The Advantages of Online Therapy Using Video – A Personal Perspective of an Experienced Psychotherapist
Online therapy, also known as teletherapy or e-therapy, has been growing in popularity in recent years as technology continues to advance and make it easier for individuals to access mental health care. In this article, we will be discussing the advantages of online therapy using video from a personal perspective of an experienced psychotherapist.
The Convenience of Online Therapy
One of the biggest advantages of online therapy is the convenience it provides. For individuals who may not live near a mental health professional, online therapy offers the opportunity to access therapy from the comfort of their own home. This can be especially beneficial for those with mobility or transportation issues, or for those who prefer to receive therapy in a familiar and safe environment.
Another aspect of the convenience of online therapy is the flexibility it offers with scheduling. Traditional therapy appointments may only be available during office hours, which can be difficult for individuals with work or family commitments. With online therapy, individuals have the ability to schedule appointments outside of traditional office hours and can receive therapy at a time that is most convenient for them.
Increased Accessibility to Therapy
Online therapy also offers increased accessibility to therapy for individuals who may not have otherwise sought out treatment. This can include individuals who may live in rural or remote areas, or those who may feel embarrassed or ashamed about seeking help for their mental health. With online therapy, these individuals can access therapy from a location where they feel safe and secure.
Additionally, online therapy can also provide a more affordable option for individuals who may not have insurance or may not be able to afford the cost of traditional therapy. With online therapy, individuals can often pay a flat fee for each session, rather than paying a weekly or monthly rate as they would with traditional therapy.
Improved Privacy and Confidentiality
Online therapy also offers some improved privacy and confidentiality for individuals who may be concerned about others knowing about their therapy sessions. With online therapy, individuals can receive therapy in a confidential and secure online environment, without the risk of others finding out. This can be especially important for those who may be in a position of public scrutiny, such as celebrities or political figures.
The Effectiveness of Online Therapy
Despite the many advantages of online therapy, some individuals may still be skeptical about its effectiveness. However, research has shown that online therapy can be just as effective as traditional in-person therapy, with the added benefits of convenience, accessibility, and privacy.
In a study conducted by the University of Zurich, researchers found that individuals who received therapy through an online platform reported the same level of satisfaction and improvement as those who received therapy in person. The study also found that online therapy was especially effective for individuals who were receiving therapy for anxiety or depression.
Personal Perspective of an Experienced Psychotherapist
As an experienced psychotherapist, I have been utilizing online therapy in my practice for more than eleven years as a full-time online therapist and have seen the many benefits it offers to my clients. Not only does it allow for more convenient and accessible therapy for my clients, but it also provides a safe and secure environment for them to receive treatment.
In my personal experience, I have found that online therapy can be just as effective as traditional in-person therapy. The ability to use video technology allows me to build a strong therapeutic relationship with my clients, just as I would in an in-person therapy session. Additionally, the convenience and privacy that online therapy offers has allowed me to reach a wider range of individuals who may not have otherwise sought out therapy.
The Disadvantages of Online Therapy
As a full-time practicing online therapist, I have seen the rise of online therapy using video in recent years. While this method of therapy offers some benefits, it also has its share of disadvantages that can be detrimental to the therapy process. I will go over some of these disadvantages from a personal perspective, drawing from my experience as a full-time online therapist with over ten years of experience and that includes the experiences of my clients.
Lack of Physical Connection
One of the primary disadvantages of online therapy using video is the lack of physical connection between the therapist and the client. In traditional in-person therapy, there is a strong connection established through nonverbal cues such as body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. This connection is essential for some people and building trust and rapport between the therapist and client, which is critical for effective therapy. Some people struggle without the in-person closeness to engage in the therapy process.
In online therapy, this connection is lost, and clients often feel a sense of disconnection and distance from the therapist. This can make it more difficult for clients to open up and fully engage in the therapy process. Additionally, online therapy can be impersonal and may not provide the same level of comfort and support as in-person therapy.
Another disadvantage of online therapy using video is the potential for technical difficulties. Technical difficulties can disrupt the therapy session, causing frustration and interrupting the flow of the session. These difficulties can range from poor internet connectivity, to technical issues with the video platform being used.
In addition, clients may not have access to the necessary technology to participate in online therapy. This can be particularly challenging for older clients who may not be comfortable with technology or may not have access to a computer or internet connection.
Limited Therapeutic Interventions
Online therapy using video also limits the range of therapeutic interventions that can be used in therapy. Some therapeutic techniques require the physical presence of the therapist and cannot be done over video. For example, certain forms of body-centered therapies, such as Somatic Experiencing, require the therapist to be physically present to guide clients through physical exercises and movements.
In online therapy, the therapist is limited to using talk-based interventions and may not be able to provide the same level of support and guidance as in-person therapy. This can result in a less effective therapy experience for clients and may not provide the best outcomes.
Privacy and Confidentiality Concerns
In addition, there is the potential for third-party intervention, such as family members or coworkers overhearing the therapy session. This can result in a loss of privacy and confidentiality, which is critical for the therapy process.
In conclusion, while online therapy using video has some benefits, it also has its share of disadvantages that can be detrimental to the therapy process. Clients may experience a lack of physical connection, technical difficulties, limited therapeutic interventions, and privacy and confidentiality concerns. As a practicing psychotherapist, I recommend considering these disadvantages before deciding to pursue online therapy using video.
It is always going to depend on your sensitivities and personal adaptability as to whether you will like or dislike having therapy using video, until you try it you will probably never know.
Is online therapy worse than traditional therapy
When trying to understand the positives or negatives of having online therapy compared to the traditional face to face therapy, we first need to accept that everyone’s likes, and dislikes are going to be quite different depending on the individuals involved. Their knowledge and familiarity with the technology being used is going to be a crucial factor in whether they like or dislike the ability to have therapy using today’s modern internet and mobile communication technology. Obviously, people who tend to avoid using technology or distrust it, will be an obvious candidate for disliking and avoiding the online therapy experience, but that is not always the outcome, surprisingly those same people can warm to the new experience quite quickly.
Obviously, people who tend to avoid using technology or distrust it, will be an obvious candidate for disliking and avoiding the online therapy experience, but that is not always the outcome, surprisingly those same people can warm to the new experience quite quickly.
What do I need to start video sessions
Obviously, you will need a device that has a microphone and camera. Most laptops, tablets and most phones have built-in cameras and microphones that can record or send video over the internet. If your computer does not have a microphone or camera, you will have to buy one. There is no need to get the best quality equipment, A headset and camera can cost around £30.00 each, the more you spend will usually mean better sound and video quality. Mobile phones are always best when used with a headset, or ear buds, to get the best quality and confidentiality available.