More and more psychology professionals are deciding to offer their services online.. That is, they decide to go for online psychotherapy. And in turn, more and more people decide to start an online psychotherapy, due to lack of time, convenience, lower cost, etc.
In this article we will explain what this modality of psychotherapy consists of, how it works and what the 11 advantages of online psychotherapy arewhich benefit both therapist and patient in several ways. As we will see, these advantages refer to different aspects and areas.
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What is online psychotherapy and how does it work?
Basically, online psychotherapy is based on conducting psychotherapy sessions with a therapist (psychologist) in real time, through the internet.This can be done through the internet: for example through a videoconference, Skype or other online communication platforms (e.g. a chat, a web application, etc.).
This modality also includes the use of e-mail, where contact or communication is not so immediate. As a patient, you can choose to use one or several of these media in a complementary way.
Thus, a new therapeutic modality emerges that aims to use technology as a means to develop a therapy. It is a type of real contact between therapist and patient, although not physically, but in a virtual space that is the Internet.
This type of service has certain advantages and certain disadvantages. We are going to focus on explaining the advantages of online psychotherapy.
The 11 advantages of online psychotherapy
Thus, as we have seen, online psychotherapy is a new and innovative modality of psychological treatment. It is a service offered by more and more psychology centers (or by more and more psychotherapists in private practice).
It is carried out in a virtual space, through calls, videoconferences (the most common) via Skype, mobile applications, e-mail, chat, etc. In other words, it implies that the therapist and the patient are not physically together, but in a virtual space shared in real time.
This type of modality provides some flexibility to both parties and the reduction of some costs, although it also has certain disadvantages compared to traditional psychotherapy (face-to-face). Let’s get to know the 11 advantages of online psychotherapy.
One of the greatest advantages of online psychotherapy is convenience and spatial flexibilityThe therapist and patient can conduct the session even if they are far away from each other (even in different countries). This makes online psychotherapy a very convenient tool for both patient and therapist.
2. Time flexibility
Another advantage of online psychotherapy is that the psychotherapist can be “always” available, e.g. via chat.for example via chat or cell phone. In other words, you don’t have to wait for your face-to-face visit in their office, but you can have their services available more immediately.
3. Lower cost
Online psychotherapy is usually cheaper for the patient (therapists reduce the fee in this case). In addition, the patient is spared the cost of travel, which can be an additional cost.
4. Saving time
Another of the advantages of online psychotherapy is that both therapist and patient can save time by avoiding the travel mentioned in the previous point.. This time saving allows both to have a more flexible agenda to devote to other matters or activities.
5. Re-visualizing the session
On the other hand, with the online psychotherapy there is the possibility for both patient and therapist to view the session again, as it can be recorded.as it can be recorded. For the patient this can be a help when reviewing exercises for home, as well as when reflecting on certain arguments or answers, both theirs and the therapist’s, etc.
At the same time, it is a good tool for the therapist to follow up with the patient, in case he/she has forgotten some details of the session, for example.
6. Facilitates prevention
Another advantage of online psychotherapy is that it can be a good tool for preventionIt can facilitate early intervention in cases that may need psychological help but are not yet attending mental health services in person. Thus, it can be a first therapeutic contact.
7. Recording of sessions
As we have already mentioned, online psychotherapy makes it possible to record the sessions.. This is a great advantage when it comes to carrying out an adequate follow-up of the patient. Thus, the fact of being able to record the sessions makes it possible to have valuable material for short and long term follow-ups.
8. Expression of emotions
Although not always, online psychotherapy can facilitate the expression of emotions in people who are more reluctant to come to face-to-face psychotherapy. to attend face-to-face psychotherapy.
This is possible thanks to the greater intimacy that this type of sessions allow, in the sense that therapist and patient are not physically face to face, which can overwhelm or “intimidate” the patient, in a certain way. This can be especially useful in the first sessions or when the patient has never seen a psychologist before.
9. Compatibility of schedules
The fact that it can be done online, makes this modality of therapy a modality that allows for the compatibility of schedules. a modality that makes it easier and simpler to make the schedules of therapist and patient compatible.. In addition, the time slot in which the sessions can be carried out is extended.
10. Maintenance of anonymity
Another advantage of online psychotherapy is that it allows, in a certain way, to preserve the anonymity of the patient, preserving the patient’s anonymity (or at least more than it would be in face-to-face therapy).
Although there is no shame in going to the psychologist, on the contrary, it is a sign of courage, many people still feel the stigma of doing so, or even fear that the psychologist himself may judge them (this could be reduced if the therapy is not done physically).
11. Free choice of psychotherapist
The fact that psychotherapy is online, allows the patient to choose more freely the psychologist he/she wants to be treated by.If they could only choose psychologists who are in their city or close to their home, this would limit their range of decision making (i.e. the options available to them).
Thus, with online psychotherapy the patient has greater decision-making power, which can generate greater self-confidence and a sense of empowerment, since he/she is deciding with complete freedom on how to solve a problem or how to feel better (choosing the person who will treat him/her).