Why Online Therapy
The Problem: Yesterday’s Traditional Therapy
There are a number of problems or barriers with traditional face-to-face therapy:
Firstly, it can take a long time to find the appropriate licensed therapist/ counselor and can be an expensive process: there’s only so many ‘trial sessions’ someone can have before both their motivation and their bank balance begin to wobble.
Secondly, a lot of people, mostly for these very reasons, may just settle for the first affordable counselor they find, even if the relationship is not quite right. Of course, a lot of (if not all) people seeking therapy in the first place may be struggling with low self-esteem and confidence, so actually saying ‘no’ to someone, even a therapist who they don’t think can quite give them the help they are looking for, can be a huge mountain to climb in itself.
Then, you have the issue of travel- again costs, and the fear of leaving the house if it’s not a very good day and anxiety levels are high. All of the things it requires to find and begin regularly seeing a therapist, are often the things that someone needing one might just not have.
The Solution: Today’s Online Video and Text Therapy
Recent studies have shown that with the vast number of features available on through online therapy platform have contributed to the high-success rate and progression of patients treatment.
If something comes up thoughout the day, they don’t have to wait until the next session, they can text their therapist on the spot. Also, clients can look over their past conversations with therapist to recall the tools, motivation and advice given during the session.
Since there is less time wasted for travel, booking an appointment and waiting rooms, there is more time to allocate for cognitive- behavioral therapy homework tasks set by the counselor to make each online session even more effective.
With flexability of therapist/client’s schedules, the tools used in online counselling are constantly available so that the patient may begin to use the resources to progress personally outside of sessions that may be a key breakthrough in therapy.
The Research: Online Therapy Effectiveness
However, it seems for these very cases, modern technology has provided us with a solution: online therapy. A recent study (July 2013) in Zurich showed that of 62 patients with moderate depression, those treated with online counseling (patients were divided into two equal groups) had recovery rates even slightly better than those given face-to-face office-based therapy- 53% versus 50%. And in a follow-up three months later, 57% of the online therapy patients showed no further signs of depression, compared to a slightly waning 42% of those treated with in-person therapy.
This idea of the tools used in online counselling as a constantly available resource that the patient may begin to use to progress personally outside of sessions may be a key breakthrough in therapy.
The researchers noted a number of features of the online therapy that may have played a part in these differences, such as the ability for patients to re-read their communications with their therapist, and the motivation to devote more time to cognitive- behavioral therapy homework tasks set by the counselor to make each online session even more effective.
The Convenience of Online Video Therapy
It is simply the extreme flexibility and affordability of online counselling that best explains all its benefits.
When patients suffering from conditions such as depression, anxiety and various other socially debilitating disorders desperately need treatments that can work around their abilities rather than vice versa- this may be just what the doctor ordered.