Online Therapy is a helpful tool for counselling and psychotherapy used from a safety of your own space.
The virtual world carries new possibilities that can be used for our own benefit. Online Therapy is aimed towards people who prefer this form of communication instead of a face – to face interaction. Research studies showed that online therapy brings the same benefits as face to face therapy including message therapy. A meta-analysis including 92 studies found “an effect sizes comparable to those that have been found for face-to-face interventions”. Different issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and panic disorder have been noted to be significantly reduced by online counselling and even showing superior effect from face to face sessions. Therefore it is safe to conclude that there is no difference between face to face and online therapy (even the message therapy!) in the beneficial results for your mind. Moreover, the effect can be better than face to face approach. However, sometimes I do hear clients feeling different in relation to those forms of delivery. Face to face can feel more personal, safe, contained or can help with engagement. Hence we can compare those two ways of providing therapy with taking medication in different forms. We can take pill, fluid or we can take injection, they have comparable results, just a delivery is different. The perception of a difference does not relate to the outcomes, it has more to do with a sense of comfort around this type of delivery.
CBT Online Therapy is a particular approach that shows very well-suited structure for online sessions. Various studies showed that CBT sessions delivered through online or computer means (AI, Virtual Therapy ChatBox) result in significant improvements. The example of one review of literature showed that symptoms of panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and compulsive gambling disorder improved by 50%. The study also observed a decrease in stress and chronic fatigue just by continuous work during average 8-15 sessions. Another review showed that Online CBT was superior to placebo effect and that the effectiveness to face to face therapy is equal. The literature on CBT delivery is expansive and it shows how flexible this approach is throughout various settings. Lets walk through advantages and disadvantages of this delivery.
Online interaction brings many benefits alongside with shortcomings that it is important to be aware of. The benefits of online counselling include:
- flexibility and accessibility – with an online therapy there is no need for travel and spending your finances on additional transport. You save time and money. You can access sessions across the world and do not miss on your psychological care.
- comfort and privacy– you can pick the place of the session that suits your needs. Some people use their homes but also you can do walk and talk online when you stroll in the park and we do connect for the session. Some people choose their car and I observe that it is a popular and very comfortable spot for clients. They share that they feel cosier and contained in the car and that gives additional therapeutic spin to the session. Additionally, you can be sure you will not meet any strangers or acquittances if you arrange your space by yourself.
- higher control, ownership and unlimited access to the resources and feedback – “Clients can exercise higher control over the mode, frequency, and termination of their therapy sessions. The convenience and increased access to therapy have been found to compensate for the lack of physical presence.” The online therapy gives us more control around our cancellations and your resources that will be send to you by WhatsApp and email. We use our WhatsApp connection as your library of CBT forms and a reminder of our therapeutic journey points. Everything put there is neutral, no private matters shared to keep up the highest standards of confidentiality in the digital world.
- availability of the sessions – online therapy gives more availability and open windows for your bookings. It is because all aspects constraining therapy delivery; time, place, responsibilities are easier to accommodate. From the therapist perspective the stretch of time within hours work is higher and more elastic. The hours can be worked out around other aspects of life and late hours can be easier to apply. For the client side those aspect are also important. The childcare, mobility restrains, work responsibilities are easier to address when your therapist is available online. Relaxed therapist and relaxed client creates a good equation for your results.
The disadvantages include:
- distractions and miscommunication – because of the written (texts/emails), sound (off video calls) and screen (video calls) nature of online counselling greater miscommunication can occur. It is important to be open for and to clarifications and engage in proper emotional communication exchange.
- equipment and Internet service failures that can interrupt the process,
- additional confidentiality and privacy concerns – making sure you can freely speak while online is important. Additionally, online presence brings regular concerns for safety of shared information. That is why talk to your therapist about any concerns related internet presence and shared files.
- body language – I am putting that here because this idea can come to the client’s mind and some therapists point to this shortcoming. Not trusting the process due to the visibility restrictions can impact comfort of the session and engagement in the process. However, I want to reassure you that body language is not primarily needed for a recognition of emotional states of the other (in particular where culturally it differs across the world). The psychological research shows that the face expression is the most potent source of emotional read, in particular the gaze. Additionally, the voice carries on many information that well talented in “tunning in” and listening skills therapist will be able to use for an advantage of sessions. You can be sure that I HEAR YOU AND SEE YOU and I will stay with you all along,
- some issues like suicidal issues, addiction or personality disorders might not be suitable for online therapy due to the severity of those issues, however the assessment will be carried on on the first session as it varies from case to case.
To wrap it up, the online therapy is an effective and evidence based approach that can be used to treat many mental health issues. CBT approach is specially suitable for different types of delivery and research confirms the benefits of it being even better than face to face therapy. CBT Psychotherapy online is a service delivered by Reborn Clinic worldwide. Due to my online presence I gain experience in working with various cultures and learnt to incorporate it into my work. Therefore wherever you are I am here accessible for your journey from every corner in the world. So prepare a cup of tea, a cosy blanket, a quiet space and let’s meet to discuss all what you carry inside.
Looking forward to meeting you.
Online therapy will be delivered with an use of messaging and video services:
- Zoom (private link, secured) will be used.
- WhatsApp will be used.
In order to start with online therapy and counselling please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on +353 85 715 06 99 via WhatsApp or phone call for further information. Please read about my approach further here. Please note that an identity verification and signing the contract will be required.