One of the scariest things about starting anything new is having to physically walk into a building and into an office where you have never been before and meet people you don’t know.
When the office in that building is some form of Therapist, and you suspect that you may be about to disclose some of your most intimate and personal thoughts and secrets, the anxiety levels soar through the roof.
If you’re attending because you suffer from anxiety, it’s surprising you can even manage to put one foot in front of the other.
As the Covid pandemic has spread around the world over the last two to three years and face-to-face meetings have become impossible during lockdowns, the movement to online therapy sessions has had the benefit of reducing that fear and anxiety related to visiting a therapist.
Seeking help for mental health issues, big or small, still carries the stigma that it is only for crazy people, or at least for those who are too weak to deal with their personal issues.
Seeking help, for anything, but particularly your mental health is a sign of strength and courage!
There are at least seven benefits of online therapy.
If you are going to spill your guts about your personal feelings and problems, being able to do that in the comfort of your own home, with your pet snuggled up next to you, can make the exercise much less daunting.
Provided you have an internet-capable device, all transport issues are eliminated.
Because you don’t have to travel to get to your therapist, the appointment is going to take less time out of your busy day.
But because the therapist may also be working from home, they can be far more flexible with when they work. Therefore, you can often organize an appointment time that doesn’t interfere with your working day, or other activities.
What about an early morning appointment before you leave for work, or in the evening after dinner, or even on the weekend while the rest of the family have left home for their normal weekend adventures.
There’s no fear of someone you know seeing you walk into the therapist’s office and starting to spread rumors about how you must be going crazy.
With online encryption providing security, you can be sure you are meeting your therapist in a safe place.
4. Home Comforts
Opening up to a stranger is always going to be a challenge but being able to choose your own location for the appointment will make give you some feelings of comfort. The location might be your lounge or bedroom, or maybe in your car parked at a favorite spot.
If the online session is not via a video link, you could still be in your pajamas or wearing your best cozy comfort closing instead of one of your ‘going into town’ outfits.
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This is one of the major barriers stopping many people from getting the help they desperately need.
Online therapy tends to be less expensive than in-person meetings.
When the therapy is via chat or through receiving recorded vlogs or podcasts, the costs can be even lower.
6. Social Distancing
Although social distancing isn’t quite the issue it was previously, it is still a risk every time you mingle with other people.
Despite being vaccinated, you could still catch Covid, and while it has mild symptoms for some, for others it has caused long-term issues, and if you have underlying conditions, it is still a potential life-threatening risk.
Online therapy allows you to avoid that risk, so that your therapy session can deal with you and your issues without you worrying about catching Covid on the way to or from the session.
7. Greater Insights
When you have your therapy session at home via video, the therapist gets to see you in your own environment and will get a better feel for you faster than meeting in the therapists’ professional environment.
This can sometimes enable greater insights for the therapist which can be beneficial in terms of helping the client with their issues.
Does Online Therapy Work?
No form of therapy has a pass or fail result, whether in-person or online.
It is felt that to truly understand someone you need to be able to see their non-visual communication and that even meetings via video is still impersonal.
However, studies have shown that online therapy is effective with mental health issues. Online cognitive behavioral therapy has been found in studies to be equally as effective as a face-to-face treatment for major depression, panic, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorders.