Nowadays, our lifestyles can be extremely hectic and challenging. Long work hours, insufficient leisure time, and excessive stress can negatively impact our mental health.
Many adults struggle with mental health issues and, due to a lack of availability or other reasons, more and more people turn to online therapy.
The following sections discuss why online therapy may be the option for people today.
What Is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy and aims to help people with emotional challenges or mental illnesses. Traditionally, psychotherapy sessions are face-to-face meetings with a counselor or therapist who uses a wide variety of therapy modalities, methods, and tools to help relieve symptoms associated with mental health problems, improve self-image and relationships, and just help people be happy and enjoy life.
Nowadays, the breadth of Internet access has facilitated the mass adoption of online therapy. Online counseling essentially refers to contacting a mental health professional online. This is the same talk therapy as discussed above, but it takes place over the Internet.
You may be able to contact your online counselor via live chat, video conferences, phone, messages, or email. Online therapy can occur in real-time, the same way as face-to-face psychotherapy, or in a delayed format, via emails or text messaging.
Free online therapy may be available, although online therapy sessions usually come with a cost. This is because online counselors are the same trained professional counselors with the necessary licenses, qualifications, and experience.
The only difference is that you and your therapist work together over the Internet rather than in a facility and don’t spend time commuting. As a result, online therapy is cheaper and more accessible.
But still, it may help with the same mental health issues or challenges as those addressed via face-to-face counseling, such as:
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Relationships issues
- Anger management
- Grief and loss
- LGBTQ+ issues
- Low self-esteem, etc.
Types of Online Therapy
Online therapy sessions can be conducted individually, as a couple, as a family, or a group.
Individual therapy sessions can include psychotherapy for depression, personality disorders, anxiety, stress and anger management, and many more.
In this case, you can contact the online therapist about once per week for a live session. Some therapy platforms, such as Calmerry, can offer more live sessions and everyday asynchronous chatting.
Individual therapy can be short-term, so you will only take part in a few sessions to feel better soon. For instance, this may help you get over the loss of your loved one, deal with your emotions in case of a divorce or temporary job-related stress. People who experience long-term or complex mental health issues might require long-term sessions, along with clinical care from a doctor.
It’s important to note that online therapy is not for everyone! If you have severe mental health problems, seek appropriate help. If you’re in crisis and need immediate help, reach out to emergency resources — call 911.
Alternatively, you can opt for group therapy. Group therapy consists of different people, usually not related to each other, counseled by one or two therapists at the same time. This is often used for different situations in which people share similar experiences and is beneficial to people going through weight loss programs, grief, domestic violence, or even cultural trauma.
Family therapy is used to address situations in which one or more members struggle with relationship issues, chronic illness, obesity, substance use, etc. The entire family participates, along with the counselor. This may also include children in your family.
Many spouses or partners now engage in online couple’s therapy. This may address numerous concerns or help the partners have a long, happy life together. In some cases, the therapist can help the couple solve issues such as addiction, intimacy issues, misunderstandings, communication issues, jealousy, etc.
Benefits of Online Therapy
The first therapy session is different from other sessions and might not be enough to notice some of the benefits of online therapy, although consistency is key in everything we want to achieve, especially when it comes to our mental health.
If you struggle with mental health issues and you do not have enough time to attend in-person meetings, online therapy helps you access the help you need. Online therapy is available in any remote area, as long as you have a stable Internet connection.
For instance, if you need to drive long hours to meet with your counselor, online talk therapy might help you cut down your costs and the time spent traveling to the facility.
Online therapy is also recommended for people who cannot or do not have the means to commute to a facility. For instance, there are housebound people or disabled people who can’t get the help they require. Online therapy means that they can participate in online sessions and enjoy the care they need to lead a better life.
In many cases, health insurance providers now cover e-therapy. To find out, you need to contact your insurer and ask them what you need to do to include your online therapy expenses in your plan.
Additionally, online therapy is more affordable than face-to-face therapy because counselors incur fewer overheads. For instance, they do not need to spend money on rentals, so the best mental health providers pass these savings onto their clients.
So, you will spend less on online mental health therapy compared to traditional psychotherapy.
Many people need to discuss sensitive or extremely private matters, such as trauma, the loss of a loved one, or addictions. Online therapy provides more privacy and intimacy so you can always feel safe.
For instance, you do not need to worry about seeing someone you know on your way to the facility. Even if you don’t want your household members to find out about your struggles, you can schedule online therapy at your convenience when you are home alone.
Does Online Therapy Really Work?
Acoording to cnns news, research has indicated that online therapy is as effective as face-to-face talk therapy. Many studies confirmed that cognitive-behavioral therapy is as efficient when conducted online as when you meet face-to-face with your counselor. It was shown to successfully help cope with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
Additionally, CBT online may be even more effective than traditional CBT therapy. This is because many people suffering from social anxiety or depression may have a harder time discussing their experiences with a stranger. Online therapy can be conducted via internet calls, live chat, messaging, and other means that might make you feel more comfortable when disclosing sensitive information. You also enjoy the safety of your own home, which may help you relax compared to an unfamiliar counseling room.
However, keep in mind that online therapy also has its challenges. It is not suitable if you experience severe depression or suicidal thoughts, make sure you contact the local suicide prevention lifeline. Other severe conditions, such as schizophrenia, cannot be treated with therapy online, so make sure you consult a specialist if you are unsure whether online therapy is suitable for your needs.
All in all, online therapy may be an option for many people nowadays. It is extremely convenient, and you can receive the care and guidance you need over the phone or using your Internet-enabled devices.
However, keep in mind that online therapy may not be a complete solution if you suffer from severe mental health issues. In this case, you need to seek adequate health care.