December 10, 2020
Accessing therapy online has myriad benefits, starting with convenience. Getting therapy from the comfort of home eliminates the hassle of having to travel to appointments and sit in a waiting room, which can be a tremendous boon to busy students, professionals, and parents alike. E-therapy also brings an unprecedented number of options for counseling services to everyone equally, no matter where they are located. For people in rural areas, those with limited mobility, and those without access to reliable transportation, e-therapy may mean it’s finally possible to get quality treatment for the first time. Considering that rural areas in America have higher-than-average rates of depression, substance abuse, and even suicide, online therapy could finally help bridge this gap.
The convenience factor also takes away some of the excuses that may prevent people who need help from seeking it, like not having time, not being able to find the right kind of counselor, or having to travel too far. Being able to easily connect with a specific kind of therapist (eg, one who specializes in phobias, speaks a certain language, or uses a particular method like DBT) over the internet can also help potential clients find the best match possible for their individual position. This can result in a far more personalized and satisfying course of therapy, now that it’s no longer necessary to rely on the literal luck of the geographic draw when it comes to brick-and-mortar practices.
Another significant advantage of online counseling is cost-related. Not having to maintain a physical office can help therapists save money and the savings are often passed along to clients. Additionally, most practices offer a higher level of access (such as unlimited text messaging) to the therapist for the amount of money being paid. Finally, when gas or transportation money and time savings are also factored in, e-therapy may make sense for a whole subset of people who didn’t think that counseling was in the realm of affordability.
Ultimately, the advent of online counseling has made it much easier to access services for a wider variety of people. The benefits of counseling to improve home life, work productivity, and general satisfaction are no longer restricted only to people who happen to have a therapist that’s a good fit located near their home. Even for clients who live within range of good providers, e-therapy may also be a better choice simply because it takes less time, is often more affordable, and in general has more flexible scheduling.