Online Therapy (The bad & The good)

Technology has made significant advancements in recent decades, making it easier for people to connect than ever before. These advancements have affected every industry, including health care, where teletherapy has become part of the norm. People can connect to a therapist from the comfort of their homes and even get the help they need.

What you need to know before choosing online therapy

Any therapy delivered by telecommunication tools or devices can be referred to as telepsychology or web therapy, phone therapy, text therapy, online therapy, or teletherapy.

Benefits of teletherapy

1. It is convenient

Online therapy can take less time away from the office or your workday and takes away the worry about traffic. No need to travel miles to meet up with your psychologist. Dial a number or log in to a site, and the session can happen wherever you are comfortable. Since you will be attending therapy sessions online in the comfort of your own home, you can often schedule your therapy sessions for times that are the most convenient for you.

2. Affordability

It can sometimes appear less expensive compared to traditional in-person therapy. Some apps will advertise pricing that provides unlimited use for a weekly or monthly fee. Or the online session may seem significantly lower than in-office visits. If you’re not using health insurance for psychotherapy, this can be a benefit. Online therapy is usually fairly affordable.

3. Very comfortable for many people

Especially younger adults or those who use technology often. More people are using email, webinars, and text messaging to communicate, and it can seem more comfortable or easier than talking to someone in person, especially when revealing personal or private information.

4. Good Option for Remote Areas

It provides access to those who can’t get to an office. In some rural communities, the nearest psychologist’s office may be an hour or two drive away. Offers access to mental health information and treatment to people in rural or remote areas. Those who live in such areas simply might not have access to any other form of mental health treatment because there are limited or no mental health practices in their geographic area.

5. Accessibility for People with Physical Limitations

Some people with chronic illnesses or disabilities may not be able to drive or easily able to leave their homes. In these situations, telephone-based therapy may be their only option for help. Online therapy provides accessibility to individuals who are disabled or housebound. Mobility can be a big issue when it comes to accessing mental health care. A therapist practicing out of their own home, for example, may not be set up to accommodate all potential clients.

6. Treatment Is More Accessible

Many psychologists and patients are finding text messages helpful for quick check-ins or reminders. Some apps can help track and log moods or thoughts. Online access makes it easier to overcome the stigma that has historically been attached to mental health issues. Teletherapy can be an important tool to help people learn more about psychological health. Even if you feel like your mental well-being is strong, online therapy can help you become psychologically stronger. You can learn more about health behaviors and coping strategies that will lead to better psychological health.

Challenges of Online Therapy

While online therapy can potentially be very helpful for people in certain situations, it does not come without some risks or disadvantages over traditional therapy options.

1. How will you pay for the service?

You need to decide on how to pay for the therapy and some insurance companies do not cover teletherapy therefore you will need to pay for the services out-of-your pocket.

2. Unreliable Technology

Technology problems can also make it difficult to access treatment when you really need it. The internet or phone reception may be poor. Electronic gadgets may give challenges.

3. Ethical and Legal Concerns

Some states do not allow out-of-state psychologists to provide services. In such cases, your provider would need to be licensed in both their home state as well as your home state.

4. Confidentiality

Keeping your personal information private is a major concern in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy works in part because psychologists ensure that clients have a safe, private space to share deeply personal and sometimes difficult stories, thoughts, or emotions. What happens and is said in a therapy office stays there, with the exception of a few situations as online treatment adds a layer of complexity. Since information is being transmitted online, the situation makes privacy leaks and hacks more of a concern. Is the site or app secure? Will the information I provide remain confidential?

5. Lack of Response to Crisis Situations

Since online therapists are distant from the client, it is difficult to respond quickly and effectively when a crisis happens. If a client is experiencing suicidal thoughts or has suffered a personal tragedy, it can be difficult or even impossible for the therapist to provide direct assistance.

6. Not Appropriate for Serious Psychiatric Illnesses

Teletherapy can be useful for a variety of situations, but not when it comes to people that require close and direct treatment or in-person intervention.

For example, if you have a serious addiction or have more severe or complex symptoms of a mental health condition, online therapy may not be recommended unless other local and accessible therapies or treatments are also involved in your plan. The scope of online therapy can be limited, so it is typically not effective in more complex situations.

7. Overlooks Body Language

In many cases, online therapists cannot see facial expressions, vocal signals, or body language. These signals can often be quite telling and give the therapist a clearer picture of your feelings, thoughts, moods, and behaviors.

Some delivery methods such as video chats can provide a clearer picture of the situation, but they often lack the intimacy and intricacy that real-world interactions possess.

So are you ready for your online counseling session?

There’s no doubt that teletherapy gives more people access to therapy. Furthermore, online therapy makes the service more convenient for patients. For someone who is nervous about therapy or doesn’t have a lot of time on their hands, online therapy can be a great way to get your feet wet.


If you need to speak to a professional counsellor, don’t forget to get in touch with Psyche and Beyond.



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