Should You Go To A Skype Therapist? Here Are The Pros And Cons
According to the American Psychological Association, the popularity of online therapy has skyrocketed since the 2020 pandemic since the beginning of the pandemic, with more and more people preferring digital interventions via Skype due to convenience and a broader range of options. However, this trend leads some people to question whether receiving high-quality care from afar is possible. There can be benefits and downsides to visiting with an online therapist via Skype or another platform. Whether or not this option is a good fit likely depends on your preferences and needs.
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of going to a Skype therapist to help you determine if Skype therapy is right for you.
What Is A Skype Therapist?
Skype is a digital video, audio, and text messaging platform individuals and mental health professionals use to connect remotely via the web. These professionals may be known as “Skype therapists.” Some therapists offer Skype counseling in addition to in-person therapy sessions.
There can be benefits to attending therapy online, with evidence from clinical trials showing that online Skype therapy can be just as effective as in-person care. These results are promising, especially given that online therapy, particularly video therapy, has become the “new normal” for many people following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then, there has been much research into the effectiveness of online therapy as an intervention for a variety of mental health conditions. It may help to remember that you do not need to be diagnosed with a mental health condition to benefit from therapy. It can also serve as preventative care and a tool for promoting general mental wellness.
In response to the growing need for mental healthcare providers able to deliver treatment to their clients remotely, the U.S. federal government relaxed previous restrictions that required therapists to be registered in the same state as their patients.
Pros Of Skype Therapy: Is A Skype Therapist Right For You?
Online therapy is helping to reduce barriers to treatment for marginalized groups by making therapy available from internet-connected devices. A meta-analysis from 2020 found that online CBT therapy was at least as effective as, if not more so, traditional in-person sessions. Below is a list of more potential benefits of attending therapy online via video chat.
A 2021 study on the cost-effectiveness of online therapy for juveniles with obsessive-compulsive disorder concluded that online therapy with in-person follow-ups for non-responders was just as effective as in-person sessions, and more affordable.
Also, reviews have found that attending therapy online can be more cost-effective than in-person sessions. With online therapy, you may have a greater selection of professionals to choose from because you are less limited by location. As a result, it may be easier to find a therapist in your price range who also specializes in what you are looking for.
Another reason why online therapy is sometimes more affordable is that it often eliminates the need for travel. Some people must travel great distances to reach mental health care providers, especially if they live in a rural area or require a specialist. Fewer travel costs and less time spent on travel can reduce the financial burden of attending therapy.
Finally, it may also be true that online therapy can eliminate travel time and time spent in the waiting room, therefore allowing clients to take less time off work to attend sessions. Not having to take time off work or hire a babysitter to be able to attend therapy can make mental health care more convenient.
Not all therapists are the same. Different types of therapists may specialize in different fields of study and therapeutic approaches. Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectal behavioral therapy are two of the most popular forms of talk therapy, but they may not be right for everyone. Some therapists may specialize in treating various disorders, such as phobias or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Also, some people may need specialized care for conditions that require targeted and expert support. Likewise, minorities, such as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, may also face barriers to treatment, such as finding a culturally competent therapist. With online therapy, you can select a much larger variety of therapists to find someone with experience in your specific areas of concern.
For many, attending therapy from home is more comfortable and convenient than in-person care. This could be true for people who may have personal concerns about going to in-person sessions or a mental health condition that makes it difficult to leave the house, or simply prefer to attend sessions from home. For people living with physical limitations and disabilities., attending online therapy could be a huge benefit.
With online therapy, you can get the mental health care you deserve, even from your couch while you are in your pajamas. Seeing your home environment could even give your therapist greater insight into your life and who you are as a person.
Being able to control when, where, and how you attend sessions can make the process more comfortable and effective. Also, some people may be less likely to drop out of therapy if online sessions are an option.
Cons Of Online Therapy
Online therapy may not be the right solution for every patient. Some people with serious mental health conditions, such as severe depression or schizophrenia, may require in-person sessions. Online therapists may not be comfortable offering online therapy to a prospective client if they believe it is not in the client’s best interests.
Below are a few of factors that may determine whether or not online therapy is the right choice for you.
Have you attended therapy before? If you have, reflecting on what you did or did not like about therapy may help you determine if virtual therapy is the right choice for you. You may want to consider factors such as what the wait times were like and how that affected you, as well as how important face-to-face nonverbal communication is for you to feel comfortable with a therapist.
Type Of Therapy
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, can be just as effective online versus in -person. However, some specific types of therapy require you to go to a location to attend. An example could be if you want to attend animal therapy, such as equestrian therapy, or drama therapy where you act out skits with a group.
While online therapy typically offers more convenience than in-person therapy, it can also be tempting to give up. Some people may be in denial or unaware of the severity of their condition. In these cases, attending therapy in-person can be beneficial. Willingness to participate in the therapeutic process often makes a huge difference in the effectiveness of therapy.
Similarly, it is generally easier to end a video call with a click of a button than it is to physically walk out of an in-person session. For this reason, attending in-person sessions may be more beneficial for certain patients people by encouraging them to continue with treatment. In-person therapy may also help some people who need to get out of the house and change their environment from time to time.
How To Find A Therapist Online
If you decide to pursue therapy over Skype or another online platform, you will likely start by filling out a questionnaire that can help you match with a therapist who has experience in your specific areas of concern. When searching for an online therapist, the best way to be sure your therapist has the correct qualifications, licensing, and experience may be to use an established online therapy platform like BetterHelp.
When you sign up for BetterHelp, you will be asked to answer questions to determine what your needs and goals are for therapy. Usually, with BetterHelp, within 48 hours you will usually be matched with a licensed therapist within 48 hours. Also, you can always switch to a different therapist if the first one is not a good match until you find a good fit.
As discussed above, a Skype therapist may be a more convenient option for some people than in-person therapy sessions. You can connect with a therapist via audio, video, or live chat at a time that works for you. Also, research shows that online therapy is effective for a variety of mental health conditions. Fortunately, the effectiveness of online therapy has been found by researchers to be the same as in-person. A literature review article from 2017 found that online CBT therapy can be an effective treatment for a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, phobias, addictions, and OCD.
Attending therapy online via video calls or live chat, audio, or text messaging can be an effective way to treat mental health conditions, improve mental health, and learn to venture through life challenges. However, Skype therapy may not be for everyone, particularly those whose needs are severe or specific enough to warrant in-person care. If you believe online therapy may be a good fit, you may benefit from connecting with a licensed therapist at BetterHelp. With BetterHelp, you can be matched with a therapist who has experience helping people overcome the concerns you’re facing. Take the first step toward connecting with an online therapist and reach out to BetterHelp today. You can get matched with an experienced therapist online within 48 hours with online therapy platforms like BetterHelp.
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