If you could go back in time to the 1950s and explain to somebody that they would be able to receive intimate, effective therapy from the comfort of their own homes, from a professional therapist located 400 miles away, they would’ve called you crazy.
The wonders of modern technology have brought us many joys. From the ability to have food delivered with the push of a button to taking professional-grade photographs from our handheld phones, technology has overall improved many lives and opened an endless amount of doors.
How Counselors Manage to Make Online Therapy Intimate
Online therapy is the latest in a long line of developments in the world of mental healthcare and perhaps one of the most important.
What is online therapy, and why does it matter?
Online therapy gives far more people the opportunity to receive the professional help they need; it solves many common concerns that may keep an individual from pursuing traditional therapy.
New technologies, like utilizing video conferencing during therapy (teletherapy), are beneficial for many reasons. Most prominent among them is a lowered risk of becoming sick or dealing with high levels of stress from an in-person commitment.
Online therapy has countless other benefits, too. Since you can skip the commute and create a more flexible appointment schedule, treatment is much easier to fit into a busy schedule than before.
Furthermore, being in the comfort of your own home is a considerable advantage to many people. Online therapy, like the services provided at MyTherapist, provides the same level of intimate, personal attention that in-person therapy does.
It isn’t uncommon for people to be nervous or anxious for an in-person therapy session. By holding that session online, from the comfort and familiarity of their own home, more people can be open and honest in therapy sessions, improving the efficacy of their treatment plan.
Is online therapy right for me?
Many people may wonder an obvious question: are there drawbacks to online therapy? Indeed, there is a trade-off, as with anything, between doing therapy in-person and online.
For some people, physical interaction is crucial to the therapeutic experience. Severe mental illnesses or concerns that need immediate, significant intervention may also negate in-person therapy (or another form of in-person treatment, like inpatient services).
Professional, highly-trained therapists are experts at cultivating a welcoming and open atmosphere where you can feel free to express your thoughts and feelings, so you won’t have to worry about the quality of your treatment suffering simply because you’re attending online.
If you’re new to therapy, feel like you struggle to fit it in your schedule, or struggle to feel comfortable opening up, you might find that online therapy works wonderfully for you.
How does online therapy feel intimate?
It seems almost counterintuitive that online therapy could be personal and intimate, even more so than in-person sessions.
However, therapists and patients alike have been pleasantly surprised to feel the close human interactions from online therapy, especially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One way in which online therapy can be more intimate and personal than in-person therapy is that it loses the “professional” feel to an extent.
In other words, both therapist and patient can more openly show their authentic lives to each other.
Your sessions may not take place in a cultivated space specifically designed to “make you feel comfortable;” instead, they can take place in a space you know makes you comfortable.
Sometimes, surrounding yourself with the environment you’re used to and in most often can provoke more deep reflection and honesty. Our homes are full of memories that shape us into who we are.
Your therapist may gain unique insight regarding your home life and atmosphere, hobbies, habits, and other things that may not be as obvious in traditional therapy. Patients also get the rare opportunity to have a more personal glimpse into the lives of the professionals they work with as well.
These types of interactions are possible only because of the wonderful nature of online therapy. By allowing both patient and therapist to be in their “natural habitat,” sessions may be more likely to encourage the release of subconscious or deeply buried feelings.
Conclusion: Online Therapy? Just as Intimate as In-Person
Online therapy offers a fantastic new avenue for people to get the mental health help that they need. Rather than a formal, stress-inducing trip to the therapist’s office, online therapy allows the therapist to take a peek into your real life.
Of course, it isn’t for everybody. There are many people who still will crave and require the in-person elements of therapy.
Such a preference is entirely valid; whatever situation helps you be open to accepting help from and working with a therapist is appropriate.
However, many individuals will likely find it’s worth trying online therapy at least once.
If that sounds like you, don’t be afraid to get started today. Get a feel for how online therapy functions and the different benefits and drawbacks that you might experience.
Online therapy is here to stay, given how intimate, personal, and effective it has proven to be. Like many other parts of our lives, mental healthcare is evolving to fit better into our schedules and make sense for more individuals.
Author Bio: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.