Meeting Your Therapist Online: Is Virtual Counseling Effective?

Are stay-at-home orders compromising your ability to seek in-person therapy? Is virtual counseling effective?

2020 has been a year like no other and, with a global pandemic putting the world on its toes, social distancing has become the new norm for all of us.

For many, this means homeschooling, working from home, and face timing loved ones, but there are many other aspects of one’s life that can end up being affected.

What if, for instance, you see a therapist regularly? 

Thankfully, there is a solution – virtual counseling – but if you’ve never tried it before, you might be a bit hesitant to do so. 

Keep reading and learn how efficient virtual therapy really is!

What Do the Statistics Say?

Over the years, many researchers have worked towards understanding telepsychiatry and how much not seeing a patient face-to-face can impact the quality of the service.

Surprisingly, or not, the findings of many of these studies have been quite positive.

The Journal of Psychological Disorders conducted a study in 2018 and it concluded that online cognitive behavioral therapy is acceptable and just as effective as face-to-face counseling. Another study, conducted four years before, had reached the same verdict.

Additionally, research from 2014 showed that college students would be more likely to seek help for eating disorders after working with a coach online.

The Pros and Cons of Virtual Counseling

Research shows that online counseling can be just as effective as traditional treatment. However, it’s still important to go over the pros and cons of this alternative, as to give potential patients a clearer idea of what they’re going to experience.

The Pros

  • You can easily maintain your anonymity
  • Many options are more affordable than face-to-face therapy
  • You can get treatment even if you don’t live anywhere near a therapist
  • You might have an easier time explaining your feelings, as being in the comfort of your own home can give you some extra safety
  • It’s a great option for those with physical limitations
  • If necessary, you can easily schedule more frequent appointments

The Cons

  • You need to have a computer or phone and access to the internet, which not everyone can afford
  • There are people who promote themselves as therapists, but who might not be licensed, and they can be hard to identify
  • You might have a harder time bonding with your therapist
  • Online therapy might not be the best choice for severe issues, such as psychosis or suicidal tendencies

Giving Online Therapy a Try

Although there are some drawbacks to virtual counseling, at the end of the day, having some support is better than trying to deal with mental health issues on your own.

The most important thing is that you do some proper research and look for any reviews before you choose a therapist so that you end up with someone who knows what they’re doing and who can offer excellent services, even if they never meet you in real life.

If this article helped you and you’d like to read more on all things mental and physical health, make sure to keep exploring our website!

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