Let’s face it: the internet has changed the world forever, and it’s unlikely that we’ll ever return to the likes of the world before the internet. For good and bad, this global communication network has changed the way that we communicate, the way that we perceive one another and the way that we can access information.
The effects of fthis have been far-reaching, and almost every area of commerce, medicine, and education has changed as a result. One of the areas that has been thoroughly affected by the internet in recent years is the therapeutic industry. With the advent of online counseling or e-therapy, the mental health landscape will never be the same again.
What is Online Therapy?
Online therapy is exactly what it sounds like- therapy that can be accessed through the internet. Online therapy provides people with a platform to seek help with their mental health issues that they may not have been able to access before.
There are several forms of online therapy.
- Video chat. The most common form of online therapy is video chat. Video chats can be accessed in different apps, such as Skype. Some companies offer the opportunity to have video chats directly from your browser.
- Messaging. Some companies offer online therapy through messages. Some companies provide online messaging services whereas others offer the chance to communicate through text message.
- Voice chat. Some companies prefer to offer their services to people in the form of voice chat which can be accessed over the phone or through voice calls on the internet.
- Chat rooms. Chat rooms are an interesting service that allow people to communicate with other people struggling with similar problems as well as a therapist in a communal chat room.
These are the most basic and common forms of online therapy.
How Is Online Therapy Changing the Mental Health Landscape?
There are a number of ways that online therapy has improved upon the mental health system. By providing service on the internet, therapy becomes more available to a wider variety of people.
- Online therapy allows people who struggle with physical disabilities to reach counselors online.
- E-therapy allows people who are judged or worried about being stigmatized to seek help without fearing any judgments or repercussions.
- Online therapy allows people who live in rural areas to find reliable access to qualified therapists.
- In some cases, online therapy provides a much more affordable alternative to traditional therapies.
Another unique benefit of many online therapy programs is the way that they offer mobile apps for their services. Smartphones and mobile devices have taken the world by storm and it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have at least some experience with these devices.
Producing apps for these devices allows people who might not have otherwise been exposed to therapy the chance to seek help for their problems. This makes therapy much more attractive to the younger generations who, in the past, have often been wary of seeking help for their mental health.
There’s little doubt that online therapy has changed the very foundations of therapy. There are a number of benefits that this branch of therapy can provide to people who may not have otherwise had access to mental health support. Hopefully this article has clarified some of the benefits that you could experience from starting an online therapy regime.
Karen Doll has been a Licensed Psychologist in the Twin Cities for 20 years, working in organizational consulting. She leverages her education in Clinical Psychology with her leadership assessment expertise in her practice. She is an executive coach focusing on helping people maximize their potential.