Prioritizing mental health is essential for leading a fulfilling and balanced life and contribute to overall well-being. Many mental health issues such as anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD and OCD are treatable with talking therapies. Receiving psychotherapy would help individuals to relieve from the mental health issues and gain the control of their lives back.
Considering it was 1986, when a form of online therapy was trialed, it is possible to say that online therapy has been an effective tool of therapy for a long while. It became even more popular with the Covid-19. It provides accessible mental health support with offering flexibility and making it easier to have regular psychotherapy sessions. It breaks geographical barriers and reduces the need to dedicate more time with commuting, helps financially and offer a more variety of therapists and therapy options.
What Is Online Therapy?
When we picture psychotherapy, what would come to your mind would be the client and a sofa. Therapy has been conducted in-person settings since it’s development in late 19th century. However, with the advances in technology, it is now possible to have online meetings as effective as in-person meeting.
Considering all the things individuals do online nowadays such as job search, job interviews, meeting new people, shopping and even GP appointments, it is no surprise that there is a growing interest for online therapy. Especially the generation below the age of 30 was born into the age of computers and internet and might find online meetings more comfortable than more traditional, in-person meetings.
Online therapy can be conducted in different forms such as video calls, audio calls, phone calls, chat sessions. Video calls offers personal interaction and non-verbal cues which is quite similar to in-person therapy. Phone-based therapy offers voice communication, catering to individuals with limited internet access. Email therapy allows clients to compose thoughts at their own pace. There are also online support groups which gather people seeking support in a similar topic and creating a community.
Online Therapy- Is it a good fit for me?
Online therapy fits into busy schedules:
Mental health issues are on the rise due to a combination of increased awareness and recognition, changing societal pressures, economic factors, lifestyle changes, past traumas, and environmental factors. If you are reading this page to seek mental health support, you are not alone. 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year. Anxiety disorders are the most common one which is not surprising thinking of our busy lifestyles, keeping up with the demands of our family commitments, social life and work demands.
Psychotherapy sessions usually take an hour weekly and would require commitment for a couple of months at least if not open-ended, long-term work. Although, individuals might want to commit to in-person meetings, it might not always be feasible to make time for psychotherapy regularly. Some individuals with business commitments, family commitments or parental responsibilities might not be able to make the commitment due to their busy lifestyles although they might want to seek therapy.
Online therapy is the right choice for people who prioritize regularity:
Having psychotherapy in-person would require better planning, more time and would be more financially costly which not everybody would be able to afford having it regularly.
Online therapy is convenient:
Nowadays, majority of the people would prefer hybrid or remote work options. Having online therapy would make therapy more accessible for professionals who work from home because it can even be scheduled right before after work, a lunch break or right after work. Many people who are required to work from office due to having pressuring jobs can schedule sessions at their convenience booking a conference room at work or from their cars. There is no need to cancel due to being busy or having a minor sickness or travelling.
Online therapy brings new opportunities and removes barriers:
Online therapy also makes it easier for individuals to pick the therapist of their choice and the right therapy approach for them without having geographical limitations or having to choose from psychotherapists near them.
Online Therapy and Accessibility
Considering the rise of mental health issues, making psychotherapy accessible becomes crucial. Online therapy eliminates geographical barriers to accessing mental health support.
It allows individuals to access therapy from anywhere with an internet connection. It might also help, if you feel uncomfortable visiting a therapist’s office due to stigma.
Online Therapy for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and OCD
Online therapy can be especially helpful for people who have anxiety issues, PTSD, depression and ODC.
Benefits of having Online Therapy for Anxiety:
If you struggle with high anxiety daily, panic disorder or social anxiety, you might find it more convenient to have sessions from home. Especially individuals struggling with panic disorder might find it difficult to commute and travel to different locations. People with social anxiety might struggle to meet a new therapist in-person. It must be already difficult to keep going to your daily life with having high anxiety and having psychotherapy sessions should not add more stress with planning and commuting.
Benefits of having Online Therapy for Depression:
People who have depression or low mood, it might feel difficult to commit to therapy because of lack of motivation or hopelessness coming with depression. Having online therapy might make it easier to start and begin the journey of recovery.
Benefits of having Online Therapy for PTSD:
People who experience PTSD might struggle with the reminders of the traumatic event and might have a tendency to avoid certain situations. It might feel safer to have therapy from home.
Benefits of having Online Therapy for OCD:
OCD could interfere with an individual’s life due to the intrusive thoughts and compulsions. It might become difficult to make plans or commute. Online therapy might help for the individuals with OCD to receive support easily.
How effective are online therapy sessions?
Scientific studies have shown that for many mental health issues such as anxiety, PTSD, OCD and depression, online therapy is as effective as in-person therapy. As a psychotherapist, it makes so much sense why they are equally effective. Whether you have therapy online or in-person, the therapy approach isn’t going to change, and all the work required for you to recover would remain the same. Online or in-person therapy is just the medium of delivery independent to the nature of the therapeutic work.
Safety and Privacy in Online Therapy
It’s an ethical responsibility for your therapist to choose the right method of delivering online therapy considering safety and privacy. Therapists pick the best ethically correct technological platforms for their online work by making sure that they meet the requirements of safety and privacy. If you have any concerns regarding online therapy, it is best to ask your therapist before booking the initial consultation session.
It is essential for the psychotherapists in the UK to stay informed about GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation) requirements and to regularly review and update their data protection practices. GDPR regulations shape how personal data is obtained, kept, and used. Therapists who provide digital services also get registered with the ICO and process data according to the suggested guidelines,
Tips for Making the Most of Online Therapy
If you are interested in having online therapy, you might want to consider the following suggestions to make the most out of it.
– Make sure that you can have a confidential, quiet space to have regular meetings.
– You do not need to sit in a chair and use a desk unless you would prefer such a set up. You can create a personal space and have therapy from where you find most comfortable as long as you can keep your confidentiality.
– Time it right! It would be better if you schedule your sessions to your most preferred time in the day considering your work commitments, parental responsibilities or even whether you are a morning or evening person.
– Commit to therapy until you reach your goals. Therapy requires at least a couple of months long commitment. It might sometimes require even longer commitment. Be open with your therapist if you have a specific goal or timeframe on your mind and discuss options.
– Choose the right therapist. Online therapy would make many therapy options accessible. Consider your options well and try to find the best fit. It might be also a good idea to work with a therapist who has experience in online therapy.
In the age of technology, it is not surprising that the demand for online therapy is on the rise. Online therapy makes accessing to therapy easier and helps with the daunting process of getting started to therapy. It is also convenient in terms of not having to commute, requiring less amount of time, and reduced financial cost.
Online therapy plays a pivotal role in breaking down barriers, making mental health support accessible to all and fostering effective, personalized well-being from the convenience of any location.
Take a positive step towards prioritizing your mental health by considering online therapy—a convenient and accessible option that provides tailored support from the comfort of your own space.