As humans, we often go through different stages of emotion and phases of life. There are times when we go “off-track”, and get stuck with substance abuse or behavioural addictions such as eating disorders, gambling, video games, porn, sex, and social media. Counselling can help.
However, when it comes to counselling, in-person, face-to-face therapy seems to be far better recognised compared to its online counterpart, in terms of its effectiveness – until now. So, in this article, we would like to shed some light on online therapy and its benefits, particularly, on how it could help heal people struggling with mental health issues such as addictions.
Understanding Online Therapy
Online therapy is associated with psychotherapy and counselling services that are provided over the internet. It allows people to connect with a qualified counsellor or therapist using a device with an internet connection, including a smartphone, computer, or tablet. It is also referred to as e-therapy or teletherapy among clients.
Benefits of Online Therapy
As Effective As In-Person Therapy
According to research, online therapy is as effective as in-person, face-to-face therapy for addiction-related mental health conditions, as well as substance abuse. Online CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is also as effective for social anxiety, generalised anxiety and panic disorder.
Easily Accessible & Convenient Mental Healthcare
Online therapy makes mental healthcare and therapy more accessible. Whether one has issues relating to mobility, commuting, or schedule, one will find online therapy easy and convenient. Online therapy has also become a promising option for addicted people who need to serve stay-at-home orders or live with restricted movement during the COVID-19 pandemic as they can continue their therapy on-premise.
Reduction In Shortage Of Mental Healthcare
According to research, 25 million Americans are struggling with substance abuse, which adversely impacts their mental health. However, less than half of them receive mental healthcare services. This is due mainly to the lack of mental healthcare providers.
Online therapy helps connect mental health professionals to clients who are in immediate need of counselling, irrespective of their location. As long as a client has access to a phone, computer or smart device, together with an internet connection, they will be able to receive treatment.
Improved Comfort & Privacy
There is a stigma associated with counselling. People fear getting seen while at a therapist’s office or en route to one. With online therapy, there is no need to travel and clients may attend the sessions from the comfort and privacy of their homes. When clients are in their safe space, they also tend to be more open about the issues they face, resulting in improved treatment outcomes.
Extends Overall Health
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is the state of complete social, mental, and physical well-being, and is not limited to the absence of infirmity or disease. This means that one cannot be deemed healthy without good mental health. The CDC has also advised that depressive disorders can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular issues, cancer, and asthma. Therefore, an addicted person who has access to timely and effective counselling online will have a better chance of achieving emotional, mental and physical health.
The Bottom Line
Addiction and substance abuse can adversely affect one’s mental health. Online therapy is at the forefront of the mental healthcare industry, and if used effectively, can yield promising results for both healthcare providers and clients. It is known to be as effective and productive as in-person therapy.