Right now, online therapy is the most common way to access mental health services. While it’s undoubtedly convenient to see your therapist from home, many people wonder if online therapy is as effective as in person therapy. Here are some of the top questions clients have about online therapy:
Is online therapy as effective as in person therapy?
The short answer is yes, online therapy can certainly be as effective as in person therapy. Most interventions from in person counseling can be done online, even if they require some adaptations. Some clients actually prefer online counseling because of the convenience and ease of access.
What are the advantages of online therapy?
Online therapy reduces your commute time, can be done in the middle of your workday or school day without requiring you to take time off, and gives you more control over your environment. Discussing difficult things in therapy can be a lot more comfortable if you’re at home wrapped in a blanket sipping a warm drink. Cry a lot during your session? The potential discomfort of returning to work with that ‘just cried my eyes out’ look is avoided when you’re in the privacy of your home.
What are the disadvantages of online therapy?
As you’ve probably noticed while working from home or going to school from home, the Internet connections aren’t always 100% reliable. Some clients may have connectivity issues, so we have to use the phone as a back-up. Another potential issue is noisy neighbors or traffic. Luckily, the majority of interruptions are momentary, especially when you do your best to plan for a quiet time in the quietest location possible. Like life, we’ll work through the hiccups as they arise.
Side note: Sound Mind Counseling and Wellness uses fiber optic, lightning fast Internet for telehealth sessions :). Providing online therapy from Longmont is amazing!
What do I do if my Internet goes out during my online counseling session?
Your therapist will help you come up with a plan B if the Internet fails. Generally, it’s a good idea to try your best to restart your computer/Internet and if that fails, you can finish your session over the phone.
Is online therapy secure?
Yes, Sound Mind Counseling & Wellness (and all other therapists following the law) use HIPAA compliant platforms with additional security measures to ensure online therapy sessions are protected.
How is online therapy different than in person therapy?
One of the perks of online therapy is that virtual therapy tools can be easily integrated into the session. These are often faster and more convenient than doing exercises that are written on paper. Sharing documents or homework with your therapist is also quick and easy. No more printing or having to remember to bring physical documents!
Can EMDR be done online?
Yes! EMDR can be effectively used online. There are a few virtual tools to help with the bilateral stimulation component of EMDR. Like with any intervention, your therapist will work with you to figure out whether virtual EMDR therapy might fit your needs. Your safety and the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions are a top priority.
In addition to ensuring online EMDR is appropriate for you, you will also want to consider the type of device that you use to access virtual therapy. The eye movement component of EMDR requires that you have a large enough screen. If this is an issue, your therapist can talk you through some alternative options.
Is online group therapy as effective as in person group therapy?
While the answer to this question depends on a lot of different factors, online group therapy can also be just as effective as in person group therapy. One of the nice things about online group therapy is that it’s a lot easier to view everyone’s facial expressions. While online group therapy, like individual online therapy, takes away the ability to see everyone’s full body language, it can be really nice to see everyone’s faces more conveniently.
Like with individual therapy, the confidentiality of online group therapy is vital. Nobody wants to have people outside of the group hearing what they’re saying. All online therapy must adhere to the same confidentiality rules as in person therapy.
Is online therapy effective for kids?
Online therapy can be very effective for kids. There are all kinds of fun new games and tools for therapists to use in online therapy. Kids today are very tech savvy, making the switch to online therapy pretty easy.
My child has been in online school all day. Will online therapy be too much in addition to online school?
It’s definitely important to spread out screen time. Scheduling a virtual therapy session right after a virtual class might be too much. Make sure your child gets a break from the computer before their therapy session. Your child’s therapist may also be able to integrate movement like dance or yoga to help keep your child engaged. Many therapists will also ask parents to get supplies for arts and crafts so that the child is engaging with more than just the computer in the session.
What other options are available if I don’t like online therapy?
Many people are tired of spending so much time online. Sound Mind Counseling & Wellness offers outdoor therapy in Longmont, Boulder, & the surrounding areas. COVID-19 precautions are carefully followed for in-person sessions. Some clients also enjoy having their sessions on the phone while they walk around a park or their neighborhood. Getting our bodies moving is an incredibly important part of mental wellness.
Have questions about online or outdoor therapy? Schedule your free virtual consultation today. Sound Mind Counseling and Wellness offers online therapy for those living across the state of Colorado. Whether you live on the Western Slope or the plains, virtual therapy may be able to help you reach your goals.