Is the Hype Surrounding Online Therapy Justified?
You may have heard about the emerging trend of online therapy. Many people are claiming that they can receive the benefits of therapy from the comfort of their homes by connecting with certified mental health professionals on their smartphones and computers.
Is this a viable way for people to seek treatment for their mental health problems? Or is the online therapy trend simply ‘hype’? In this article, we’re going to outline the positive and negatives of online therapy so you can decide for yourself whether or not this is a viable alternative to traditional therapy.
What Makes Online Therapy Special?
There are a lot of reasons that people are engaging in online therapy. If there weren’t, it wouldn’t have become so popular.
Here are some of the most intriguing reasons that people prefer to use online therapy:
- It allows them easier access to therapy. Online therapy allows disadvantaged people, or those who live in rural areas and lack access to therapists, the ability to seek treatment for mental health problems. People with physical disabilities and handicaps also find it easier to use online therapy.
- In some cases, it can be more affordable than conventional therapy. Fees are often lower, and transportation fees are reduced since you can receive the therapy anywhere that you can take your smart device.
- Many people find that it makes them more comfortable. Unfortunately, in many areas, mental health issues are still stigmatized. By using online therapy, people are able to seek help without the fear of judgment.
As you can see, online therapy is popular for a number of valid reasons. Online therapy has brought mental health treatment to a demographic of people who may have otherwise been unable to treat their mental health problems.
Online Therapy Is Not Perfect
According to websites like E-counseling.com, there are a number of reasons that it might not be as appropriate or effective as conventional therapy. Critics say that online therapy falters in the following areas, among many others:
- It doesn’t allow for the subtle nuances of face-to-face communication which one would find seeing a normal therapist. Subtle cues and facial movements can be instrumental for developing strong communication and relationship skills, and these may not be effectively passed on through online therapy.
- Some therapists have reported losing clients since the emergence of online therapy.
- Depending on where you seek online therapy, it could be difficult to determine the authenticity of your therapist. While most reliable online therapy companies screen their therapists, there have been cases of forged or fraudulent accounts created by therapists who were not properly trained.
Is Online Therapy Just Hype?
As you can see, there are many proponents for online therapy and just as many against it.
While many people – particularly those who were raised in environments where traditional therapy was the only available form of therapy – may believe that online therapy is not appropriate or effective, many people find that it is.
Because of the huge number of people who have reported success with online therapy, one can conclude that the hype surrounding online therapy is certainly justified. Just like any other branch of therapy or medicine, however, there are always those who cannot relate to or identify with a specific modality.
Online therapy has become immensely popular in recent years, but there has been some debate as to whether or not it is a viable alternative to traditional therapy. The huge numbers of people using online therapy and reporting success indicates that this hype is, indeed, justified.
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