The great thing about this day and age is how unstigmatized the discussion surrounding mental health has become. We have learned that investing in our mental health is vital to our overall well-being. Talking to a therapist is simply a chance to learn more about ourselves and how we can overcome trauma or any negative behavioral patterns we have developed over time. Of course, therapy is still a luxury for some, which is why mental health professionals strived to become available online and provide help to people in various circumstances around the world.
Online therapy is relatively new to some people and therefore, in this guide, we go over the pros and cons so you can decide if it is right for you.
Online Therapy is More Affordable
The main advantage of online therapy is that it doesn’t take as great a financial toll on you as an in-person session might. Not everyone can afford to travel to a therapist’s office or clinic, let alone pay for the appointment. In this case, opting for online therapy is a great opportunity, and you won’t have to deal with the additional expenses associated with the commute. Furthermore, some of the greatest virtual counseling services are the most affordable. Meaning, the price has no direct correlation to the quality and professionalism. You can simply choose an online therapist based on who you can afford. And you can verify their degrees while checking recommendations with an online search or by reading client reviews.
Convenient Access from any Location
Another convenience of online therapy is that it is easily accessible worldwide. No matter where you are, almost everyone can gain access to the internet and sign up for an online session. All you need to do is choose which platform you’d like to use. You can determine the best options for online therapy based on your own needs, budget, and resources. When it comes to virtual counseling, you can even narrow down your choices based on the type of therapy you seek, whether you’re searching for teen counseling and family therapy, or sessions specific to your diagnoses like OCD counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy.
Remote Sessions Enhance Comfort
Just like working from home has its perks, remote therapy can be more comforting for the patient when they are surrounded by their belongings. People feel safer in their own homes, which helps them relax. This relaxed state makes them more likely to open up and have a successful meeting. Unfamiliar surroundings, like a doctor’s office, are known to clamp people up, especially those suffering from anxiety.
Ongoing Effective Communication
With today’s technology making everyone a text, email, or phone call away, communication between the therapist and their patient is drastically improved. Ongoing communication makes it easier for the patient to reach out whenever they’re having an episode or struggling with an assignment they were given. Moreover, online resources can remove language barriers, and even the therapist will find it easier to contact the patient regarding urgent matters. Most significantly, the flexibility offered with messaging means you won’t have to schedule an appointment to get something off your chest or wait for feedback.
Unstable Internet Blocks Access
There are very few disadvantages to online counseling, however, there are some things you need to be made aware of. For one, an unstable or poor internet connection will derail your therapy session. You’ll need to have internet access to sign up and be able to have quality virtual sessions with your counselor.
The Possibility of Location Restrictions
While most online therapy sites cater to everyone around the world, your location could be preventing access to them. Make sure you know the regulations of your state beforehand. Some don’t allow out-of-state therapists to work in the region, in which case, you’ll need to check whether they’re licensed to treat patients in your area.
Not Suitable for Every Diagnosis
As mentioned above, one of the pros is that there are different types of counseling based on diagnoses. However, the downside to online counseling is that it’s not always suitable for certain health concerns. Some conditions require hands-on approaches to healing and are insufficient when limited to the online structure. Depending on your treatment plan, a therapist will inform you if in-person visits are better to provide you with adequate help.
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As you can see, the pros of online therapy significantly outweigh the cons. As long as you can seek adequate help through a virtual platform, there’s no reason why this won’t work for you. In addition, you can tailor the services to suit your needs. The final tip, however, is to understand what your insurance covers when determining your finances as online counseling may receive limited coverage.