Online therapy and counseling involve therapists providing services through electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, or laptops through video chat. Its benefits are similar to in-person therapy; the distinction is that it provides adaptable solutions, especially if you’re often busy at work or can’t leave home.
Even though all interaction is online, there’s no limitation to the services you can receive, thanks to technological advancements. So, whether you’re after individual therapy or couples counseling, you’d want to find out more about the techniques online therapists use and how to find a suitable one. With that in mind, if you’re contemplating online therapy and counseling, below are four things you should know about it:
1. Technological Requirements For Online Therapy
Besides the usual smartphone, tablet, or laptop, the following technological gadgets enhance online therapy:
• Smartwatch: Since your therapist can’t assess you physically, this device enables you to keep watch of your physical activity, sleeping condition, and heart rate so your therapist can get a better understanding of how your body is responding to stressors. Smartwatches can also help you when you’re anxious by sending alerts on what to do.
• High-quality camera: Since the session is online, the counselor would want to see your facial expression and physical demeanor to assess your behavior. Thus, ensure you have a high-quality camera with a high resolution.
• Virtual reality headset: It’s a device primarily used in exposure therapy where a therapist can help you manage your anxiety. It gives you a safe place to confront your worries.
• Microphone: It enables you to be audible while speaking to your therapist. Thus, ensure your device has premium quality mics or purchase an external one.
• Heart rate monitor: It’s a beneficial device, especially when checking stress levels. Through it, your therapist can take note of the things that elevate your stress and anxiety.
You could purchase these devices to help elevate and maximize online therapy and counseling sessions.
2. Regulations For Online Therapy
Online therapists and counselors must conform to local state regulations. Most of these rules aim to protect you as the client. Firstly, they should only use apps that have been approved as safe for online therapy.
Secondly, the counselor must implement additional measures to secure your protected health information. It entails using a safe and secure data connection. Thirdly, they can’t record your sessions unless you give them consent to do so. However, you should also know the measures to take when an information breach occurs since hacks are sometimes inevitable.
3. Benefits Of Online Therapy
Online therapy provides you with an array of advantages, as outlined below:
• It’s a great alternative if you live in remote areas: If you reside in rural areas, it may be challenging to get to a mental health treatment facility due to transport challenges. The long drives you’ll have to endure may make you forgo attending therapy altogether. However, you only need a device with excellent audio, a camera, and a stable internet connection for online therapy and counseling.
• Privacy: If you need help but prefer to stay anonymous, online therapy can provide convenience since you can use a nickname. The sessions are also private because counselors put up measures to safeguard clients’ information.
• Convenience: Online therapy sessions can be held from anywhere, be it your home, workplace, hotel room, or at the roadside while on the go. Moreover, you’re usually free to choose the time when you’re free instead of tweaking your schedule to meet the therapist’s availability.
• It’s beneficial if you have physical disabilities: If your physical disability limits your ability to move from your house, you can get access to therapy online without worrying about looking for the most convenient transportation method.
• It’s budget-friendly: Online therapy is more affordable than in-person therapy. The counselor isn’t compelled to hold the session in an office, meaning they won’t charge highly to cater to overhead costs such as renting large offices or having a receptionist to assist them with scheduling. You can also save on transport costs. Moreover, your insurance policy may also cover online therapy.
As you’ve seen above, there are numerous pros associated with online therapy. Thus, it’s never too late to consider it.
4. Ideal Environment For Therapy
You may find opening up in an in-person therapy setup challenging because you may consider the environment slightly intimidating. If this is the case, then online therapy can be a perfect option since you’ll feel the surrounding is safe, and you’ll feel comfortable communicating. You can even speak up about a personal matter that’s been seriously affecting your life.
Online therapy and counseling are fast becoming the new norm. You reap benefits like affordability, privacy, and convenience, which can make you enjoy treatment and never miss a session. To get started, select a reliable online therapist by assessing their expertise, reputation, and ability to establish rapport with you. You’ll ultimately get help and overcome addiction, grief, or stress.