One of the blessings in online life is the ready accessibility of competent therapists. They can streamline your efforts to solve problems by preventing time- and gas-guzzling commutes. That gives you more time for working together and for effecting the solutions to problems that once seemed to defy you or your loved ones. The bonus us that you won’t need to fear that someone you know will see you entering the office. Your dignity and privacy will be better off for the online interactions with your therapist.
Flexibility and confidentiality are one thing, and the competence of online therapists another. How can you be sure that a person who never shares air space with you is reliable and trustworthy? Read on to learn how to choose a competent mental health professional. They are increasingly available in this age of telehealth options.
Reputable therapists of any sort provide proof of their board certification plus their membership in peer organizations upon request. Some provide that information readily at their websites. You can also check a specific therapist’s reputation with local licensing agencies. Far from being scammed by the claims of “I’m a therapist,” you are in control of verifying the authenticity of a therapist’s qualifications. Making those verifications is paramount. Do not assume anything because that can certainly make you vulnerable to scams. Seeing or hearing about claims of authenticity are not evidence of it. Verifying facts is necessary.
The experience of in-office therapy is a bit different from online treatment. Neither the client nor the therapist communicating via digital devices will be able to observe the subtleties of changed breathing, posture, body language or facial expressions in moments of tension or relief. Those details reveal a lot of information about how a client is progressing, or failing to progress.
There are compensatory realities in online psychotherapy services, though. The counselors work within structured guidelines that minimize the client’s opportunities for slipping backwards in the effort to resolve problems. Videoed conversations can indicate facial expressions and some body language, if they are used. The safety of not actually being in the therapist’s airspace can also allow a client to let down their guard, to share some personal details that they might otherwise conceal in a personal encounter. This is likely the single largest benefit that entice people to sign up for online counseling.
Another obvious benefit that countless people point out is the cost. Whereas traditional therapy can cost a few hundred dollars per session, online therapy generally costs less than $200 per month. Keep in mind this is for unlimited therapy – via chat, phone and/or video. In an age where the socio-economic gap keeps on growing, price continues to play a major role in potential customers’ decisions.
Obviously, there are a multitude of benefits and downsides to online therapy. Yes, traditional in-office therapy is still dominating force within the client-patient relationship world, however online therapy is making serious headway, precisely due the benefits listed above (and many others). It is for this reason why millions of people have started using it. Yet, it remains to be seen if it can truly compete with in-office therapy.
Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.