Online therapy is still becoming popular these days. According to a piece of information borrowed from HealthCanal, not only can it help you cope with your day-to-day issues and mental health problems, but it also comes with highly favorable benefits. Indeed, it has been proven that online therapy is effective in treating certain mental health conditions such as mild-moderate depression and anxiety.
Despite the benefits, it also comes with a few cons. So, is online therapy right for you? Read on to find out.
What is Online Therapy?
Online therapy is any therapy or counseling administered using the internet. Other terms used to describe the same definition are e-therapy, teletherapy, distance therapy, and therapy-on-demand. The client and the therapist may communicate via text messaging or chat, video calls, and voice messages.
What it can offer: The Pros of Online Therapy
Here are the advantages of opting into online therapy.
Most online therapy sites allow you to stay anonymous. Thus, there is a higher chance that you will have a sense of safety and security while online therapy is ongoing.
However, you may still have to tell your therapist more details about yourself to address issues you are getting help with. In the end, sharing personal and may be sensitive information helps the therapy go as expected.
Online therapy removes the hassle of preparation for travels. You may talk to your therapist even if you are lying on your bed, or sitting on your couch. All you must have is an internet connection and a device like a computer tablet, or mobile phone.
Good Option for Remote Areas and People Physical Limitations
Not everyone can afford to go to a clinic for checkups, or even have face-to-face mental health services. This is especially true for people living in rural areas, as well as for those who have a physical disability that inhibits them from commuting on their own. Thus, online therapy can be an effective alternative.
Online therapy may reduce the fees or expenses you need to consider. For instance, you can deduct the expenses for transportation for the total cost of your expenditures.
More Approachable Treatment
Sometimes people are having a hard time telling a family member or friends about what they are going through. In this case, online therapy is a great alternative, allowing you to overcome or lessen the catch of stigma.
Disadvantages or Limitations: The cons of Online Therapy
While online therapy offers several advantages, there are some things that everyone should be aware of.
Insurance Companies’ Exclusion
Unfortunately, some insurance companies do not cover online therapy expenses. Also, some online sites do not even accept payment from insurance, and may also vary from one state to another. Nevertheless, there are different companies offering such mental health services, serving as your options.
Privacy Risk Under Technology
Online therapy websites are doing their job to make sure that all data you provide is encrypted. However, in all cases, there is still a small possibility of hackers stealing information, hacking, and destroying the website. If you cannot tolerate even just a little risk, face-to-face or traditional psychotherapy might be our better choice.
Not highly Appropriate for Serious Psychiatric Illnesses
There are certain mental illnesses or mental disorders that need face-to-face intervention. This is more common for those people who have a high risk of causing harm to themselves and/or to others, where the instant response in terms of emergency is least possible.
Often cannot come with a diagnosis
There are only a few online mental health services offering diagnoses of possible psychiatric or mental disorders. However, these diagnoses are still limited to certain cases. Often, mental health professionals require clients to have a face-to-face session for more accurate assessments.
Hard for Knowing Accurate Body Language
Many online therapies are being offered via website’s text messaging platform or chats. As a result, the therapist cannot obtain non-verbal cues that serve as a signal of your emotions and reflection of your behavior. This challenge may limit the therapist’s capacity to apply the right approach as immediately as possible, and sessions may take longer than usual.
Cultural and Legality Concerns
There are some online therapy websites catering to clients on an international level. However, cultural differences should be considered. Moreover, every state or country has its own legalities about the qualification of mental health professionals. In this sense, you must be aware of your therapist’s qualifications and experiences beforehand.
Conclusion: Should you choose Online Therapy?
There is an article written by Sean Newton, a senior health & fitness writer discusses the benefits of online therapy including convenience, affordability, and space safety. However, there are considerable disadvantages including a little privacy risk, culture and legality gaps, and limited access to non-verbal cues.
Nevertheless, online therapy has been proven to be effective in addressing day-to-day problems and some mental health conditions.