There are several wonderful benefits for patients and therapists when they work in an online setting. It’s easy and convenient to schedule online therapy and it can be done in the privacy of your own home. Now more than ever, there is a need for psychological therapy to be kept private. Many patients choose online therapy for the convenience, yet others choose online therapy to avoid the stigma and embarrassment that may accompany entering and exiting a therapists office.
There are a variety of online platforms that help connect the client with the therapist. All it takes is internet access and a computer, tablet, laptop, or even a smartphone. The therapist and the client can set specific hours, or they can simply communicate via email or text messaging.
Online vs Face To Face Therapy
There are many great ways to go about this that will work well for even the busiest person. According to research, online therapy is just as good as a face-to-face session. They can take place at any location, at any time, and they work well in emergency situations. They can also be done via a video conference or video chat session if you prefer to see the face of your therapist.
According to numerous studies, online therapy sessions are just as positive and just as effective as face-to-face sessions. A good example is a student that has an eating disorder. By working closely with their therapist, they are able to change their body image and work closely to understand not only the specific disorder but also the cause of the disorder. As a result, the student is then able to begin eating a healthier, more nutritious diet and eventually walk away from their eating disorder.
Furthermore, any success with online therapy may give a patient even more incentive to seek additional therapy, possibly in the traditional face-to-face format. Online therapy can be as intense as the patient needs, so it’s suitable for many different situations and afflictions.
Benefits For Mental Health Professionals
Mental health professionals themselves can also greatly benefit from online sessions by working with one of the major providers of online therapy. Doing so, they can expand their practice, help more people, and benefit from an additional income stream. This can help them to improve their work and life balance. Many online therapy companies also employ therapists to assist with research in various studies of mental health, giving even more options for career expansion.
By offering such flexibility, online therapists are able help their patients in a variety of ways. A lot of patients will start out as a regular face-to-face client and transition later to being an online client, or vice versa. The key is to figure out which therapy format is most effective for you and your personality.
Not For Everyone – Consider Your Individual Needs
It’s important to keep in mind that online therapy isn’t for everyone. Some clients have more of a need for one-on-one therapy sessions. They may have a more serious condition or an addiction that needs to be clearly addressed. They may require more time and treatment than they can get in an online session. Many clinicians believe that it’s more challenging to work online as they aren’t able to see their client or hear the inflections in their voices which can often denote whether or not they’re on the right track for healing.
For others patients, online therapy won’t work well because they are more people oriented. While online therapy works well for an introvert, it may not work at all for an extrovert. Many clients must develop a rapport with their therapist in order to fully trust them and be able to work toward a resolution to their issue, and this may not be possible for extroverts who crave real human connection.
Another major issue is that there aren’t any clear guidelines for dealing with severe circumstances, such as a potential suicide or a situation where the patient may be causing harm to other people. This concern keeps many therapists from wanting to work online, or gives therapists a reason to only offer online work for clients that have been pre-screened. The higher the level of risk for their client, the less likely an online session is going to work.
Clearly, there are pros and cons to any therapy session. For those that are doing well and not in a high-risk situation, online therapy may well be the best route to go. It offers a great balance of affordability, flexibility, and anonymity, and may be exactly what’s needed for certain patients to finally get the help they’re looking for.