A study by the World Journal of Psychiatry found that people receiving online therapy reported “high levels of satisfaction.” Let’s find out if online therapy is for you.
There is a rising interest in the use of online therapies – something that I care passionately about exploring. Thanks to technological advances (and the global pandemic incentivising going digital), online therapy has now entered the mainstream.
But does that mean you should go online for therapy even if you have the option to meet in person? Which method is preferable and which one is more likely to be more successful? I’m here to help you understand some of the pros and cons of online therapy so that you can make the decision that feels right to you.
The advantages and considerations of online therapy
Online therapy is almost identical to in-person “offline” therapy, with one crucial difference. Instead of us both sitting in a room together, we are connected on a video conferencing system from separate locations. As a result, all the same therapy processes that occur in person will apply to online therapy. You get all the support you need, in one place. You talk about what’s happening in your life while looking at me on the screen, and I will use the same therapeutic techniques as in “offline” therapy to help you feel better and gain a better understanding of yourself.
In my view, online therapy offers these significant advantages;
- Safety and familiarity. Much can be about feeling safe in familiar surroundings. With online therapy, you get to choose your therapeutic space, on your terms. I have often held sessions where my client has sat comfortably in his car.
- No commute needed. When you feel you need support, simply book a session with me, or reach out on chat, if you already are a subscriber. No commute needed.
- Mixing up the time zones. If you wish to receive online therapy away from peak hours, let’s say you reside in eastern US, or in Asia, you can choose me in the CET time zone, and pick hours within my availability.
All of the above still give you great value with an experienced therapist to support you when you need it the most, and with flexible options.
There are, of course, a few considerations that must occur when taking therapy online. Each of these are addressed below:
- Privacy and confidentiality: Your rights to confidentiality do not change when we take therapy online. However, what might change are circumstantial situations that could breach confidentiality. For example, if you are not sitting in a private room far away from other people, they may overhear your therapy session. It is therefore crucial that you set up your environment so that you are alone, or in a room that cannot be accessed by others.
- Internet connection: When we speak in-person, we needn’t rely on anything else to assist in our communication. When we talk online, we rely on a strong internet and a stable communication platform like Zoom. If your internet is unstable, it’ll interrupt the flow of the session, which can have a negative effect on the flow of our conversation. It is important that you get the most out of our time together. Ensuring the fundamentals is a great way to get started.
- Interruptions: During an in-person setting, the therapeutic environment is unlikely to encounter interruptions because I will have set up beforehand so that it is quiet and undisturbed. When we are online, only you have control over what happens at your end. You might have parcels delivered, a dog barking or a family member coming home half way through the session. It is advisable to set up your home so that these interruptions are minimised. If there is an interruption, make this known to me and we can find a way to work with it.
- Boundaries: When you attend a therapy session online, imagine yourself physically leaving your home and talking about your issues in a neutral, impartial setting. After the session, you then go back to your familiar surroundings, leaving the session in the digital therapy. You might prefer to compartmentalise in this way, as it creates a boundary between your session and your home life. If you came to my therapy room, I would make sure that our conversations were private and confidential. If we meet online, this would be your responsibility.
If you instead book an online therapy consultation and, with no more than 15 minutes in, you feel it’s not the right option for you, we can change to in-person sessions. I will reimburse you for the online session.
My goal is to help you improve your quality of life and well-being and to regain your sense of purpose, and it’s entirely up to you how we go about doing that.
Getting the support you need
We can also go for a walk.
Whichever help and support you need, my pledge to you is consistent.
Book a free 15 minute conversation, which is all you need to begin your journey. We will talk about where you are now, where you want to be, and how I can help you get there.