trusting relationship. It is the position of some that online therapy may struggle with this. These persons question the ability of the therapist to properly analyze the patient’s body language and behaviors. This, naturally leads to a difficult assessment .
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, it is our firm belief that any therapy is more beneficial than self-help techniques pursued without the guidance of a professional.
All factors considered, online therapy services are an excellent psychological modality for many people. Each patient needs to commit to taking their mental health seriously and should base the very personal decision between on-line and in-person therapy on what is best for them. The best option for any patient is to do research and, from there, take the necessary steps towards securing a more positive state of mental health. We would, first and foremost, recommend making educated decisions when it comes to 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 must research what is available and take the time to consider what options are best for them.