In today’s world, many of us find ourselves seeking alternative options to help with our busy lives. More often than not we find these solutions at our fingertips. Need groceries before Thursday but don’t have time to run to the store? Order online and they will deliver! Need to deposit a check but the bank is closed until Monday? Six clicks on your banking app and the check is deposited.
From basic needs shipped to your home to online university courses, people are finding their needs met from the comfort of their own home. Even trips to the doctors for a common cold are becoming a thing of the past. But what about your weekly trip to your therapist that you always dread driving to? They now have an app for that!
Is Online Therapy Effective?
Online counseling is also known as virtual therapy, video counseling as well as telepsychology and can cover a broad range of therapy types. The most common issues providers treat for are anxiety, depression, phobias, couples therapy as well as addiction recovery. Because of the distance between the patient and clinician, some practices will only treat simple and less complex cases.
With the rise in depression, anxiety and other mental health issues many providers are finding themselves booked months in advance. In the United States, rural areas are feeling the impact the most. Treatment options are so limited or so far away many people feel forced to neglect the need for therapy. Thankfully people have recognized the gap in care and with that has come to a rise in online therapy providers. More insurance companies are seeing the benefits of online counseling and offering these options to patients. For those who do not have insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover online counseling, this type of care is usually much more affordable.
The two types of virtual therapy available to most people are live counseling and asynchronous counseling. Live counseling consists of video chat as well as phone or audio chat while asynchronous is in a written format. Asynchronous therapy can occur in email, live chat or even texting format. Many practitioners favor video chat as it is much easier to understand body language and unspoken cues from a clinical standpoint.
Will Online Counseling Work for Me?
For many, these options are game changers and allow them to embark on their personal therapy journey with greater ease. No longer will the patient have to worry about the commute or drive to an office. For those with anxiety, fear or who worry about others seeing them, the discreteness that video counseling offers creates a safe environment. Some people with severe phobias such as agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house) or vehophobia, which is fear of driving, find online therapy to be the perfect solution when taking the first steps to seek help. The entire process from scheduling to communication can be done online without a person even picking up the phone. The flexibility is enticing and rewarding to both patients as well as mental health professionals. Many therapists find they are able to connect with patients on a different level that they wouldn’t be able to in a structured office setting.
Victims of abuse or who are in abusive partnerships have also found success in being able to seek advice without leaving home. Another group of patients who have reported high success rates in therapy online are those in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.
Although online counseling as we know it today is fairly new, the idea itself is not. Written therapy in mail form has been around for hundreds of years and talk therapy is just as effective now as it was then. Now the next step offered as a result of technology is video-based therapy and it can work wonders in many cases. Taking those first few steps to seek help can be hard. But therapy itself doesn’t have to be!
You don’t have to go it alone
Depression, sadness, anxiety disorders, stress, and worry can make it difficult to find happiness in your life. We all need support at different times in our lives. Most of our clients seek help when their current way of dealing with life’s challenges no longer works for them. With a caring, non-judgmental and solution-focused approach, we will explore your issues and challenges in a safe therapeutic environment at our private practice in Delray Beach, Florida.
We also offer remote online therapy from the comfort and security of home that will allow you to learn more effective ways of managing your anxiety and stress.
Let’s walk the path to freedom from depression and anxiety together. If you’re ready to let go of the sadness, depression, fears, worries, and anxieties that are making life difficult, check out our Anxiety & Depression Support Group hosted the 1st Tuesday of each month at the Counseling Center for Growth and Recovery.