Online therapy is becoming more popular. It can help with areas such as relationship problems to everyday stress. Other common areas include anxiety, depression, bereavement, or other types of mental issues. The following will explain how to know if online therapy is right for you.
What Is Online Therapy?
Live video chat and other virtual tools are available. Email, messaging applications, voice chat, or phone calls are used by mental health experts. Online therapy may be referred to as several things. For example, telemental health, online counseling, or e-therapy.
Online therapy has been around for years. It’s become much more popular and mainstream since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Patients can connect and speak to their therapist from home. Traditional sessions require going to an office setting to discuss how to cope with situations. This helps you overcome various obstacles, become aware of what caused trauma, and helps you heal.
Research has proven cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to be an effective treatment. It can help with depression, working similarly to antidepressants in moderate to severe cases. Although, it has fewer risks and side effects associated with the medications.
Traditional and online therapy can help diagnose and overcome various mental health conditions. Ranging from common anxiety, stress, or depression to specific events such as divorce or bereavement. A therapist can help when you have trouble sleeping due to past or current trauma.
How Effective Is Online Therapy?
Studies have shown online therapy to be as effective as traditional in-person therapy. In fact, many find it easier to discuss things from the comfort of their home. It allows them to be open about things and communicate easier. Online therapy sessions can connect you to therapists and healthcare specialists around the world.
There are some downsides to online therapy. For instance, a therapist cannot read voice tone or body language through texting or messenger apps. Some may find it more difficult to build support between patient and therapist.
The success of online therapy will depend on each person’s preference and situation. If you and your therapist can build a supportive relationship, it can be effective.
Benefits Of Online Therapy
There are many benefits of online therapy, such as:
Patients feel safer and more comfortable at home. This makes it easier for them to speak to the therapist. It enables them to cope with past trauma brought up much easier than being in an office setting. Those with social anxiety or agoraphobia would benefit from online therapy.
Patients with mobility problems may not be able to get out for an in-person session. In addition, those with busy schedules may not have time to commute. Instead of sitting in a waiting room on others, you log on at the scheduled time and begin.
Some people may feel they have more privacy speaking from home than in an office. This gives a sense of being anonymous. You’re not going to run into a friend or family member at the therapist, etc.
With online therapy, it can be easier to recall where you left off. If you communicate via email, text, or messenger, for example. It provides a more real-time connection where you can email as things come up.
Downside To Online Therapy
There are some downsides, such as:
Lack of Emotional Connection
Although video chats can be effective, there can be less emotional connection without sharing space. Body language is a strong part of emotional connections. It may not be read the same over video as in person. For example, they may not be able to tell if you’re anxiously tapping your foot. Patients may not be able to detect empathy from the therapist.
Unless you were referred by a trusted healthcare professional, there is the risk of unqualified healthcare providers. It is important to research the reputation and credentials of a therapist before choosing. There are third-party services that can help you with the screening process.