Hi Friend, Are you curious if Online Therapy actually works? This is a great question to consider. Most people reading this, will likely find the article when the concept of “online therapy” feels new; but in all honesty online therapy has been in practice for over 24 years ago back in 1995. This time in history also aligns nicely with the general first wave of “the internet” becoming more mainstream.
So let’s talk more about the question “does online therapy actually work”? In order to answer the question it’s a good idea to be clear about what the term and characteristics of what “working” will include.
What Counts as a Therapy Session Actually Working:
For online therapy (or in-person therapy) to work, a client will expect certain things to be in place during and after the session. The basic expectations include:
-The session to be on time.
-The Therapist to be present and focused.
-The Therapist to be in a quiet location.
-Ease of connection via phone or video conference
-To learn tools and coping skills to reduce unwanted symptoms
-To get a chance to talk about the issue that is creating the unwanted symptoms
-To feel safe and respected in the session
-To gain education and insight for any symptoms or possible diagnostics for the clients mental health
Online Therapy and Client Expectations
Now that we have established the basic expectations that clients expect in a therapy session, let’s apply the expectations to the different methods of online therapy to see how they can work together.
Online therapy has two primary ways that sessions will be conducted. One method is over the phone, this is normally called telephonic therapy but is also under the umbrella of online therapy. The other style of online therapy is secure video conferencing. This method is similar to Skype and Zoom video conferencing.
The Reason Client’s Love Online Therapy
If we refer back to our previous list of client expectations above, it should be easy to see that all of the client expectations would be met just-the-same via phone or video conference. And furthermore, it may be a more convenient to:
-Have access to therapy support from home or wherever the client is
-To avoid travel time to and from sessions
-To not have to wait in the waiting room with strangers
-Have access for affordable sessions
Can Online Therapy Help?
The answer is yes! Of course there is still a time and a place for in-person therapy sessions for anyone who prefers to go to an in-person session. The online therapy model will work better with clients based on the level of symptom intensity the client feels and it will also be important to account for client’s who experience psychosis. For client’s experiencing intense psychosis in-person therapy may be best.
Does Online Therapy Work?
Yes, it does work. It’s important to understand that therapy is a tool that helps client’s reduce unwanted mental health symptoms but it’s still the client “driving”the treatment “car”. The client and the therapist will work together to support the client to have emotional clarity and psychoeducation in session. Clarity and psychoeducation helps client’s understand the issue they would like to improve better. The online therapy session will also include recommendations and suggestions for client’s to practice after the session is over. Online therapy works, yes. But, online therapy works best when the client feels ready and safe to work on resolving the emotional goal, is open to suggestion and therapeutic recommendations, and is willing to make time to practice the recommended coping tools.
Glow in. Glow Out.
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