What is Teletherapy?
What is Online Therapy and what do I need to know?
Teletherapy, often referred to as online therapy or telehealth, is a mode of delivering mental health services, counseling, or psychotherapy remotely, typically through the use of digital communication technologies.
In my practice, teletherapy encompasses two forms of communication, which include video and phone calls, depending on your preferences.
In recent years, teletherapy has gained significant recognition and popularity as a legitimate and effective method for providing mental health services. The transformation of therapy from in-person sessions to digital platforms was initially met with skepticism, but research and experience have demonstrated that online therapy is, in many cases, as effective as traditional, face-to-face psychotherapy. This transformation is not just a response to the technological evolution; it reflects changing demands and needs in mental healthcare.
Things to Consider with Teletherapy and Why it Works
Accessibility and Convenience: Online therapy offers a level of accessibility and convenience that in-person therapy cannot match. It eliminates the need for travel, allowing individuals to receive therapy from the comfort of their own homes. This accessibility is particularly vital for those in rural or remote areas, individuals with physical disabilities, or anyone facing mobility or transportation issues.
Authentic Human Connection: The therapeutic relationship is the cornerstone of successful therapy. Regardless of whether the interaction happens in person or through a screen, the authenticity, empathy, and rapport between the therapist and the client remain crucial. Genuine emotions, thoughts, and intentions of both parties can still be conveyed and perceived, in a virtual setting.
Reduced Stigma: Teletherapy can help reduce the stigma often associated with mental health treatment. Many people who might be reluctant to attend therapy in person find it easier to access and engage with online therapy services. This increased comfort can lead to more people seeking the help they need.
Increased Therapist Pool: Teletherapy allows clients to choose from a broader pool of therapists. This means they can find a mental health professional who is the best fit for their unique needs, whether it's someone with specific expertise, a particular cultural background, or a certain therapy style.
Consistency: Teletherapy can be more consistent in terms of appointment scheduling. It is less likely to be disrupted by external factors like bad weather, traffic, or personal time constraints.
Effectiveness: Studies have shown that Teletherapy is as effective as in-person psychotherapy for a variety of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety. Therapists can still provide evidence-based treatments and interventions via teletherapy, while ensuring quality care.
Changing Demands: As society evolves and becomes even more digitally oriented, there is a growing demand for teletherapy services. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this shift, forcing both therapists and clients to adapt to online platforms. The trend towards teletherapy is likely to continue, reflecting the changing demands of a society that values accessibility, flexibility, and personalization.
A few years ago I wouldn't have imagined working virtually. I followed with what my clients were asking for and here I am. What was most surprising to me about online therapy is that not only is it just as effective as in-person, but real, raw, authentic emotional communication can transcend the digital divide. I've found teletherapy continues to uphold the core principles of genuine human connection, empathy, and trust between myself and my client. Moreover, the common feedback on why it is a client's preference is due to its convenience, accessibility, and adaptability.
I look forward to continuing to adapt in an effort to meet changing and evolving client needs!