Smartphones have put the internet at your fingertips no matter where you are, which has changed many things about American society -- including the way that many people seek mental health treatment and connect with their therapists.
Is online therapy right for you? Maybe. Here are some things to consider.
It Is Excellent For People In Crisis
One of the big advantages of online counseling is that there is a huge pool of therapists to draw on when a patient needs one. If you're going through a personal crisis of any sort, feel suicidal, or simply need some quick help sorting through your emotions about an event, the immediacy of online therapy can offer a significant advantage over traditional therapy services.
Most online mental health services can match you with a therapist rapidly, with little to no waiting. That can be essential when you're experiencing an immediate need for support.
It Can Eliminate Issues With Mobility And Transportation
You can't take advantage of the benefits of therapy if you can't get to the therapist. Transportation issues can be challenging, especially if you live in a rural area where there's little access to buses or ridesharing services. Chronic health problems, like cancer, obesity, arthritis, and other conditions that make mobility difficult can also cause you to miss out on the benefits of therapy entirely.
Online counseling services make it possible for you to overcome both those challenges with the tap of a finger. That can be tremendously important, especially if you're struggling emotionally with an illness.
It's Affordable And Private
While each one is different, online therapy services are largely affordable. Their business model is centered around making therapy accessible to as many people as possible -- including those without insurance. Some even offer flat fees that will allow you to make use of a range of therapy options for one weekly price.
Online therapy also offers another important feature: privacy. You may be worried about someone finding out that you are seeking counseling for any number of reasons. For example, maybe you don't want your spouse to find out because you are thinking about a divorce. A password on your phone is all it takes to make sure that nobody is aware that you're in counseling.
It Isn't For Everyone
Online therapy does have a few drawbacks. Depending on which service you use, your ability to go in-depth on long-term issues can range greatly. Some people may find it harder to build the rapport that's necessary for effective therapy when they can't see the therapist face-to-face. Some people are still simply uncomfortable with the technology used in online therapy.
For the most part, online therapy offers the same benefits as in-office therapy, plus a few. While some people end up not feeling comfortable with it, there's no real reason not to give online therapy a try if you're ready to seek help for a problem.