Why Online Psychotherapy Is Becoming So Popular
People love to have options. Being able to make a choice, even if just the lesser of two evils, allows us to feel at least somewhat in control and a little less at the mercy of forces we can't understand. When it comes to mental health issues, a patient shouldn't have to be stuck with one particular therapist only because his insurance isn't accepted by anyone else, or due to a lack of licensed counselors near his geographical location. Even if a therapist is eminently qualified, he and a particular patient may simply not be capable of meaningful communication for any of a variety of reasons, or the patient may require expertise in an area the therapist is not experienced in. For these reasons, as well as others, more and more people are turning to online psychotherapy as an alternative.
The Benefits of Online Psychotherapy
While much of the stigma formerly attached to mental health issues such as depression and PTSD has been erased, there are still a number of conditions which will make those affected hesitate before seeking help. Few people will want drug addiction or a history of sexual abuse to become public knowledge, and a therapist's assurance of professional confidentiality might seem purely theoretical in such a situation.
Apart from billing information, there is no necessity of sharing any personal information with an online service, while there is usually a Chinese wall between the information a therapist and referral service respectively have access to. This brings professional assistance within the reach of many who would otherwise be forced to face their problems alone.
A therapist working out of an office practice can see perhaps a maximum of eight to ten patients per day. In contrast, an online counselor offering therapy by text - which has indeed been proven to be an effective therapeutic modality - can potentially be in communication with several patients simultaneously.
Since email or text chat doesn't necessarily require real-time responses, an online therapist can take his time reviewing his notes and previous conversations before composing an answer. There's no wasted productivity due to canceled appointments or seeing patients who aren't currently ready to discuss their issues with complete frankness. Additionally, online therapists have no need to rent commercial space, while counselors who are semi-retired or otherwise prefer to work part time can continue to practice. All of these factors combine to lower the cost of online therapy.
Not every person is able to attend weekly counseling sessions in an office environment, for reasons ranging from work to difficulty traveling. Online therapy, on the other hand, can take place in the form of scheduled video conferences at any time, possible to attend from anywhere the internet can be accessed from, if therapy by text doesn't seem to be adequate.
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Online psychotherapy services take great care to vet those working through them, to ensure that all therapists are indeed qualified and licensed to the standards mandated by law. Research has indicated that online therapy can be just as effective as counseling in a traditional setting. Telepsychiatry now makes essential care much easier to access than ever before.