Will Online Therapy Program Work for You?
The day I moved to a different state, I had to start all over again and I thought that I will need to see another therapist to start my counseling sessions all over again. Thanks to the world of digital technology, fortunately, I was well equipped with all the necessary gadgets and my therapist was also walking hand in hand with the technology.
First, I was unsure if online therapy programs could be of any benefit however as I settled in the very first month, it started working brilliantly for me and I started taking all my therapy sessions over the internet. Being a writer and a patient of depression and sleep disorders, I decided to share my experience with online therapy counseling and my observations on online therapy benefits.
Pros of Online Therapy Program
There are different aspects of both the Patient and the Therapist end of online therapy. It totally depends on your viewpoint of how you take it and get the most out of it.
Pros of Online Therapy Program for Patients
Let’s talk about the positive side first. For me as a patient, getting into an online therapy program was a very good decision. Here is what I gained!
1. Became Independent Again:
Earlier with regular therapy, someone used to drive me through to the therapy center and accompany me with the session and drive me back home. Now I can do it all sitting at home doing it online in front of the computer.
2. It’s a Money Saver Session:
Online therapy counseling cost is much lower than the regular therapy cost. It also saves other expenses on gas or transportation. The therapy cost is budget-friendly and even within the bracket of insurance companies so, we don’t have to pay extra.
3. Increased Frequency of Contact:
Online therapy sessions allow you to connect multiple times via different modes. So earlier I used to go once a month and now the frequency is increased to once a week seeing the convenience and comfort that eventually affects the improvement as well.
4. Convenient at Both End:
It has become easy to communicate properly prior to setting up an appointment. Now we both have mutual understanding and can reschedule our sessions to a time that is convenient to both of us. I am free from time constraints as I can take the session in the early morning at 8 or late night before I sleep as per convenience as I don’t need to commute anywhere.
5. Express Feelings in Numerous Modes:
Online therapy sessions can be blissful in many ways. Patients have the option to convey their feelings via text, audio, video or live conference. It’s a virtual session that is convenient for all even if you don’t wish to appear in front of the screen.
6. Start Sessions Right When You Want:
I well remember when I used to go through recorded sessions at midnight. My therapist has granted me access to multiple recorded sessions and supporting videos that help me whenever I need. It’s 24/7/365 available right on my smartphone.
7. It’s Confidential if Trusted:
I know this therapist for the last five years and I know my conversation with him in every mode is always confidential. I never felt a need for changing the therapist as the bond and the trust is more than enough to be confident about the privacy.
Pros of Online Therapy Program for Therapists
I had a discussion with my therapist and asked about how it is going with the online therapy program. He counted several benefits of online counseling.
- They don’t need additional infrastructure to comfort their patients.
- It is way more convenient for the therapists as there is no downtime.
- They don’t need assistants or support staff to schedule their appointments as it’s all done through the application they use.
- They can always use that extra time to learn new skills and build a strategy for enhancement.
- Cancelled schedule, late coming is not a concern anymore as they can connect remotely.
- They can always fill their gaps to make those extra bucks.
- It’s easy for them to find and approach new clients.
Cons of Online Therapy Program
Though I haven’t experienced any flaws in online mental health therapies, I had a word with a few patients and some organizations to gather information. Here is what I found!
Cons of Online Therapy Program for Patients
1. Traditional People Missing In-personal Interaction:
There is a certain age when people need in personal therapy or support. They want to feel the therapy happening and interact face-to-face and hand-in-hand. Instead of therapy, they are more in need of empathy.
2. Online Therapy Doesn’t Cure Everything:
Another biggest reason to evade online therapy counseling is that it doesn’t solve all the mental health issues. For people going through strong psychotherapy, taking regular traditional therapy is a must. Several health conditions don’t promote online therapy programs. It can just act as a supplementary therapy session to ease out the medical condition.
3. Not meant For all Therapy Sessions:
There are several therapeutic sessions that are nearly impossible to conduct online. A few of them are Art Therapy, Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy, Music Therapy, Play Therapy, Drama Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy [EMDR], etc. At times, the lack of response to a critical situation may cause complications.
4. Privacy & Security Issues:
Not all of them are secured with 256-bit military-grade encryption and your data privacy can be at the toss. Before trusting any online therapy platform, ensure the credibility of their data protection act. If they are following the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).
5. Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything:
a few insurance companies are promoting and covering online therapy counseling sessions but most of them are not considering tele therapy.
6. Inter-State Limitations:
There are a few laws that don’t allow inter-state therapy sessions to be conducted. Though the ratio is less but putting a barrier on out of state psychologists can be a concern for a number of patients seeking online therapy counseling programs.
Cons of Online Therapy Program for Therapists
It is neutral for therapists as they are in no profit and no loss situation. Traditional therapy helps them earn more money and online therapy gives them access to a greater number of patients with less consultation fees. So, that rounds it up!
For traditional therapy, a therapist needs to invest more in infrastructure cost, staffing, deal with a lot of investment, pay the mortgage, bills, higher marketing cost, pull in more time, and a lot of other potential unforeseen issues can be a barrier to online therapy programs.
For now, online therapy programs have worked so far so well for me. I promote this new era of treatment and appreciate the online therapy benefits to the core. What is your opinion on this? I would appreciate your views in the comments section. For me it worked brilliantly, I am eager to know if online therapy counseling is doing wonders for you! Stay Healthy, Stay Safe!
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