Online Therapy in Times of Isolation
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
Explore the benefits of virtual sessions
The COVID-19 outbreak has brought the world to a grinding halt. Schedules and routines have been replaced with the need for flexibility and understanding. In uncertain times, it's normal to feel sad, worried, or confused. People around the world are being encouraged to stay home and practice social distancing in order to lessen the virus' spread, which can lead to loneliness and a lack of support. With the help of the Internet, scheduling virtual therapy sessions, or “telehealth”, has become an easier option for more and more people.
Consider some of the benefits of online therapy. It may be right for you.
Online therapy is undoubtedly convenient. You ditch the annoyances of traffic, parking, and sitting in waiting rooms. Some struggle with in-person sessions due to a lack of transportation, little time in the day for additional commuting, or needing childcare. Logging onto a website and having a conversation from your own home alleviates all those issues that were once an obstacle.
One of the main advantages of online therapy is the ease of access. Locations with internet connection strong enough to stream Netflix is typically capable of hosting a video therapy session with use of a phone, computer, or tablet. Those who live in rural or remote areas can be matched with qualified therapists much more easily, as well as those that are unable to leave their home due to a physical disability. Physical and geographical limitations that, in the past, have kept individuals from receiving mental health services are becoming less restrictive.
Accessibility is one of our core values at Electric City Counseling. We strive to provide an environment that reduces barriers to quality treatment for all clients.
There is a certain level of added privacy that comes with seeing your therapist from home. If you’re a private person, maybe you don’t want to worry about people seeing you in the waiting room or walking out of a therapist’s office. Some people find it easier to discuss difficult or embarrassing topics and communicate more openly to their therapist when they aren’t directly face-to-face, which can lead to an increased level of honesty during therapy.
Another common barrier to seeking mental health services is the anxiety that comes with being in a new environment. Telehealth can help ease a treatment seeker into being more comfortable with a face-to-face therapy sessions. An individual who struggles with social phobias or agoraphobia may prefer this incremental lead up to an in-person session.
If you are apprehensive about trying online therapy because you feel it may not be as effective as traditional, face-to-face therapy, research gives a better understanding of the effectiveness. Research consistently shows that it can be very successful in treating many mental health issues. In fact, individuals who are open to using online therapy can benefit to the same extent they would if they were attending in-person sessions. As technological capabilities improve, there is no telling what is possible in the world of virtual therapy.
Online therapy may not be the right fit for everyone. It is not appropriate for people who are seeking treatment for a severe or complicated clinical diagnosis or are experiencing frequent suicidal or homicidal thoughts. Speak with one of our licensed therapists to find out if you’d be a good candidate.