Benefits Of Online Therapy
There are many reasons to choose online therapy, either as an alternative to face to face therapy or alongside it. Here are some of the most common reasons to choose online therapy:
- You can receive therapy at in your own home
- There’s no need to travel which saves time and money
- You may feel more comfortable in familiar surroundings
- You may have time to structure your thoughts and express your feelings
- You may feel that online therapy offers you more anonymity than face to face therapy
What the Science Says
One of the biggest concerns about online therapy is that therapists don’t have an opportunity to observe the patient—something that is usually integral to an assessment and diagnosis. The tone of voice, body language, and overall demeanor provide insight into an individual’s well-being.
A major component of effective therapy involves the relationship between the therapist and the patient. As online therapy is impersonal (often, it’s completely anonymous), many people have raised concerns about whether digital communication can provide skills, tools, and healing power to individuals staring at a screen.
Despite the concerns, research consistently shows that online treatment can be very effective for many mental health issues. Here are the results of a few studies:
- A 2014 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that online treatment was just as effective as face-to-face treatment for depression.
- A 2018 study published in the Journal of Psychological Disorders found that online cognitive behavioral therapy is, “effective, acceptable, and practical health care.” The study found the online cognitive behavioraltherapy was equally as effective as face-to-face treatment for major depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
- A 2014 study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy found that online cognitive behavioral therapy was effective in treating anxietydisorders. Treatment was cost-effective and the positive improvements were sustained at the one-year follow-up.