As our world becomes more tech-savvy by the day, so does the landscape of online therapy. Gone are the days when patients had to wait in huge lines for health care treatment from a doctor in an office. More people believe that virtual therapy is a realistic alternative to face-to-person meetups, just as we all acclimated to face masks and social isolation.
Those seeking counseling can now do so online, and in a setting that is most comfortable for them. While traditional therapy takes place in person, online mental health care is delivered via digital channels such as mobile apps, email, texting, and video conferencing.
Online therapy is quickly becoming the ‘new normal,’ a silent global revolution that is aggressively reshaping the way psychiatric diseases are treated, despite its lack of fanfare.
Trends over the last two years have shown a dramatic increase due to a rapid spike in practitioners using online psychotherapy platforms rather than face-to-face encounters to conduct their treatment. Here are six reasons why virtual treatment is becoming more popular:
Removes the stigma
Even while the stigmas surrounding mental health care are fading each year, we can’t pretend they don’t exist. This is particularly true in societies that are more likely to reject modern lifestyle choices and disregard scientific or medical practices.
Bringing treatment to these patients’ homes allows them to keep their privacy as well as a sense of safety and respect. As a result, it has the added benefit of increasing the likelihood of the treatment’s success.
Comfort and convenience are virtues
Rather than navigating traffic and finding out where to park, therapists can see patients through video in their car, at lunch, or in a quiet private area at home. Working people, in particular, have embraced internet treatment more readily because of the added convenience and privacy from coworkers or family members.
Young people will benefit from virtual therapy because they are used to texting and making video calls on their cell phones. People can easily open up from the comfort of their own homes rather than from a traditional office. Finally, for those who live in isolated or rural locations, internet counseling makes medical care treatment more accessible.
In-person treatment is just as beneficial as online therapy
Several studies from around the world have found that internet counseling is just as beneficial as in-person therapy, particularly over time. In the areas of empathy, engagement, and attentiveness, these studies found minimal difference between telemedicine and face-to-face interactions. The only difference discovered was that phone-based sessions were shorter.
Therapists and their patients will be able to conduct sessions better in a shared computer-generated reality. From any physically distant location, in the near future. As network effectiveness improves and becomes more generally available. Furthermore, virtual reality therapy is proving to be extremely effective in the prevention, and evaluation. And treatment of stress-related diseases such as anxiety, depression, phobia, and posttraumatic stress disorder. The patient has also learned new coping techniques. And become more resilient as a result of virtual treatment.
Therapists’ perspectives have shifted
Surprisingly, therapists are finding virtual therapy to be effective for them, which was previously unthinkable.
This is due to the fact that attitudes toward online counseling have shifted substantially over time. Clinicians who previously had a “devil may care” attitude are now pleased to employ technology, with the majority transferring a portion of their practice to digital mode.
More sessions are available from therapists, which is a good indicator for both the doctor and the patient. Furthermore, therapists can obtain more information through internet platforms without being distracted by the visuals. Observing someone in their natural habitat also supplied the clinician with useful information. In fact, some practitioners have begun to offer support and encouragement. And practical tips to individuals who are new to the virtual environment. In order to help them create a routine.
The expense of online counseling is low
Therapists, particularly those who are well-known, charge exorbitant consultation fees, which are often calculated by the hour. While this is understandable given their high overhead costs, it can be rather costly for the patient. In exchange, internet treatment is substantially less expensive than personal counseling, sometimes up to 60% less expensive than traditional therapy.
Some therapists even provide a sliding scale based on one’s income or a discounted charge for the unemployed and students. This is due to the fact that many people are unable to obtain healthcare once they lose their work and insurance benefits. On the internet, one can even find free or low-cost therapy. Then there are social workers who are skilled at adjusting their hourly rates. To make virtual treatment more inexpensive for their clients.
A large number of financial and legal issues were successfully addressed in order to understand how such a large shift could occur in such a short time (the US reported a 12-fold increase in telepsychology in 2020), in addition to the change in attitude and behavior of healthcare providers towards virtual therapy. In 2020, these obstacles were completely abolished. Prompting some large medical institutes to invest extensively in telepsychology as an emergency solution.
Aside from these modifications, therapists can now be reimbursed for telemedicine consultations at the same rate as in-person consultations. The US Department of Health also permitted the use of apps such as Zoom. And Skype, while other states eased limitations on therapists from other jurisdictions. Treating patients in their own state.
Telepsychology is here to stay, and we should embrace it rather than fighting it. The pandemic has compelled psychiatrists to change the way they provide online health care. While some have expressed concerns about the quality of such tools. The overall transformation has been favorable and useful for both doctors and patients.