COVID has changed life in innumerable ways — while people are seeking more therapy overall, the largest shift has been from in-person to online. “In February of 2020, before COVID-19 really hit our country, telepsychiatry was beginning to be widely available but only sporadically adopted,” says Dr. Jay Shore, a professor and chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Telepsychiatry Committee. “Now it’s been a tsunami”.
Prior to COVID, two-thirds of American Psychiatric Association members surveyed had never leveraged virtual therapy. This number has since plunged to under 2%. While much of this change was imperative given the importance of social distancing, it has become abundantly clear that online therapy is here to stay.
Telehealth, virtual, online — however you care to call it, let’s examine 3 reasons you should consider online therapy (even in a post-COVID world).
#1. Online Therapy Is Proven Effective
Teletherapy can be an important tool to help you learn more about improving your well-being. Online therapy can help you explore healthy behaviors and coping strategies that will lead to better overall psychological health.
The effectiveness of online therapy can be examined from a few different perspectives:
- The barrier to entry is reduced — clients who have never before sought care from a therapist are more likely to pursue services online
- In addition to more people having access to therapy, studies suggest that telehealth is essentially just as effective as face-to-face psychotherapy
- Lastly, the retention rates of clients in virtual therapy are higher
In short, online therapy offers more access to services, is just as effective as in-person sessions, and these clients are more likely to continue therapy via the virtual experience.
#2 Let’s Get To It — It’s Convenient
Accessibility matters. Now that we know telehealth works, there is something else important to acknowledge: it is convenient.
If you have a busy schedule and can’t take the time out of your day to leave your home (maybe you are a stay-at-home parent, work from home, or have other dependents), online therapy is a valuable option. While duties may make it challenging to find the time to travel to a therapist, these duties should not hinder your ability to see a therapist at all.
Online therapy allows you to set the time, location, and initial direction of the relationship with your therapist. Additionally, therapists are often able to offer flexibility with length and frequency of sessions. If you as the client need to stop midway, this is something that is more easily accommodated for via online sessions.
Finally, people tend to be more comfortable in a setting of their choice. At Be.WELL., we’ve had clients dial in from their couch, a sunny park, or really anywhere they feel comfortable. With technology, all you need is a phone or laptop to access your Google Meet (HIPPA Compliant) session.
#3 It’s The Care You Expect
Online therapy is personal, tailored for you based on your own goals and challenges. Be.WELL. therapists will help you reflect on your own experiences, get in touch with your feelings, and work toward open communication. Our therapists will work for and with you to improve your situation. We build the important element of trust, which is foundational – it allows you to have the autonomy necessary to make shifts and ultimately find the best words to communicate your needs and feelings.
Much like in-person therapy, online sessions provide a place where your feelings are accepted; maybe you feel as though you don’t want to burden others with your feelings? Therapists help you identify and acclimate to better handle your feelings — if you feel like something is keeping you from living the fullest expression of your life, it’s time for telehealth.
How Could I Get Started?
Now that you’ve evaluated your reasons to consider online therapy, it’s time to start. Successful Be.WELL. clients start to get the things in their life that they want. With progress, you’ll start to feel more connected to the world. Online therapy provides you with a place where you can talk about anything without judgment.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, schedule a free consultation or book your first appointment. We also recommend checking out our advice on how to best optimize an online counseling session to ensure you’re comfortable prior to your first appointment.
Finally, know that our Be.WELL. therapists are well learned in a variety of fields and are here to help you become your best self. Whether you are struggling with issues related to Anxiety, Depression, Sexual Orientation, Race and Identity, School, or Relationships, Be.WELL. therapists welcome you with an open ear.