Since the 1980s, the widespread use of technology and internet all over the world caused some life practices to change and transform. Accessing many services over the internet has enabled us not only to be limited to the facilities we live in, but also not to waste time. Since the beginning of 2020, every service available on the internet has become of vital importance due to the pandemic experienced all over the world.So when we think in this context, how can we evaluate online therapy service? Why do we need online psychotherapy? What are the advantages and disadvantages of online psychotherapy and can we benefit as much as face-to-face psychotherapy?
What is Online Therapy?
Online therapy is the provision of online psychotherapy services in cases where the therapist and the client cannot conduct face-to-face meetings for different reasons.
What are the Advantages of Online Therapy?
Online therapy is more accessible and practical, as we do not need to plan and spend time to go to the therapist’s office in online therapy. We can hold sessions wherever we can express ourselves comfortably and where we feel safe.
In rural areas, we may have difficulties in reaching competent psychotherapists. Therefore, in order to receive psychotherapy services, we may have to travel to larger cities and may have difficulties in attending regular sessions. This can prevent us from getting enough benefit from psychotherapy. In such a situation, online therapy is more sustainable both financially and in terms of time.
Due to our physical ailments, it may not be possible to leave our place and we may need psychological support precisely for this reason. Thanks to online therapy, psychotherapy service can reach a wider population.
Due to the quarantine experienced during the pandemic period, many people’s relations with their working system and social environments had to change. Adding to this, concerns about the COVID-19 virus and the problems of getting used to the new order, we have come to a more disadvantage in terms of psychological disorders. In such a period, we can reach psychotherapy service in order to increase our psychological endurance without risking our physical health with online therapy.
Is Online Therapy as Effective as Face-to-Face Therapy?
When we consider the advantages and disadvantages of online therapy, we can question whether online therapy is as effective as traditional therapy interview. Research in this area shows that online therapy is as effective as traditional therapy in the treatment of many mental health problems.
Studies observed that online cognitive behavioral therapy had a positive effect on the treatment of anxiety disorders. At the same time, it preserved the continuity of development shown by the clients receiving this treatment.
In a study conducted by Andrews et al in 2018, online cognitive behavioral therapy was found to be as effective as face-to-face therapy in the treatment of major depression and anxiety disorders.
In this process, it became a necessary alternative for the clients and therapists who continued their conversations with the traditional method in order to ensure the continuity of the interviews. It seems that the use of online therapy will increase in the coming period. In this context, knowing the advantages and disadvantages of online therapy, making sure of the competence of the therapist we interviewed with online therapy, evaluating the suitability of online therapy with the therapist, and talking about the precautions to be taken regarding the possible negative effects will increase the efficiency of online therapy.