Online therapy has become incredibly popular in recent years, as more and more people take advantage of the convenience and accessibility that it can offer to those seeking help and guidance they can fit around their own schedules and the demands of their life.
These types of online services are also widely advertised on video sites like YouTube and in banner ads on lots of premium websites, helping to increase their popularity.
Most consumers will ask themselves, quite rightly, whether online therapy can offer the same benefits as face-to-face consultations and if these programmes can give them the benefits and results that they would expect from more orthodox therapy available in brick-and-mortar locations close to them. Here we are going to take a closer look at online therapy and discuss how effective it can be.
Not all online therapy programmes are equal
As with any service, whether online or in the physical world, not every therapy service is effective or can give its users the results they are looking for.
Before you consider any online therapy, you should use the internet to your advantage and look for reviews and testimonials from consumers just like you who have tried online therapy services and can give you a better idea of what to expect from them. You can discover more here about Online-Therapy.com, a popular service, and this type of review is a great place to start looking at different online therapies and to get a better idea of what to expect from a successful service.
Just like any product or service available online, there are a huge amount of reviews that you can read before parting with your hard-earned cash and can give you a lot of confidence when you are making your choice between competing services.
The benefits of online therapy over face-to-face consultations
Choosing to use online therapy can offer a lot of benefits. It allows you to fit your therapy sessions around your commitments, and schedule video chats or communication at a time that suits you. It also allows people who live in rural areas access to high-quality therapy that may not be available where they live, helping to bring therapy to everyone.
Online therapy is often more cost-effective than face-to-face therapy, helping to make it more accessible to people with less disposable income. Face-to-face therapy sessions can be very expensive, so if you are just beginning your therapy journey and are unsure about what to expect then online therapy services offer a lower cost option that you can try without committing a large amount of money or time.
The drawbacks of online therapy services
There are some potential drawbacks to using online therapy services that you should know before you begin to use them.
People who have some serious physiological concerns such as psychosis or suicidal intentions are much better suited to face-to-face consultations and should not consider online therapy services as a solution to their problems.
Online therapists will also be unable to accurately assess your body language or demeanor through video chats, which can offer them a lot of information about you and your situation. This can impair a therapist’s ability to make accurate judgments and offer the best advice and therapy.
Technical problems can also be a concern, as a sudden loss of internet connectivity can bring an online consultation to a halt. Online therapists are also difficult to use in a time of personal crisis, and you would have to rely on real-world support if you needed a therapist immediately.
What do the professionals think?
Online therapy has gone under a lot of scrutiny in the past few years, as many professional therapists have become concerned about the effectiveness and the standards of online therapy and whether it can be harmful rather than helpful.
The relationship and rapport between a therapist and a patient is often an important part of the process, and online therapy does not offer much opportunity for a therapist and patient to get to know and trust one another.
Studies have shown, however, that online therapy has a lot to offer most people and only those with severe and debilitating psychological concerns will struggle to benefit from online consultations. Online therapy has shown itself to be not only popular but also effective for most people. Both the Journal of Affective Disorders and the Journal of Psychological Disorders has found that online therapy offers effective and practical healthcare for most people and comes with additional benefits like scheduling. Unless you have severe psychological problems that require immediate professional attention, online therapy has a lot to offer you and can be just as effective as face-to-face consultations with a therapist.
You should remember that not all online therapy services are the same, and some will offer more benefits and more consistent results than others. If you shop around and do your research, you should be able to find the right online therapy service for you and your needs.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.