Online therapy, often referred also as e-counseling, cyber-counseling, or teletherapy, entails offering support and mental health services through the Internet. These services can be provided through text messaging, online chat, Internet phone, email, or video conferencing. Online therapy or online counseling happens in real-time, like in text messaging or phone conversations, or it can be somewhat delayed, such as using email messaging. Online therapy has its boundaries, but it is increasingly becoming a vital resource for a mounting number of individuals.
Fundamental instruments for effective online therapy are telephone, email, instant messages, chats, and video conferencing. Although mobile applications have also gained popularity, these methods can be accessed through a laptop or desktop computer.
Counselors and therapists who do their jobs face-to-face have various licenses and credentials, which goes the same way for online therapists, whose training and credentials also differ. Some web pages guarantee a convenient and fast way to getting an online therapy license, but becoming one takes equal training and education as becoming a licensed face-to-face therapist.
Conversely, the actual online therapy practice is very challenging to manage since therapists can do it from anywhere across the globe, making it hard to implement state guidelines that regulate training, the scope of practice, and education.
Ethics And Guidelines Of Online Therapy
The APA or American Psychological Association provides a suitable ethical structure for utilizing technology in the field of mental health. These guidelines include the minimum practices and criteria needed for ethical online therapy.
- Operate within the extent of your practice. Therapists must only provide skills and services that they are qualified to offer. If you divulge a matter to your therapist that he is not trained to manage, he must endorse you to another therapist or mental health professional rather than trying to address it himself.
- Have adequate knowledge of technology. This would involve using tools needed to provide therapy, such as psychotherapy online, and methods to guarantee that patient information remains safe and confidential.
- Follow pertinent guidelines and regulations. Various states have various regulations and policies that oversee virtual medical services. It will depend on your therapist to follow and be aware of the laws for their corresponding state and location. For instance, in the United States, online people who have gotten specific training and have completed the necessary licensing course are legitimately permitted to call them ‘psychologists.’
- Pursue knowledge, training, and management. To offer the most suitable care possible, numerous states in America require therapists to be updated with the newest practices and studies. This can entail joining informal and formal workshops and training and pursue online or in-person clinical management when necessary.
Studies suggest that doing therapy online is equally effective as conventional in-person therapy. In one particular study, experts revealed that online CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy could successfully treat anxiety, emotional distress, and depression when integrated with clinical care.
Pieces of evidence even showed that online therapy might be more potent than face-to-face therapy. An analysis of 20 studies revealed that CBT done online was more successful than face-to-face CBT at decreasing the level intensity of depression.
Online therapy does present some difficulties, but it has gotten support from many patients who have used online mental health management. In an analysis of studies publicized in the World Journal Of Psychiatry, clients getting mental health treatment using video conferencing claimed high satisfaction levels.
Online Therapy Benefits
Here are among the most common reasons why online therapy has become a popular choice for many individuals who seek mental health help.
- With online therapy, you will have no worries about your colleagues from work or community knowing about your mental health concerns. Confidentiality is one of the biggest pros of online therapy, and you can schedule an appointment at the comfort of your own home.
- Cost-Effectiveness. Online therapy gets rid of most of the overhead costs related to location, permitting therapists to provide more cost-effective treatment choices. And remember that there is no charge associated with ‘travel’ or ‘commute’ to your therapy appointments.
- Ease And Comfort. Online therapy makes it easier for you to choose sessions that match your lifestyle. You can schedule appointments around your family and work responsibilities.
- There are numerous tangible limitations to receiving therapy. For instance, maybe you are residing in a remote location. Or you cannot access proper transportation, which means that you might need to depend on other family members or friends to get around. But with access to technology, anyone who has an Internet connection can take advantage of therapy without transportation problems.
Studies increasingly indicate that online therapy is a very effective choice, although it does not mean that it is perfect for everyone. More major mental conditions, such as schizophrenia, depression, and substance abuse, require more serious treatment regimens.
Talk to your primary physician about online therapy – if it works for your unique situation or if you must only turn to it as a complement to more conventional management options. If you believe that online therapy could work for you, study some web pages and applications that are accessible to identify which option is perfect for your budget and your needs.