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  • Writer's pictureAlexander James

How Does Online Therapy Work?

With the current, challenging circumstances changing how many therapists operate, we are seeing more people book appointments with online therapists, who provide services from the comfort and security of their own home.

Like with many different types of therapy, it is an approach that has opened up the world of mindfulness and therapy for people who would not have previously considered an in-person session.

Whilst in-person therapy is still an option in the national lockdown restrictions (albeit not in a private home), many therapists and people alike have chosen online therapy sessions for its convenience and costs.

Here is some information to consider before booking your appointment.

What Changes Between Online And Offline Therapy?

The fundamental difference between online therapy and in-person therapy sessions is distance, as an online therapy session takes place over a video call in the person’s own home.

This small difference can change many things about the treatment depending on the type of therapy and individual and can take a range of different forms. Typically it uses video calls, but in the past has involved online messaging services and email.

The increase in accessibility of mobile phones and laptops, both of which can be used very easily for video calls means that it is the dominant way to conduct online therapies, and has the most similarities to in-person therapy sessions.

Most therapists who work online also have an offline clinic, however, some websites offer exclusively online therapy via websites or apps.

Benefits Of Online Therapy

The primary benefit of online therapy is convenience, not requiring any travel for treatment at times that suit any schedule.

This alone has helped many people to seek therapy who could not otherwise, particularly people who are unwell, disabled, housebound or living in rural areas away from a clinic. Mobility is a potential issue when it comes to mental health care access.

Online treatments also help for people who feel uncomfortable with face to face sessions or groups, as well, opening up therapy to people who may have not felt like they can reach out before.

Some treatments benefit from an online approach more than others, but repeated studies have found online approaches to be as effective for cognitive-behavioural therapy as in-person approaches, and in some cases led to better outcomes.

Online therapy also helps people to reach out and make the first step to improving their mental well-being, as it takes place in the security of their own home, where they have the freedom to control the pace and nature of the treatment.

As well as this, as advances increase in technology, such as better cameras and virtual reality, the more therapists can read facial expressions and body language, enabling a closer, clearer picture of your situation.

As more people use online services as part of their everyday life, a wider range of people feel more comfortable communicating to professionals using digital methods, and this is something that cannot be discounted when looking into online therapy treatments.

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