Online therapy has been on the rise and many people, especially the new generation, prefer it to the traditional method of treatment. Studies suggest that 20% of psychotherapists offer a form of online or virtual service. While online therapy is popular, it carries different advantages and disadvantages. Below are the pros and cons of web-based therapy, which will help you decide whether or not it is a feasible option.
The advantages of online therapy
Did you know that most people who receive the recommendation to seek a mental health physician do not go ahead with it? While most people want to get well, some factors cause them to evade treatment. These include fear and embarrassment and judgment from friends, family, or the community. Online therapy can be a discreet way in which many people, who would otherwise abandon therapy sessions, can find help.
- Accessible to those in remote areas
The rise of online therapy is a savior to those living in hard-to-access areas or those who live far from health facilities. A smartphone or desktop is all you need to get the help you need when you need it.
- It accommodates the disabled or house-bound
Mental disorders are a global tragedy, and everyone needs to access to support. Online platforms make mental health services accessible to those who have limited mobility. It is also a convenient way to get help as you can schedule for sessions at times that suit you best.
- They act as educational tools
Most web-based platforms offer a wealth of information on psychological health, allowing people to learn as much as they need to. Even those who are mentally well can benefit from the information on online platforms to better their mental health.
Additionally, most online therapy treatments are covered by health insurance as per state requirements. If you are not covered, therapists may offer you services at a lower price.
Disadvantages of online therapy
- Concerns about the confidentiality of information
Patients who receive online treatment worry about the privacy of the information they transmit via online sources. Personal data may be subject to hacks and leaks.
- Inability to respond to crises
Online therapists cannot respond fast to crisis situations like when a patient is suicidal. Such cases can end tragically as the therapist is unable to provide direct and timely assistance to the patient. This mode of treatment may, therefore, be unsuitable for people with severe mental disorders.
- Lack of vital information from patients
Body language is a huge determinant of the kind of treatment a patient receives. Your facial expressions and vocal signals serve as cues for the therapist to predict how you feel, your thoughts, and mood. Online sessions thus lack the real-life interactions needed to assess a patient’s condition better.
The contribution of online therapy in solving the mental health problem cannot be undermined. There is, however, the need to proceed with caution. Before seeking treatment from a web-based platform, check that they meet licensing requirements and treatment guidelines. Ensure your provider has the necessary experience and qualifications.