Online Therapy: What? Why? And is it Right for Me?

What?

More and more services are being offered online these days. Medical services and even counseling are now being   offered from the comfort of your own home or office through video chat services. Don’t    worry your privacy is still upheld- the medical providers and therapists should be using    secure and  confidential web servers that offer HIPAA compliance to follow the federal     mandates. 

With online therapy you still meet ‘face to face’ with a qualified therapist, only it is happening on your computer screen. 

Below are some considerations of whether or not online therapy may be right for you.

Where?

From the comfort of your own home or office, or while you’re traveling on the go. Get your support regardless of the obstacles or special circumstances you may have.

• Consider if you have a quiet place that you can speak openly without being overheard by someone else in your home or workplace. If you think that someone may be able to overhear you, this space will not work for a therapy session.

       A) Either you will be self-conscious and unable to fully open up for the extent of the therapeutic benefit, or

     B) Your confidentiality could be breached by having someone nearby listening in to what you are saying in a private session. Your therapist can only control your confidentiality from their end of the equation- it’s up to you to secure your own environment.

Why?

Obstacles to therapy happen all the time. 

Travel or transportation barriers are one possibility, or your health may be another challenge that keeps you from regularly attending appointments.

Maybe you have been seeking counseling support and struggle with one of these issues or frequently have to travel for work. If this is your situation, online therapy may be a great way to give you the consistent support that you need to move forward on your goals for a happier/ healthier life. Don’t let these barriers stop you from getting the help you need. 

Who?

Convenience, convenience, convenience. Many people that start therapy are unable to be consistent with their appointments for a multitude of reasons. And if you aren’t consistently going then you aren’t reaching your fullest potential. 

If therapy is convenient for you then it will be easier to stick with it and get the regular support you need to facilitate the positive changes you’re wanting.

Finding the right therapist when your area is limited is one problem you may face. If you live in a small town or a place where you don’t have a lot of choices, this option may give you the freedom to find the best fit for you. Don’t limit yourself or settle just because that’s what is available. 

Therapy works most effectively when you have a good connection with your therapist and feel understood. That means that if you find yourself settling you may not be getting as much from the work you’re doing as you could be. However, there are some limitations to finding an online therapist. Each state has different licensing regulations, so you may find some therapists are only able to provide to residents in the states in which they are licensed.

When?

It may be hard to get away from your high pressure job or to find the time in the day for self-care. Instead of having to schedule extra time out for your appointments to drive there, deal with traffic, and wait, maybe the 1 hour online meeting is best for your schedule. 

Take a lunch break or wrap up a task and hope onto the website just in time for your appointment. It can’t be more convenient then that! And pat yourself on the back for taking the time to focus on your needs and achieving your goals. 

How?

Technology is a must. Do you have reliable internet connection and a way to video chat? 

This may be as simple as a computer, laptop or your cell phone. You should still problem solve with your therapist about what to do in case the internet connection does drop and/or you get disconnected. 

Speaking of technology, many people can navigate simple tasks on a cell phone or computer, but feel uncomfortable with new programs or complicated tasks. 

Depending on the system your therapist chooses to use, it can be as simple as clicking a link and typing in your name, then you just wait until your therapist shows up on the screen. 

It doesn’t have to be hard or intimidating!

Why Not?

Is it personable? In most online therapy services, you will have one therapist that you regularly talk with and get to know. You and the therapist should be able to see each other, read some body language and all facial expressions, and hear each other clearly. 

The limitations to getting to know someone through video chat sessions is that you won’t see as much of the environment and may not see the full body to read all body language, but that may not be the barrier that you think it is. 

After 1-2 sessions you may find that you are perfectly comfortable with this option, it’s just the initial adjustment and unknown that people may find they aren’t sure about. 

However, online therapy isn’t for everyone. Even after all the information about it, you may still find yourself preferring the in-person experience. That’s perfectly fine! There also may be reasons that your therapist recommends in-person sessions for you, so trust your gut and your therapist’s recommendation. 

 

Brought to you by Therapist Lindsey Lowrance at Exploring Inner Peace. Lindsey is passionate about helping women in STEM & other high pressure careers learn specific strategies and tools for navigating career and relationship challenges. Helping Women Get Heard! For more information visit: www.exploringinnerpeace.com  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Phone: 720-243-3993

© Lindsey Lowrance 2017- This article MAY be shared or reprinted as long as the information is unedited and the author bio, including contact information is printed along with the tips.