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Many people had to change their daily routines when the world shut down because of COVID-19. Suddenly, there was no more driving into the office or going to your favorite restaurant. Some people who had to adjust their life drastically were therapists and therapy-goers.
Despite traveling being banned in many places, therapists still wanted to give their patients the care they desired and their mental health required. Many companies and offices began offering online therapy options.
For many, they were not happy with the arrangement; it felt similar to the frustrating thing about online dating: no face-to-face communication. Others were happy to have some normalcy albeit slightly different than their usual commute.
Learn more about how online therapy is different from traditional therapy, the benefits, and the disadvantages. Find out which option is best for you!
How is Online Therapy Different Than In-Person Sessions?
For starters, insurance may be different for people that attend online therapy sessions. While many insurance companies see no difference between online and in-person therapy, others will only cover one.
A few examples of insurances that accept online therapy: Tricare, Humana, Magellan Health, and more. While these insurances offer coverage, many people are forced to rely on more affordable online therapy recommendations.
The Advantages of Online Therapy?
There are many advantages to online therapy. For many, accessibility is the deciding factor behind choosing an online option over an in-person session. Accessibility is vital for a variety of reasons.
For instance, individuals that do not have the physical capability of traveling alone may find it difficult to attend traditional therapy. Depending on outside sources for accompaniment or traveling means is not always reliable. Online therapy is more accessible and easier to count on in these cases.
Other reasons accessibility is an advantage for individuals living in rural areas. If you live in a small town far away from a dense population, you may not have a therapist available. Online therapy is best because you can access it via phone or the internet.
Another benefit of online therapy is comfortability! For many, the idea of going into an office setting or any setting outside of their home feels frightening. While overwhelmed with the process of traveling and speaking to a therapist, they may not benefit from their session as they should.
Online therapy allows them to stay within the comforts of their home while also having access to a therapist. With online therapy, they can approach the uncomfortable feelings they associate with a therapist’s office, and one day they may consider an in-person session.
The Disadvantages of Online Therapy?
While there are many convincing arguments for online therapy, there are some downsides to it as well. Possibly, the largest downside of online therapy is the lack of intimacy between the patient and therapist.
Many therapy methods rely on the face to face interaction during sessions. Therapists can gather more information and make more logical conclusions when they are presented with all the facts. For example, our mouths may say one thing, but our body language adds another dimension to our words.
While online therapy through video calls can convey some body language, those that choose phone calls and messaging services will not be able to provide these things. A therapist may come to the same conclusion through a phone call or a messaging service; however, it is more conclusive in person.
A lack of intimacy can also make it more difficult to form a bond and connection with your therapist. People may find it easier to hide things away from their therapist because they do not have a bond or reason to trust them.
Similarly, there may also be miscommunication between the two. If you are utilizing the messaging functions of an online platform, you may be incapable of putting your thoughts in writing. Because people communicate in different ways, there may be miscommunication. Some people do better writing out their thoughts and feelings, while others struggle to put their emotions into words.
Talk to your therapist or find a therapist near you and discuss your options. After looking at your mental health concerns and reasonings for starting therapy, your therapist can help you make the best decision for your future!
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