We’re all a little weary about leaving our homes, especially when it comes to receiving mental and healthcare. A small room with numerous people entering and leaving it all day? It can be a bit daunting to think about. For those who are worried, telehealth has rapidly expanded to include a multitude of mental health, therapy, and counseling options.
Teletherapy is also a great option for those looking for privacy, or those are unsure about therapy in the first place. It’s amazing for easing your way into it and getting a feel for how it will go, without sacrificing the commitment. In some cases though, which we will get into later in this blog, telehealth cannot cover everything that in-person care can.
But before you consider online therapy or virtual counselling, you must understand what exactly it is?
What is Virtual Therapy?
Telehealth is the delivery of healthcare services through your phone or computer. It’s basically a virtual doctor’s appointment where you can be diagnosed, tested, and get prescribed medication.
Virtual therapy is a contemporary counseling model that allows counselors to serve their clients through videoconferencing. It completely removes a client’s transportation barrier and eliminates travel expenses!
This model began in the 20th century with Sigmund Freud, who sent letters to his clients. With the innovation in technology counselors began using text messages, emails, web chats and online support groups in care of their clients.
What Can Virtual Therapy/Counseling Treat?
Following mental health conditions are treatable through telehealth therapy:
- Obsessive/compulsive disorder
- Acute stress
- Low self-esteem
- Personality disorder
- Drug abuse
- Mental health conditions such as
- Bipolar Disorder
Therapy is also highly useful if you’re in need of specific coping mechanisms, or need someone to talk to. It can help work you through a multitude of problems that can be unrelated to the above list as well. After all, therapy is meant to help everyone.
How Does Virtual Therapy Work?
Technology has made mental health services easier and more accessible to everyone. It doesn’t matter where you are — you can get access to your chosen therapist/counselor, or shop around the country for one that works for you.
Therapy in of itself is a very dialogue-oriented approach to healthcare. It is designed to help you understand your emotions and mental wellbeing, as well as find coping mechanisms for traumatic situations, stress, anxiety, depression, and more. Virtual sessions allow you and your therapy to work through your specific worries on a somewhat limited basis.
Through telehealth, you can discuss your situation with your therapist and they can provide resources, coping mechanisms, and walk you through physical exercises, but they can’t provide you a full scope of their services.
If you don’t need things such as EDMR, aroma therapy, or hypnotherapy, then this approach is amazing for you.
For example, a recovering drug addict may find telehealth counseling very useful. To use a real-life example, Direct2Recovery utilizes cognitive-behavioral therapy. This type of therapy is designed to help patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations they’re in that will likely lead to drug use or relapse. It is very successful over virtual landscapes because it doesn’t require touch or smells to help you.
When Therapy through Telehealth Doesn’t Work
Therapy can be helpful for everyone, however some require more physical connections to work through their unique situations. There are various therapeutic techniques, such as EDMR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) or aromatherapy, that simply cannot be done virtually. These therapies are used to help people cope with traumatic experiences.
Virtual therapy also doesn’t work well if you don’t have access to a private or quiet space. You’ll need to feel safe and will need to dedicate your full attention to the session. If there are distractions, or if people are listening to or watching you, you won’t feel the full benefits of the session.
Lastly, you’ll need reliable internet and tech to connect to your scheduled appointment.
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do to find out if virtual therapy is right for you is to talk with your therapist. Together, you’ll be able to talk through what your goals are with therapy and work out a plan that is right for you.