During the pandemic of 2020, more and more people started taking advantage of online therapy sessions. Coronavirus concerns made meeting with a therapist in their office less possible and online counseling more widely accepted. If you have not yet tried this type of therapy, it is worth consideration. Particularly with social distancing and the stress of the past year, most of us could benefit from counseling.
What are the pros and cons of online therapy sessions? Are there things you should consider before getting started? We explore some of the answers to these questions, below.
Pros of Online Therapy Sessions
Below are some of the best aspects of online therapy.
For people living in rural areas, online therapy opens the field of counseling through greater availability and convenience. People living outside of major cities often do not have therapists nearby. Through telehealth services provided by a licensed psychologist, they can get the mental health treatment they need.
Online Therapy Sessions Allow Accessibility to Everyone
People with physical limitations and, in the case of the recent pandemic, compromised immune systems can easily benefit from online counseling without put themselves at risk. Without having to worry about mobility, transportation, and exposure to potential pathogens, everyone can receive seamless counseling. Those suffering from depression, anxiety or other mental concerns can also more easily get their therapy online. This makes fulfilling appointments easier and prevents many cancellations.
Affordability and Convenience
Online therapy costs about the same as in-office mental health treatment, according to recent surveys. You can meet with your therapist on your schedule and from the comfort of your home or office. Because many states require health insurance policies to cover this therapy as they do any other, you do not need to worry about greater out-of-pocket expense.
Cons of Online Therapy
Although online counseling is more accessible, convenient and widely available to everyone, it does not work for all situations. Below are some things to consider before pursuing online therapy. If you have concerns about any of these issues, talk to your therapist to understand how they affect you.
As said before, online therapy helps people overcome geographic limitations and other accessibility issues. But many of those who live in rural areas do not have adequate internet connections for seamless online interaction with a therapist. Others do not have access to WiFi or other internet connection at home due to affordability or other factors. If you do not have a reliable smartphone or computer, connecting to a therapist online can also prove difficult.
Confidentiality and Privacy Concerns
Therapists providing online counseling must use programs that meet privacy and confidentiality standards. But you may still have concerns about your confidentiality and how the addition of technology can affect your privacy.
Unavailability for Crisis Needs
Seeing a therapist online does not provide you with immediate crisis response. You must talk to your therapist about what to do in the event of a mental health crisis. Most have other modes of communication available to you and can help you understand when calling 911 is most appropriate.
Inappropriate for Some Mental Health Treatment
Online counseling is not appropriate for all mental health treatment. Some psychiatric illnesses require face-to-face intervention. This is true for some people with serious addictions, for example.
Unable to Read Body Language
Through online therapy, your therapist is less able to read your body language. They can usually see your face online and detect vocal signals. But there are restrictions to seeing your gestures and other movements. These signals help your therapist understand you and your feelings.
Give Online Therapy a Chance through Your Raleigh Therapist
Starting online counseling is easier now than ever before. If you have considered starting therapy but have put it off for other priorities, meeting a therapist online makes the process much more convenient. Now is the perfect time to give these services a try, particularly if you are feeling depressed, anxious or troubled in other ways. If you have concerns about any of the above-listed cons of this type of counseling, simply talk to your therapist to understand how they overcome these issues.
Greene Psychology Group in Raleigh, North Carolina provides online therapy and telehealth services for North Carolina residents. Schedule your first visit by calling us at 919-205-5339.