As doctor offices and hospitals closed in-person visits to help stop the spread of COVID-19, physicians and medical professionals began offering online visits. Telehealth therapy grew in demand as more people began experiencing negative mental effects from quarantine. Therapy has helped patients overcome the painful experiences of isolation and loneliness. Now that in-patient visits are starting to open up again, you might be wondering if telehealth therapy is as effective as in-person therapy.
Is Telehealth Therapy Worth It?
Therapy, even telehealth therapy, is worth it for many people. For general anxiety, depression, and life transitions, telehealth is incredibly effective. Telehealth therapy helps clients learn techniques and skills to help better manage their symptoms.
What are the Benefits of Telehealth Counseling?
There are a variety of benefits that make telehealth counseling so successful. Patients who live in rural areas have easy access to a wide pool of therapists. Eliminating travel takes away the stress of driving to a counselor’s office and makes it easier to be consistent with visits. Telehealth therapy also lets clients skip the waiting room and meet from the comfort of their own home.
1. Eliminates Travel
What if you never have to worry about fighting traffic after a long day of work to get to your therapy session? With online counseling, you can see a highly rated therapist who lives on the other side of your city (or country!) without the stress of traveling or navigating unfamiliar roads–saving you time and money.
This form of therapy also eliminates the anxiety of leaving the house. As long as you have a reliable computer and strong internet connection, you can visit with your therapist from the comfort of your home.
2. Easier to Stay Consistent
Finding a therapist that you connect with and feel comfortable with is the most important part of therapy. The second is consistency. Regular visits will help keep you on track with managing your symptoms. Telehealth therapy makes this easy by eliminating the time and stress of traveling to an appointment. Plus, if you move to a new city or state, you can continue seeing the same therapist rather than having to find a new one all over again. (Check with your therapist to make sure they have a license to practice in the state you are moving to.)
3. No Need for Child Care
Setting up a babysitter or after-school care for children so you and your partner can go to a counseling appointment can be overwhelming. Telehealth eliminates the need for child care and avoids the additional 30-60 minutes of travel in order to meet with a counselor. Couples can meet with a counselor in the comfort of their home while their children are also safely at home in another room.
4. More Therapists & Counselors to Choose From
Before telehealth, your selection of counselors was limited to how far you were willing to travel. Telehealth allows you to reach out further to find therapists or counselors who were never an option before. Now it is easy to find therapists for a variety of practices such as loss and grief, anger management, teen counseling, men’s counseling, and women’s counseling. People who live in rural areas now have access to a variety of counselors and services.
5. Skip the Waiting Room
Waiting rooms are not where most of us want to spend long periods, especially after a long workday. Sitting in a waiting room can also add more stress and anxiety, which can affect the appointment. Telehealth therapy allows you to feel comfortable in your own home without spending time in a room full of strangers.
6. Germ-Free Session
During COVID-19, telehealth therapy kept clients and counselors connected during quarantine and safe from exposure to the virus. But, besides the pandemic, people suffering from anxiety and depression may have a weakened immune system due to the constant stress. Telehealth therapy helps to eliminate the spread of germs and allows patients to receive care even when they are feeling under the weather.
What are the Disadvantages of Telehealth Therapy?
As with anything, there are a few disadvantages to telehealth therapy.
- Some insurance companies do not cover telehealth therapy. Check with your insurance provider to see if they offer coverage.
- Like in-person therapy, telehealth therapy follows HIPAA standards, but some people still may feel uncomfortable with sharing their information online.
- Unreliable technology or a weak internet signal can disrupt sessions. Be sure to use a dependable computer and check your internet connection before the appointment time.
- At-home distractions can make it difficult to focus on what your therapist is saying. Find a room where you can be comfortable and away from distractions.
Is Telehealth Counseling Cheaper?
In general, telehealth counseling is cheaper than in-person. You’ll also save money by not traveling to an actual physical office space. No need for gas money or bus fare! Be sure to check with your insurance company about their policies and if they cover telehealth therapy.
Find Out Which Is Right For You
Finding a counselor that is right for you and you are comfortable talking to is vital. Meet the counselors that make up our team at Real Life Counseling. Whether you decide on in-person or virtual visits, our counselors are here to help you manage depression, anxiety, family dynamics, gender-specific challenges, and other life transitions. If you’re ready, you can request an appointment today.