With the advancement of technology in recent years, psychotherapy has also experienced some new benefits. With the use of new tools and technologies, almost the same experience as a therapist’s office can be replicated anywhere. Online therapy is becoming a popular choice for many individuals. With the click of a button, you can have almost instant and relatively inexpensive access to a mental health professional.
Especially in times like these where coronavirus has restricted our outdoor activities, seeking therapy online feels like the optimal solution for those who need professional attention. However, one must not consider online therapy as only a poor substitute. Many people experience almost the same or even greater benefits with online therapy.
Psychologists sometimes refer to online therapy as Telepsychology. So what is it and what details do you need to know before signing up? That’s what we’ll discuss in the article below.
How does online therapy work?
E-therapy, teletherapy, online counseling, telemental health are different interchangeable terms used for the same thing. Online therapy is a remote style of therapy in which you can access your therapist in the following ways.
The most common way to conduct online therapy is through video chat. You and your therapist decide on a specific platform such as skype, zoom, WhatsApp or facetime, etc, and carry out your sessions there. This turns out to be more effective as your therapist is aware of your face to face feelings.
If you don’t have access to a video recording device, you can always call your therapist and discuss your problems on the phone. If you feel anxious about video calls then this option might be better for you as it is more comfortable.
Text or email based
Some clients find it better to communicate by writing their thoughts down. In this way, texting helps a great deal. You can arrange a specific time where you can start the chat and work in a similar way you would in face-to-face therapy.
In the same way, you have the option of sending an email. You type everything that is concerning you and send it to your therapist. As soon as your therapist gets time, they can figure out your problems and send you detailed solutions.
Usually, video chatting is the most common mode of communication, but you can work with any method that suits you best.
Tips for online therapy
The following tips can be of great help if you have decided to get online therapy. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Properly set up your technology
The better your connection and devices are, the better your experience. Before you take the session make sure you have a strong phone or landline connection. It is recommended that you take the session on a computer or a laptop where you can record it in video format. This way, even if something didn’t make clear sense at the time, you can always rewatch the session and clear your doubts.
2. Prepare yourself before the session
Before you take the session, relax, and take some deep breaths. If it’s your first time, write some bullet points down so you don’t forget to ask something. Try to keep all your issues organized so you can benefit the most from your therapy session. Also, it’s better if you take this session in a distraction-free place.
3. During your session
Let your therapist know if something is not clear. If during the session you find that the video is not comfortable for you, you can tell your therapist that you would like to try a different approach. Be as open with your therapist and try to take the best advantage of this time.
4. After the session
After your session is over, try to reflect on what you discussed and see if everything is clear. Also, if you have privacy concerns, make sure that your device is clear of any personal details.
The Pros and Cons of Online Therapy
Online Therapy has lots of benefits to it. Here are some of them.
Especially great for people living in underprivileged areas. You are not restricted in any way. You also don’t have to travel extreme lengths to see your therapist. This also works best for people that are disabled or cannot leave their homes for some reason
Convenient and inexpensive
Businessmen with busy schedules also benefit a great deal with time-effective online therapy. You do not have to cancel your other tasks to travel and see a therapist. You save your travel time, fuel, and evade any hectic traffic along the way. Online therapy sessions are often inexpensive too.
Some people find it difficult to express their feelings face-to-face. Online therapy takes this restriction away and helps you describe yourself just the way you like. Often children and teens find it easier to express themselves online, so this way, it works better for them.
However, there are some inconveniences with online therapy as well.
Your body language gives lots of cues to your problems. These signs may not be clear in online therapy sessions. If you are used to face-to-face therapy, this might take some time to get used to.
Security and privacy issues
If you find a new therapist online, you might need to double-check your privacy concerns. See if the platform you use is secure and won’t leak any information. Generally, online therapy is safe but if you have some concerns you should always speak about them first.
Online therapy is a convenient and effective way to get your therapy needs to be met. You can contact your local therapist or even find new therapy options online. Doing so will help you get professional help and all this from the comfort of your homes in the way you prefer.