How helpful is online therapy?

by | Jun 1, 2018 | Behavioral Health

How helpful is online therapy?

Online therapy has quickly emerged as a controversial treatment method for issues of addiction and mental health.

One side of the argument applauds e-therapy for increasing access to professionals, while critics claim the whole system is rife for malpractice, considering unlicensed people can easily operate with less scrutiny.

To be safe, you must be cautious when signing up for any program. Make sure your online therapist is suitable for your situation and licensed in your state, and that you are knowledgeable about online therapy.

Choosing a therapist who is licensed in your state can ensure they are qualified to counsel you. Stay informed on the risks and benefits on online therapy to find the best fit for you.

Is an online therapist better?

Online therapy will always be attractive to some, particularly those people who can’t leave their homes. Because withdrawal effects can be severe enough to stop someone from even getting out of bed, having in-home support might be the right solution.There are also down sides to the lack of physical interaction with a counsellor. If someone continues to use, while seeking help, the online therapist may not be able to see the physical signs of drug abuse, including glassy eyes, irritability, sudden behavioural changes, poor hygiene, and a lack of interest in favourite activities.

Critics of online therapy say this new form of therapy is nowhere near the same as traditional therapy. But proponents argue successful results are enough to validate this particular method. Online cognitive behavioural therapy is proven effective and more accessible when delivered by a therapist online in real time, according to The Lancet.

Is getting access to online therapy faster?

Getting access to online therapy can be faster than finding real-life therapy. Even while some see the lack of regular patient-counsellor interaction as problematic, others see it as an easier and quicker way to get professional help. Even at-risk college-aged students can see weeks-long waitlists through college counselling services to see a real-life counsellor or psychiatrist, according to Scientific American.The allure of speedy therapy may distract you from seeking a licensed professional. An internet counsellor must be licensed in your state to perform therapy. This protects you from sharing medical information with a counsellor who is ineffective and unqualified. Use an online directory of licensed professionals in your state to determine if a therapist is legitimate. There are also legal ramifications for false therapists – real telepsychiatry from an unlicensed person is a felony.

Are you informed about online therapy?

Online therapy services can be lax on emergency management and legal regulations. That negligence is against the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which regulates medical data privacy and security. Some online therapy sites also make false claims about their counsellors’ expertise, according to Psychology Today.Some online therapy services can even bypass costs and regulations. This only benefits the therapy service: they pay less to stay in business and don’t have to worry about an insurance regulator, according to Psychology Today.

Controlled trials have shown benefits from online cognitive behavioural therapy for eight or more months. At the same time, it is not clear if online therapy is helpful to those with individual needs, according to The Lancet. Being informed about online therapy is key. Decide if online therapy is the best option for you through careful research, and by making sure your online therapist is licensed.

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