In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of mental health cannot be overstated. As challenges like work-related stress, personal crises, or life changing-events appear, so does the need for mental well-being support.
The blend of healthcare and technology has nurtured the growth of online therapy platforms. Nowadays, digital therapy platforms are not only alternatives to traditional therapy – they are emerging as the preferred choice for many individuals seeking mental health support.
Benefits of Online Therapy
Mental health online therapy has many benefits, but perhaps the most significant is its accessibility. For example, some people live in remote areas, far away from the nearest therapist, and with limited resources. Thanks to online therapy, mental health support is one click away, allowing everyone to access essential health care no matter where they are.
Also, online therapy plays a key role in our daily busy lives. With traditional therapy, rigid appointments can clash with work hours or personal commitments, such as childcare or elderly care. For example, according to the American Psychological Association, flexibility benefits providers and patients.
More specifically, therapists can now expand their practice in their free time. At the same time, patients appreciate sitting in front of the computer – which they would do anyway – and typing with a licensed therapist.
Furthermore, another study highlights that people who engage in online therapy are more likely to seek in-person therapy. For example, college students who needed help with eating disorders were found to be more likely to seek traditional treatments after messaging asynchronously with a therapist.
Hence, online therapy is not only more affordable, flexible, and accessible, but it can empower people to make better decisions. It was demonstrated to be an efficient treatment method for someone who needs more intensive therapy, as they are more likely to seek further help if they are satisfied with their online experience.
Finally, online therapy allows therapists to manage their work and private life better. It allows for more flexible scheduling – for instance, some therapists may not be willing to go to their physical office at 8 PM to meet with a patient. Still, they may be more willing to go to their home office and see the patient virtually instead.
Talking to a Therapist Virtually
The robust benefits of online therapy have led to a huge growth in online therapy companies in the last several years, making these services more affordable than ever. The major appeal for patients is the ability to sit at home – or wherever they are – and talk to a virtual therapist, which helps normalize access to mental health care.
In addition, several research studies have concluded that online therapy is as effective as face-to-face therapy in many situations. While most of these studies focus on video therapy, a few other studies have shown that unlimited texting (asynchronous) can be as effective as in-person therapy.
Unlimited texting therapy allows you to text your therapist whenever you wish, and they will get back to you once or twice daily. This type of online therapy comes with many advantages, such as:
- Ability to unburden or share your struggles whenever they arise
- No need to take notes, try to memorize, or recall events during time-limited sessions
- Ability to reflect on previous discussions and re-read conversations whenever necessary and convenient
- Ideal for many individuals, including those who struggle with social anxiety, for instance
- Ideal if you can express yourself in written form clearly and do not mind typing
Video calling and phone calls are also popular options when it comes to online therapy. These are similar to the in-person experience in that you schedule your session, then attend and discuss your concerns with your therapist. Talking to a virtual therapist this way can surprisingly help you bond with them and share your concerns – and some people may even prefer this therapy over conventional in-person sessions due to the added privacy and confidentiality layer.
However, online care is not for everyone, so if you suffer from serious disorders or addictions, you will likely need more care than an online therapy platform. However, this can be the first step to mental well-being – even for individuals who suffer from non-urgent but serious diseases, as this could help them decide to explore more complex treatments.
Also, some people may want to feel a personal connection with their therapist – while video calling gets close to the in-person session, some may feel like they can’t build trust over the Internet. In this case, it’s best to opt for in-person therapy or a blend of the two.
How to Talk to a Therapist Virtually?
Connecting with a therapist virtually is quite an easy process. However, choosing the right digital platform is the most difficult part of this experience. Some aspects you may want to consider include:
- Make sure you choose a reputable, safe platform
- Ensure that the platform has licensed therapists in your state
- Check whether the pricing is aligned with your needs
- Make sure the digital platform is specialized in your desired field (such as anxiety or depression, relationship issues, and others)
Once you select the right platform for your needs, you must create an account. Then, you can schedule your sessions or choose the right therapy types for your needs and select a suitable licensed therapist.
While making a well-informed decision regarding your mental health care provider is of paramount importance, it is noteworthy that engaging with a therapist through virtual platforms presents a host of advantages. Supported by a wealth of evidence from multiple studies, the efficacy of virtual therapy has been consistently demonstrated.
The realm of online therapy extends its benefits beyond convenience; it signifies a transformative shift in ensuring that comprehensive mental health care becomes accessible to all individuals, regardless of geographical or logistical limitations. This inclusivity is a cornerstone of our commitment to fostering a society wherein every individual can readily access the care they deserve.
As we gaze toward the future, the fusion of technology and therapeutic practices offers a promising trajectory. This amalgamation strengthens the therapeutic experience and augments our societal fabric by promoting understanding, empathy, and mental resilience. By embracing this innovative approach, we collectively lay the foundation for a more compassionate and interconnected society prioritizing mental well-being.
In conclusion, the benefits of engaging with mental health professionals through virtual avenues are multifaceted and well-substantiated. Beyond the immediate advantages of flexibility and accessibility, the amalgamation of technology and therapy can engender a society that is not only mentally fortified but also attuned to the diverse needs of its constituents.
Featured Photo by Julia M Cameron: https://www.pexels.com/