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We are lucky to live in a day and age where technology can sometimes fill the gaps when a crisis hits. Though COVID-19 has caused complex challenges to those battling mental health issues, there are solutions available that can help to ride the storm. Though in-person therapy is the preferred method to receive counseling, teletherapy has allowed isolated individuals to find the help they need from the comfort of their homes. Evidence suggests that even after COVID passes, teletherapy and online counseling may be the way of the future. Read ahead for the top advantages of these practices.
1. Fewer Barriers
One of the biggest obstacles to counseling is maintaining a counselor. Statistics show that the modal number of sessions attended by individuals is one, inferring that a vast number of people leave after the first session. This is primarily due to long-distance travel, a bad fit, or the client believing one session ‘cured’ him/her.
Teletherapy removes some of these barriers by allowing the patient to enjoy a session in the comfort of his/her own home. It also encourages people to feel safer and more secure when sharing their fears and worries with a stranger.
2. Increased Privacy
Teletherapy always ensures that the session is private, regardless of the situation. Many clients worry about seeing someone they know when they attend an in-person session.
This fear can even prevent some from attending or staying at all. Teens and young adults may find the privacy aspect especially comforting, as many of them are already struggling with low self-esteem and insecurity.
3. Greater Efficiency
Commutes and long-distance driving can be distressing for individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, and anger problems. Agoraphobic patients are particularly susceptible to anxiety attacks when they have to leave the house.
Though it is essential to sometimes force a patient to do something uncomfortable, teletherapy can help individuals feel comfortable doing something they would normally never do. For example, an agoraphobic may have wanted counseling for years, but was unable to leave the house to obtain it. Teletherapy allows the patient to get the initial help needed to be able to leave the house eventually.
Those who don’t feel well can often attend teletherapy sessions when they wouldn’t usually attend an in-person session. The primary reason for canceling an in-person visit is to avoid getting the other person sick. When an individual is at home with a cold, he/she can enjoy counseling without worrying about the health of the other person.
5. Increased Access for Disabled Patients
It can be very challenging for disabled patients to attend in-person counseling sessions, particularly if the individual requires some type of outside assistance to travel. Schedules can’t conflict, the journey is long and stressful, and many times the patient simply stops going due to these barriers. Teletherapy allows a disabled individual to receive care without worrying about all of these other factors.
6. Reduction in Wait Times
Many times, counselors accidentally schedule in-person clients too close together with little downtime in between. This leads to a backlog of patients, longer wait times, and unhappy individuals on both sides. The counselor feels overworked and the patient feels upset at having to wait.
Teletherapy generally eliminates most wait times because the patient is placed in a specific slot that is previously agreed upon. When it's time to log in, both parties log in. The counselor is better equipped to manage his/her schedules and everyone ends up satisfied.
Do you struggle with anxiety and depression? Have you considered teletherapy? If so, please contact Straight Talk counseling at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at straighttalkcounseling.org. One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you.