Online therapy, also referred to as e-therapy, teletherapy, or e-counseling, means using the internet connection remotely to offer mental health support and services.
Some primary devices and tools used for communication include:
- Real-time online chats
- Smartphone with suitable apps
- PCs, laptops, and tablets
- Text messaging
- Internet telephone
Online therapy happens in two types, which include in real-time and in a time-delayed structure, such as through email commutation.
Recently, many health providers have implemented online therapy due to the isolation and quarantine guidelines from the coronavirus pandemic. Even though this treatment has limitations, it is quickly becoming a crucial needed resource for many patients and clients. Some people prefer to choose an online therapy option because of the availability and convenience that comes with it.
How Effective is Online Therapy
While this therapy has some challenges, many patients receiving mental health treatment have supported it. According to a review on mental health treatment published in the World Journal of Psychiatry, patients who used video conferencing expressed their high levels of fulfillment about the services.
Additionally, in another study, researchers found that online CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), together with clinical care, was useful while treating anxiety disorders, depression, and sicknesses associated with emotional distress. Also, some specific results revealed that some patients produced better results with online treatment than those who received face-to-face treatment.
Researchers also state that online therapy may be useful when treating other health conditions. Those people who reside in rural areas may find it particularly helpful due to limited access to mental health providers or rehabs.
Requirements for an Online Therapist
Online therapists have different educations and credentials, just like real-life therapists who also have varying qualifications and licenses related to their professional fields. It would be best if you tried sites that provide quick and easy access to training to become an unqualified online therapist.
The truth is that the training and educational requirements to be an online therapist are similar, just like therapists or counselors who practice regular in-person meetings.
Besides, regulating online therapy practice is very difficult since therapists can operate remotely from anywhere. Such challenges make it hard to enforce state laws to monitor training, education, and general practice.
The Online Therapy Institute provides an excellent ethical structure for using mental health technology. The following are the guidelines for minimum practices and standards essential for ethical online therapy.
- Online therapists should only provide care and services which they are qualified or licensed to give.
- All therapists should possess relevant experience, knowledge, and supervision in online therapy training and procedures.
- Online therapists should be knowledgable with the latest and changing technology. Also, it includes applying and utilizing essential tools for delivering deliver psychotherapy online. Therapists should also ensure that clients’ information remains private and secure.
- Online therapists should abide by the guidelines and laws specified by their geographic location.
Final Thoughts from the Recover
Although research indicates that online therapy can be a useful option for mental health conditions, it doesn’t imply that everyone can use it too. For instance, patients struggling with more severe forms of mental disorders, such as severe depression, schizophrenia, and drug addiction, need more hospitalized services than what online therapy can provide.
Therefore, if you believe online therapy is the right option, consider checking the following list of rehab providers near you. Ensure to inquire about their available online services to determine the best one for your conditions, budget, and needs.