Teletherapy is also known as video therapy, online therapy, eTherapy, distance therapy, etc. It is the use of our day to day electronic devises to bring therapists to their clients. With 96% of adults ages 18-49 using smart phones and 87% of U.S. homes having a computer according to the 2015 census report it just makes sense. Now with the onset of COVID-19, more and more health care providers are delivering these types of services to their clients and patients in and around their local communities.
There are many benefits to online therapy. The first being it’s flexibility and that it just saves time. You no longer have to worry about gas costs, traffic, or missing long periods of time from work. No longer do you have to pick your children up from school to take them to see their therapist missing valuable education and family time. Those living in more rural areas no longer have to worrying about gas. No more waiting in waiting rooms. This flexibility and time saving actually leads to less costs to clients overall.
Video therapy has also been effective in treating individuals, couples, families, and groups. It has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, substance abuse, etc. Additionally, it opens up the door to professionals that are more versed in a variety of areas, including differing cultures and methods.
Other advantages include less stigma attached to seeing a therapist. Some people even say that they feel less self-conscience and feel like it is more private. Research also suggests that people feel more seen, less alone, more accepted, and validated through the use of teletherapy. With this in mind, clients are more apt to participate before their symptoms are unbearable making early interventions more possible. Additionally, clients seem to use more of their learned coping skills outside of the therapist’s office and have an overall decrease in symptoms.
With the positive there are some risks. Poor connections and dropped signals can make for a poor session that sometimes just cannot be helped. Also, online therapy is not always the right tool for every individual in every situation. Sometimes face to face can provide better outcomes depending on the circumstances and the person. This is definitely something for you and your online therapist to discuss and consider. Having said that, online therapy can make for a good start in your journey to finding the care you need and deserve.
Additionally, therapist and other health care providers are held to high standards when it comes to patient information and keeping it safe. They use encrypted platforms, virus protections, firewalls, etc. for video calls, yet breaches may still happen. Additionally, though your provider has precautions in place, they can not be responsible for their client’s devices allowing for possible breaches on the participant’s end as well.
Despite the negatives, the positives seem to out way them. More and more people are turning to their computers, tablets and phones for therapy and other telehealth services. Telehealth services, including online therapy, are currently being used to help our communities. Video therapy is being used by our military, in our correctional facilities, and in our schools. Online therapy’s convenience and ease are undeniable and the research on positive outcomes backs it up.
For more information on teletherapy check out these sites...