The Pros And Cons Of Online Therapy
Online therapy has been around for many years, but it is still an evolving field. The first online program was developed by American psychologist Dr Joseph Weizenbaum in the 1960s. It was a computer programmed to simulate human responses through text-only conversations. Since then, there have been many developments in online therapy including chat rooms and forums where people can get help anonymously as well as professional treatment programs that have licensed therapists and assessment tools. But online therapy comes with its fair share of pros and cons. These are some pros and cons of online therapy.
How Is Online Therapy Advantageous?
Easily Available & Cheaper
Many people today are seeking mental health treatment online because it may not be available to them otherwise. In majority of the country there are few mental health professionals and long waiting lists for therapy, especially for disorders such as anxiety or PTSD. Online therapy is an effective way to get help and support when traditional therapy may not be available or is too expensive.
Online therapy can also help people who have been diagnosed with a disorder but would rather seek help from an anonymous source than from someone they know. The anonymity can also make it more comfortable for those who don't want to disclose their mental health issues, have a job that would be impacted by seeing a therapist in person or live with parents or family who might object to regular therapy visits. (how to prioritise mental health)
Online therapy programs typically use assessment tools and work with licensed therapists so the treatment offered is of high quality.
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What are some disadvantages of online therapy?
Trial & Error
Although there are many good providers of online therapy, there are also some that may not be very good. It can be difficult to know which providers are reputable and have high-quality treatment programs.
Many people are concerned about privacy when they use an online therapist so they may worry about what information will be shared and with whom. Some therapists provide services through Skype or other video chat services that may not offer adequate security and protection from hacking.
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Therapy may not be as effective when done alone, especially if there are mental health issues that impact relationships or the way a person relates to others. It can also be difficult to create an honest and open relationship with someone without actually meeting them in person.
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