Everyone needs to talk to someone once in a while. According to a 2019 report from the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five Americans cope with some kind of mental health issue every day. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only made matters worse, increasing anxiety and stress rates in much of the population. Seeing a therapist is a wonderful way to reduce anxiety and treat various conditions that may have a negative impact on your life. But what should you do if you’re nervous about going out to see one because of the pandemic or merely reluctant to travel for a therapy session in general? What if you’re in a small town without many options to satisfactorily treat your issues? Teletherapy can be the answer. As society alters course to more remote interaction and teleconferencing technology improves, online therapy is becoming an available option to everyone. Here’s a short guide to online therapy to get you started.
What is Teletherapy/Telepsychology?
Not to be confused with the similarly named treatment of diseased tissue with Gamma radiation, teletherapy or telepsychology is merely a virtual, teleconference therapy session where patients converse with a licensed, reputable therapist via video chat. While it’s most often conducted over video, online therapy can occasionally occur over the phone as a standard phone call or through a video app. Teletherapy can extend into email support or live chats with a support team.
How Does it Work?
Virtual therapy is incredibly straightforward. It works the same way as an in person therapy session. Only it’s performed over teleconferencing. Patients should prepare for each session the same way they would in standard therapy. The therapist will treat the condition as effectively as possible. Online/virtual therapy is just as effective as in person and sometimes more effective for certain individuals. It isn’t just for individuals either; it can be effective for both groups and couples too.
What Conditions are Treated?
As with any specialist medical practitioner, virtual therapists treat an array of conditions. In most cases, virtual therapists typically treat stress, depression, anxiety, and relationship problems. They also can help with certain types of life transitions or essentially anything that may be bothering a patient. More recently, some virtual therapists are helping treat anxiety/stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, obsessive compulsive disorder and social anxiety are treated by many practitioners. Finally, if you were struggling to deal with a particular phobia virtual therapy may be able to help. These are only a few of the conditions a reputable, licensed virtual therapist can treat, so it’s always best to discuss your treatment during your consultation to get the most of each session.
How to Find an Online Therapist
So, how do you actually find a therapist online? It’s shockingly easy. Begin by knowing what you want to have treated. Research your conditions ahead of time so you have a better handle on what questions to ask during your consultation. A consultation is a way to assess a potential therapist prior to booking an appointment with them. Discuss the length and number of sessions you plan to have with your therapist. Then it’s simply a matter of finding the ideal therapist for your treatment. There are a number of ways to accomplish this task. Searching for virtual therapists via a search engine is one option. A better bet is to find a website dedicated exclusively to the practice and search for therapists in your specific area. If you’re having a difficult time in California and want to talk to a therapist, just search for “online therapy California” to get a list of therapists operating out of the state who are available to help treat your condition.
Benefits of Online Therapy
The benefits of online therapy provide a high return on investment for most people. Perhaps the most significant benefit of online therapy is access. It’s not always easy to find pay reasonably for medical care. Online therapy tends to cost less than most interpersonal therapy and often comes with the added benefit of plans/round-the-clock support. It’s also much more private and can be conducted from the safety/security of one’s own home. A high-quality virtual therapist can help patients achieve better happiness and higher satisfaction from their sessions. Virtual therapy is a powerful positive force in a tumultuous world that can help ease your worries without even leaving your home.