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Is Virtual Therapy Worthwhile?

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Many people are suffering from mental health issues ranging from depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD) to other mental health conditions. The fast-paced modern lifestyle coupled with life’s struggles is pushing individuals to the brink, with some going to the extent of committing suicide to escape from their situations. According to a 2019 survey, about one out of every five people in the US lives, or has suffered, some form of mental illness at some point in their lives. About 13% of the world’s population suffers from the same, with this percentage bound to increase due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.

Even with such alarming trends, most people suffering from mental health conditions do not know where to seek help. The Covid situation has made it worse since containment measures prevent people from meeting physically to control the spread of the virus. Fortunately, technology is enabling people to still interact without having to meet. According to SFGATE, it is very convenient for people who need counselling services to find them online. While not the best solution for everyone, online counselling services are the best and most suitable option for anyone needing help. Here are some reasons why online therapy is worthwhile.

Eliminates therapy-induced anxiety

Most people find it hard to seek help when suffering from mental illness and conditions. A social stigma attached to mental health issues makes people afraid and anxious to seek help. Since online therapy is anonymous, more and more people are now reaching out to professionals while at the comfort of their homes.

Virtual counselling is an age-old practice. Years ago before the advancement of technology, a therapist could exchange letters with their patients. There has been a concern about whether online counselling is effective. Recent research indicates that patients are more receptive and more satisfied with this approach than meeting physically. Most people are not comfortable with face-to-face counselling sessions for fear of judgement.

Online therapy is convenient

Unlike the traditional form of therapy where one had to travel to visit a counsellor or have a therapist visit them at home, online treatment only requires that you have a suitable communication device.

In the US, demand for therapy has increased, especially during the pandemic period, partly because of the effects of the pandemic and partly due to the ease with which people can access these services virtually. About 4 in 10 people are now reporting anxiety and depressive episodes and are asking for help. 

With virtual therapy platforms like BetterHelp, patients are more likely to go through their counselling sessions to the end owing to the convenience of getting the services while at the comfort of their homes.

Saves time and money

Online therapy saves patients time and money. Apart from the counsellors’ fees that have reduced significantly, there are also the costs of traveling and other miscellaneous activities consuming a lot with traditional therapy.

Nowadays, you can simply have an online session, talk to your therapist through a video call, or just a routine call and still get the same services. The only cost incurred in this case is the call or data expenses. Therapists also do not have to hire expensive office suites to see patients as they can work while at the comfort of their homes. This situation has reduced expenses on both sides that have led to counselling services becoming cheaper and better. Both the patients and the therapists also get to save a lot of time that they would otherwise have wasted traveling back and forth.

Online therapy gives you more options

Traditional face-to-face meetings are limited to just a few therapists that are within your vicinity. It would be costly and cumbersome to travel thousands of kilometers to see a therapist. On the other hand, online therapies give you a range of mental health counsellors and clinicians from all over the world. You could be living in Africa and still get access to the services of a professional in the US.

Additionally, you have a range of choices if you need diversified advice and care. You can have more than one session of counselling with individuals remotely located without having to leave the comfort of your home. Having these choices ensures that you get adequate help at any time. You do not have to book for sessions like you would when visiting a therapist physically.

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg.


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