What is online therapy?
Online therapy, also known as teletherapy or telehealth, is a type of mental health treatment that is delivered remotely via the internet, phone, video, or text. It can include a variety of modalities, such as individual therapy, group therapy, couples therapy, peer support groups, and even medication management, all of which can be accessed from the comfort of a person’s home or office.
With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to social distancing measures and the closure of many in-person therapy offices, online therapy has become increasingly popular as a way to continue receiving mental health treatment. While telehealth existed and was covered by most insurances for behavioral health issues, prior to many were not aware of it. But does it really work?
Whats does the research say about online therapy?
There is evidence to suggest that online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy for many mental health concerns. A review of research studies on the effectiveness of online therapy found that it can be a viable treatment option for a wide range of issues, including depression, anxiety, stress, and even substance abuse. (please cite and hyperlink the source for this)
What are the benefits of online therapy?
One of the main benefits of online therapy is convenience. It can be more accessible for people who live in rural areas or who have mobility issues that make it difficult to travel to in-person therapy appointments. Online therapy can also be more flexible, as it allows people to schedule appointments at times that are convenient for them and to receive treatment from anywhere with an internet connection.
Another benefit of online therapy is that it can be more affordable than in-person therapy, as it eliminates the need for transportation costs. Many insurance plans cover online therapy, which can further reduce the cost for clients.
However, online therapy may not be suitable for everyone. Some people may prefer the in-person interaction and connection that they feel with a therapist in a traditional therapy setting. Others may not have access to a stable internet connection or a private space to engage in therapy, which can make online therapy difficult or impossible.
Things to consider
Here are five additional considerations regarding online therapy:
- It is important for individuals seeking online therapy to find a licensed and qualified therapist who is trained in providing treatment remotely. It may be helpful to ask about a therapist’s training and experience in online therapy before starting treatment.
- Online therapy may involve the use of videoconferencing software, such as Skype or Zoom, or it may involve text-based communication through email or a messaging platform. It is important for individuals to consider their own preferences and comfort level with different types of online communication when selecting a therapist.
- It is also important for individuals to ensure that their internet connection is stable and secure before starting online therapy. Interruptions or technical difficulties can disrupt the therapeutic process and make it difficult for the therapist and client to communicate effectively.
- Online therapy may involve some adjustments for individuals who are used to in-person therapy. It may be helpful for clients to establish a dedicated space for therapy that is private and free from distractions, and to set aside time to engage in treatment on a regular basis.
- Finally, it is important for individuals to remember that online just as in person outpatient therapy are not substitutes for emergency care or crisis care. If someone is experiencing a mental health crisis or is in danger of harming themselves or others, they should seek immediate in-person help.
In conclusion, online therapy is an effective treatment option for many mental health concerns. It offers convenience, accessibility, and affordability, but it may not be suitable for everyone, therapy is a personal journey between the client and the therapist and should be tailored to that individual. It is important for individuals to consider their own needs and preferences when deciding how and when to engage in therapy.