What Are the Things You Should Know Before Choosing Online Therapy
Most of the mental health issues can be prevented before further escalation by seeking therapy. You have two alternative therapy options to choose from. One is traditional in-personal therapy, which costs more, but is usually the first choice of the masses. The other is online therapy, a new approach based on telecommunication mediums.
Online therapy is comparatively new and there’s not a lot of information available about the process and convenience of it. Let’s dive deep and understand what it is and what you should know before choosing online therapy.
What is Online Therapy
Online therapy is a counseling service that is performed over the internet. While in-person therapy allows you to interact with the therapist in a more personal way, online therapy is done through any device that has a working internet connection and communicative medium.
Online therapy lets you interact with certified therapists all over the world irrespective of location and demographics. If you are thinking about opting for online therapy, there are a few things that you should know first.
Why Would You Choose Online Therapy
Online therapy is on the rise. You’re not the only one looking for online therapists more than in-person ones. Let’s discuss some benefits of online therapy.
Easier to Open Up
The formula for a successful therapy and diagnosis is being able to open up to the therapist. Most of the individuals, who have mental health issues like depression or PTSD, try to withdraw themselves from interacting with others. It’s not only you who feels like this.
Online therapies limit the interaction between you and your therapist. You can control the extent of your presence with online therapies. If you choose not to show your face, you can. If you choose not to continue with the session, you can just take leave. What you couldn’t easily do being present in the clinic.
Online Therapy is as Effective
Studies have found online therapies to be as effective as physical therapy. It’s proven that fighting depression, anxiety disorder, and gambling problems are as effective with online therapies as their traditional counterparts.
Especially for social anxiety patients, online therapies have proven to be a blessing. If you do not like being in a crowd or have an issue talking to people in real life, online therapy can be quite effective.
Although online therapy is effective in treating mental health issues, it might not be as effective in treating severe neurological conditions. If you feel that your health condition is getting severe, consult your online physician for recommendations.
You or the patient you are caregiving for might not have the option to go outside to seek help due to disabilities. Online therapies are the best alternative for them. In contrast to physical therapies, where you might need to drive every week, online therapies are now offering accessibility that was previously unheard of.
As depressive individuals often refuse to meet with other persons even if they want to, dragging them into a mental health clinic might not be the best course of action. Other individuals with mental health conditions may also feel unsafe to go out to seek treatment. Mental health services online offer the convenience of comfort and security for those who need engagement, but can’t access the physical services.
Remote Location Access
Not every location has the best therapists available. Some remote areas might even not have a therapist altogether. Online therapies help you get access to the best services without commuting 50 miles every week. Most of the individuals who seek treatment but don’t avail of it are either busy or don’t have easy access to mental health services.
Online Therapies are More Affordable
Online therapies sessions are typically more affordable than traditional in-person therapies. As you’ll be attending the sessions being in the comfort of your house, your costs of driving down the facility are also non-existent.
The therapists who only offer online therapies can provide their best services at a discounted price because they have fewer overhead costs like renting an office space. As the insurance companies pay for the traditional therapies but aren’t inclined to pay for your online therapy, individuals without insurance coverage too can opt for much needed mental services.
Why Would You Not Choose Online Therapy
As there are benefits to online therapy, the drawbacks are also not avoidable.
Insurance coverage for teletherapy depends on the insurance provider and the state you are living in. In most cases, most insurance providers don’t offer full coverage for online mental health therapy. Although online therapies are cheaper than physical therapies, the cost of each session adds up quickly.
Many states don’t allow mental health professionals to provide service in other states, which is also a requirement for online therapies. Since it’s due to the license requirements of the states, your therapist also needs to be licensed in your state if it doesn’t allow out-of-state providers.
Online mediums always had concerns over privacy and security. As protecting patient health information (PHI) is critical for mental health services, transmitting details online adds a layer of complexity. Misaddressed data, hacking, technology challenges, are major concerns among experts.
Crisis Situation Response
As online therapy made treatment more convenient, it also made it challenging for the therapists to reach clients due to their physical distance or lack of information. Suicidal thoughts and panic attacks are common occurrences in patients in severe conditions. Teletherapy makes it almost impossible for patients to reach out to their therapists in the event of a crisis.
Limited Scope of Treatment
Online therapies have a lot of potential to treat several mental health issues. But when it comes to serious psychiatric illness, such as drug addiction and severe depressive symptoms, it might not be as beneficial as traditional in-person techniques.
A person, opting for online therapies, can try to hide their body language from their therapist in text or call based approaches. This makes it harder to diagnose and treat the issue that lies within. As mental health is still considered a stigma in many societies, patients trying to hide their behavior is not unheard of.
Although video therapies can be as effective, it also lacks intimacy and the scope of interaction that traditional therapy offers.
The Bottom Line
Online therapy is a great approach for patients who have never been to a therapist’s office before. Teletherapy offers comfort, a sense of security, and convenience to the patients. The elements of affordability, accessibility, and effectiveness make online therapy a wise choice but the limited scope of treatment, privacy concerns, and lack of crisis management can’t also be ignored. Weigh the pros and cons before choosing online therapy.