Benefits and Drawbacks of Telehealth Counseling
Have you been considering going to a therapy session? If so, then you might have been contemplating whether you should go with a traditional in-person therapy session, or if you should consider online telehealth counseling instead. Many people have found success with online therapy, and there is a chance that it could work well for you. However, it is important that you look at both the pros and cons of this type of therapy before you make your decision.
The Benefits of Telehealth Counseling
Many people in the country are in areas where it is simply not easy to find a good therapist. They might live in rural areas where getting quality mental health treatment is difficult. With online therapy, as long as they have a connection to the web, they can speak with a therapist.
Along the same lines, there may be people out there who have physical issues that prevent them from getting out of the house to go to a therapy session once or twice a week. It could be due to their health, their strength and ability to drive or find transportation, or even a phobia that prevents them from leaving. Telehealth counseling helps to ensure that people who really need therapy can get it no matter where they are located.
Of course, online therapy also happens to be very convenient. Clients can attend the sessions right from the comfort of their own homes, and many may find that they are more comfortable sharing and talking with a therapist in this setting. In addition, there are many insurance providers who will cover online therapy, which helps to make it affordable.
The Drawbacks of Telehealth Counseling
While there are certainly plenty of benefits when it comes to online therapy, there are some potential drawbacks, as well. For starters, there are some states that do not require insurance providers pay for this type of counseling. In addition, some states will not allow therapists from out of state to provide services. This can limit the providers you have available, and you will have to choose from a shortened list to make sure they are licensed where you reside.
Another concern that many people have when it comes to telehealth counseling is whether their information is truly private. While the therapists are professional and will ensure your privacy from their end, many worry that since information is being transferred over the web, there is a chance of a hack or dissemination of your private information.
Along the same lines, technology can be finicky. If a client’s Internet service is not working properly, or if the therapist has a problem with their connection, it could mean a missed session. Missed sessions tend to be far less likely when they are in person.
Therapists who are online are unable to respond as quickly to a crisis, as well. If they are not booked for a session, it can sometimes be difficult to get in touch with the therapist to deal with the crisis in time. In addition, those who suffer from serious mental health issues that require direct treatment may not benefit from online therapy.
Online Therapy Could Still Be a Solution for Many
While there are some drawbacks, and online telehealth counseling is not the right solution for everyone, many will still benefit. If you are considering this type of therapy, you will want to speak with a mental health professional to make sure it is the best solution for you needs. Prior to booking a session with a therapist online, be sure to ask the necessary questions to determine what a good fit looks like for you. For example, does the therapist offer flexible time slots? What would the therapist do to ensure connectivity issues do not occur? What is the therapist's credentials, are they qualified to provide the services they are advertising? And is telehealth covered under your insurance? Regardless of whether you choose telehealth or in-person therapy, make sure you get the help you need.
Some popular sites to locate telehealth counselors are: