Published on August 14th, 2020
Nowadays, you can get therapy sessions through the internet, either using a smartphone app or by visiting a portal on your PC. Unlike the past where you had to go to an office, these services are now accessible remotely, provided you have a reliable internet connection.
However, you need to consider some things before you start talking to a psychiatrist online.
Technological advancements have changed how people access their psychotherapy sessions. Researchers are evaluating the effectiveness of this new trend and comparing it to physical visits to psychologists.
That said, the studies are not yet conclusive, mostly because the technology is new. Read more about this on BetterHelp.
Why People Like Online Counselling
Here are some reasons why people are favoring online sessions over visiting psychotherapists in person.
With online counseling, you don’t need to travel to meet your psychologist. You can conduct your sessions from the office or while at home. All you need is to make a call or log in into an online platform and go on with your business.
Online therapy sessions are also useful to people who can’t access offices. In rural areas, psychotherapists are often rare or entirely unavailable. Similarly, handicapped people and individuals with chronic illnesses can’t leave their homes. In such situations, online therapy is the only solution.
Online therapy sessions are relatively cheaper when compared to in-person visits. Most online platforms offer a free-trial before you subscribe to a weekly, monthly or annual plan. Besides, you save the money that you would have otherwise spent commuting to the counselor’s office.
Communicating over the internet is comfortable for many people, especially teens who spend most of their time online.
Because the internet is fast and reliable in most countries, an increasing number of people prefer talking via email, instant messaging and video conferencing over meeting in person.
This is especially common among individuals who want to disclose confidential information.
Factors To Consider Regarding Online Counseling
Although it has its advantages, you need to think before enrolling for an online psychotherapy session. Experts say that it is not the best solution for everyone or every situation that needs professional assistance.
The following are a few questions to ask yourself before signing up for online therapy.
Can It Help Me?
Despite its effectiveness, studies show that online therapy is not a conclusive solution to the problems facing you.
Some platforms claim to offer therapy, but those assertions are either false or misleading. For instance, the people running such apps or websites might lack the qualifications or accreditation needed to provide therapy.
Is The Therapist Licensed?
The individual you read out to for help must have the necessary accreditation from relevant authorities. Licensing protects you in that you can claim a refund if the services offered are unsatisfactory. You can also report the psychotherapist if they reveal your information to unauthorized parties.
However, the problem is that therapists and psychotherapists are not protected titles in most states. This means that anyone can claim to be a psychology expert.
Before you sign up for sessions, make sure that the person you are working with has a valid license. Fortunately, most states allow you to search for licensed professionals using their license number.
Is The Psychologist Licensed In Your State?
Each state grants licenses in accordance with its rules and regulations. Make sure that your preferred online therapist is licensed to operate in the state in which you live.
Is the Platform Secure?
In this digital age, internet users are susceptible to identity theft. It is essential to verify that the platform you are using is secure so that your confidential information doesn’t leak.
What Payment Options Are Available?
Most insurance companies include in-person psychotherapy sessions in their medical cover. However, this doesn’t always apply to online therapy sessions.
Only a few companies can reimburse you if you opt to take your sessions over the internet or phone. For this reason, it is vital to confirm with your insurer before you sign up for a service. If you fail to do so, you might find yourself covering the full cost.
As people increasingly warm up to online therapy sessions, more psychologists are delving into the field. According to studies, a combination of in-person visits and online sessions is the best way to deal with psychological issues.
Many psychologists and patients are now using text messages as reminders for booked sessions. What’s more, online video sessions offer convenience when the patient is unable to visit the therapist’s office in person.
In some cases, though rare, exclusive use of online therapy sessions is the only viable option. Regardless, current research and the level of technology in the industry shows that conducting counselling sessions via phone calls or over the internet is best used as a complement to in-person visits to the expert’s office.