Technology has had a large impact on many industries, including that of mental healthcare. Online psychiatry and internet therapy may soon become more popular than more traditional in-person therapy, and recent studies indicate that the former is just as effective as the latter.
What Is Online Psychotherapy?
Online therapy is known by a few different names, including e-therapy, e-counseling, teletherapy, and cyber-counseling. Essentially, it means that a mental health provider delivers psychological advice and support over the internet. This can occur in several different ways: via email, video conferencing, phone calls, online chats, or messaging. These methods can be divided into two categories: in real-time (video conferencing, phone calls, and online chat) or with a time delay (emails and text messages).
The History Of Online Psychotherapy
Online self-help groups began emerging as early as 1982 in the form of group chats and online forums.
The growth of online counseling and mental health services spurred the founding of the International Society for Mental Health Online (ISMHO) in 1997 to explore and support mental health services in the digital age. The mission of the ISMHO is to promote the understanding, use, and development of online communication, information, and technology for the international mental health community.
The Effectiveness Of Online Psychiatry And CBT
Multiple studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of online therapy utilizing CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) for treating disorders like depression and anxiety, and the results are largely positive. It allows treatment of patients with many different psychiatric conditions.”
Online psychiatry has received support from a variety of sources, including the patients who use it. A study published by the World Journal of Psychiatry reports that videoconferencing-based telepsychiatry incurred high levels of satisfaction among patients.
Benefits Of Online Psychotherapy
Online counseling offers several potential advantages. For example, it’s often less expensive than traditional therapy. There are many reasons why this may be, one of which is that it eliminates the overhead associated with things like office rental and hiring costs. That savings to the provider may result in lower rates for clients.
Also, internet therapy is usually more efficient than face-to-face therapy. Travel time to sessions is eliminated, and with some platforms, including BetterHelp, quick messages may be exchanged as the need arises. In fact, research has shown that because online therapy requires 7.8 times less of a therapist's time than in-person treatment, an online psychologist can treat significantly more people online than they can in person.
Internet therapy breaks down barriers to accessing therapy in other ways, too.
Online therapy can reduce the discomfort that some may experience when sitting with a therapist in person. They may have fewer concerns about encountering others, particularly friends or colleagues, in an in-person waiting room.
Finally, studies indicate that some patients using an online platform for therapy may also adhere to therapy guidance better than patients who visit an in-person psychotherapist.
Comparison Of Online And In-Person Counseling
The research so far comparing the outcomes of internet therapy to in-person therapy is encouraging. While communicating in writing obscures paralinguistic features, and voice-only communication does not allow for visual cues, these are less critical than one might think to the success of online therapy. And teletherapy, including video, is a popular option as well. It would certainly seem that online therapy is a popular choice for many, whether as a stand-alone form of treatment or one to be used in conjunction with face-to-face therapy.
Limitations Of Internet Counseling
While online therapy can be beneficial to many people, it is not appropriate for everyone. The treatment of serious mental illness may not be appropriate for online therapy, and online therapy is also not recommended for individuals who are in crisis or unable to commit to staying safe.
There are certain things that electronic therapists just can't do. For example, making a firm diagnosis for a court order is just not possible, nor is prescribing any form of medication. Effective regulation of these online services, including where confidentiality concerns arise, is also still an open issue. However, it's clear that this new horizon in treating mental health issues is here to stay, and many anticipate the eventual removal of some of the limitations to online therapy.
BetterHelp’s licensed therapists have helped people with a variety of mental health disorders and concerns. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp therapists from people experiencing similar issues.
“Samuel is an extremely smart man and makes me feel like he actually cares about me and my mental health. He goes the extra mile in finding me local groups and clinics and refers me books to read. I still have a long way to go but I’m glad it’s with him. Thank you, Sam”
“Julie is by far more than just a therapist. She is a god sent angel. She knows and understands mental health inside and out. She also has a great ability to keep the session focused and hone me back in if needed. She shows the most amount of empathy and understand I have had the pleasure in having of a therapist. She gives homework appropriately and has so many tricks up her sleeves. I am honored to have her in my life.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Can BetterHelp Prescribe Medication?
Only medical doctors and psychiatrists can prescribe medications for treating mental illness. BetterHelp does not provide a platform to match with a medical doctor or psychiatrist who can prescribe medication.
Is It Better To See A Psychiatrist Or Psychologist?
It depends on your goals and intentions of seeing a mental health professional. If you are more interested in addressing a specific issue or area of concern, you would likely benefit from seeing a psychologist. If you are more interested in pursuing medication as treatment for a mental health disorder, it may be beneficial to start with a psychiatrist.
Is Online Therapy Safe?
What Are The Benefits Of Online Therapy?
Online therapy can be beneficial for many different reasons. First, it is convenient as you can attend therapy sessions in the comfort of your own home. Many online platforms offer affordable online therapy that is less expensive than in-person sessions, and sessions can conveniently fit into your schedule.
How Do You Get Therapy If You Can’t Afford It?
If you cannot currently afford therapy, BetterHelp does offer financial assistance to qualified patients in the form of sliding-scale fees. When you sign up, you will be asked to complete a survey that will ask for your monthly income to see if you are eligible
Is Online Therapy Cheaper?
Online therapy can often be cheaper than traditional in-person therapy, particularly if you do not have health insurance. BetterHelp offers a variety of options for online counseling ranging from $60 to $90 per week (billed every four weeks) but may be higher based on your preferences, location, and therapy availability. It's worth noting that online therapy is not billed by the hour but instead by the session.
What Are The Main Types Of Therapy?
Several common types of therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), psychodynamic therapy, and humanistic therapy. There are other types of therapy that do not fit into these categories, such as couples/family therapy, interpersonal therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
What Is BetterHelp Counseling?
Through live video sessions and text messaging, you can work with a therapist on any mental health challenges you may be facing, such as anxiety, depression, grief, relationship issues, etc. It may be more affordable than traditional in-person therapy and you can schedule appointments at a time that works best for you in the comfort of your own home.
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