Many people think that online therapy is very new, when actually it’s been around since the early 90’s. It may still be up and coming but is quickly gaining popularity amongst those who appreciate the convenience and cost-effectiveness, amongst many other benefits.
This medium is gaining more and more interest and application, with more than a third of practitioners offering online sessions now thanks to the possibilities with email, Skype and instant messaging.
A common concern many people have with online therapy about how to build a strong client-therapist relationship without meeting in person. Worry not! A study published in July 2013 has confirmed what many practitioners already knew: not only is online therapy as effective as face to face therapy, it appears to be more effective. 6 therapists treated 62 people, most of whom were experiencing moderate depression. Participants were divided into two equal groups and randomly assigned to phone or face to face therapy.
In both groups depression decreased significantly. 53% of the people who underwent online therapy had no detectable symptoms left, compared to 50% for face to face sessions. Three months after the treatment, the depression in the online clients decreased further: no depression could be discerned in 57% of the online participants compared to 42% with conventional therapy.
For both groups, the degree of satisfaction with the treatment and therapists was similarly high. 96% of the online therapy participants and 91% of the face to face participants rated the contact with their therapist as “personal”. In the case of online therapy, people tended to use the therapy contacts and subsequent homework to progress further, they also read over their communication with their therapist. What this all points to is that in the medium term, online psychotherapy yields better results.
In an age where the nature of the therapeutic alliance between therapist and client is seen as far more significant than any particular psychotherapeutic paradigm or approach this has particularly positive meaning.
Among the advantages of internet therapy are access for those who are physically disabled, those who are housebound due to physical or psychological issues, people who travel frequently, those who live in rural areas without much access to therapists and also people who are looking for relative anonymity and/or invisibility, making the disclosure of difficult issues easier. Many people also get great benefit from having a written record of their sessions to review at their convenience when working through email and instant message.
Try a session with us and decide for yourself!