Pros and Cons of Online Therapy

Is Online therapy for you? Making the decision to seek therapy is challenging. It can take someone years to be able to reach out for help. But making the decision might only be half the battle. Now, who do you talk to? And how?

For many, the ability to conduct your sessions online makes it seem all the more possible. It can be easier, more convenient and just more comfortable to talk from home.

Online therapy has opened the doors to more people having access to combat mental health issues. Here we will talk about the pros and cons of receiving counselling online.

Online Therapy

Technology has given us more ways to communicate than ever before, so why not try it for professional therapy.

Pros

We’ll start with the upside to online therapy

Convenient

This is a big pro. You can schedule your appointments to suit you and the therapist. If you work shifts or have other time commitments, it’s perfect for working around that.

You don’t need to leave work or find a sitter to make your appointment. The conventional way can eat up several hours of your time.

Depending on why you are seeking help, maybe leaving the house is actually a big concern for you. This means you can deal with your issues from the comfort of your own space.

It’s also perfect for first-timers, who may not be comfortable talking about personal issues or are still sceptical about therapy, in general. This is the perfect way to still remain comfortable and test the therapy waters.

Accessible

It means not having to go out in bad weather, which can add to a person’s stress levels. If mobility or transportation is a problem, then you don’t need to rely on someone to drive you around.

This is also the best solution for those living outside the city centre where the therapists are often located. Living in a rural area may mean less frequent trips into town.

Anonymity

The fear of being seen in a therapist’s office can bring about a lot of anxiety for some people. There can be a stigma about therapy that the individual is trying hard to avoid. It might be a big reason they are not seeking therapy at all.

The patient can speak freely, without worry of being overheard, of meeting someone they know of the feeling they are being judged. It also means that the person won’t feel there will be a bias against them based on race, sex or sexual orientation.

Cons

While it’s a great way to receive treatment, there can be some downsides, as well.

Technology Break Down

The internet can crash quickly. Ths can be due to a power outage, computer issues or even interference from bad weather. This can also be a disadvantage if the person’s computer isn’t working very well or they lack the necessary skills to troubleshoot any issues.

Less Intimate

There can be great breakthroughs made in intimate moments during a therapy session. The therapist is trained to read body and facial movements and is able to find a solution through this.

It can be more difficult for the therapist to read the situation and the clues. Important signals can be missed and it may require more sessions than in person. The session can seem a bit colder for each person, in particular with a bad connection, lie fuzzy picture or bad audio.

Trust

It can be difficult to build trust through an online therapy session. The client may have trouble warming up to the therapist. If there is no face to face meeting ahead of time, it can be difficult for the client to open up to a stranger online.

There can be a real disconnect between the patient and the therapist. Plus, the patient may be easily distracted by what is going on in the home. Children, pets, the phone or other chores can make it hard to focus on the session.

Under this category is also breaches of confidentiality. Someone may have access to the computer, may have the ability to access the information illegally and this can be a big concern for both parties.

Ethical Issues

There are also concerns about ethics. First of all, what happens if the therapist is trying to help someone with a problem they are not prepared to do. This can mean a misdiagnosis or missed signals which can be detrimental to the client.

Also, because it’s a new procedure, there may be people claiming to be professionals who are not. This is not uncommon in any area when people see an opportunity to make quick money.

It’s hard to know where the therapist is located and the laws and regulations can be difficult to enforce. They may say they are in the same city, but in fact, could be in a different country.

Not For Severe Cases

This method of therapy is not ideal for people dealing with depression, psychiatric illness or with suicidal tendencies. These cases need one to one counselling to be effective and ensure the patient’s safety.

There is also no way to allow for an emergency situation, should one arise. These cases need individual and intimate care. It’s very important the therapist be able to see the person to gauge how they are really doing.

Mental Health Matters

Ultimately, the decision is yours. You need to look at these pros and cons, plus consider your own. For many people seeking help and advice for relationships, anxiety or other issues, it can be the perfect solution.

Online therapy is growing all the time within the mental health community. It can be very convenient, affordable and effective for many people. Look at your own reasons why it will work for you.

It can be a big decision to get help for some of your ongoing issues, but therapists are there to help. They have their own specialities, so make sure you find the one that works best for you.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us today.