Why are More People Choosing Teletherapy?
If there’s ever been a perfect time for teletherapy, it’s now. During the pandemic, technology has provided us with vital tools to safely stay in contact with loved ones and co-workers. Still, for most of us, it’s been challenging to meet even our basic mental and emotional needs while we’re so isolated. If you’ve been hesitant to see a therapist in person during lockdown, teletherapy is another option to consider. Here are a few reasons it’s continued to grow in popularity over the years.
As our lives are more and more influenced by technology, we’ve come to expect convenience. We can now order everything online, without ever leaving the comfort of home, from groceries to home furniture, it’s all just a few clicks away. So it should come as no surprise then that when licensed therapists became available through video platforms, teletherapy was widely embraced. While there are obvious benefits to in-person counseling sessions, the convenience of going high-tech is undeniable—no more traffic jams or rushing to appointments. This is also a great option if you want to see a therapist who is within the state, but too far away for a regular commute. Or, maybe you don’t have reliable transportation. Whatever the reason, convenience is at the top of the list for most people.
Finding Reliable Childcare
Lining up childcare is another barrier parents sometimes face when it comes to scheduling therapy sessions. If you have younger children at home, childcare costs can really add up over time, too. Additionally, arranging to have someone stay with your kids also means that your plans rely on them following through. If you’re a parent of young children, you might consider scheduling teletherapy sessions during naptime. This is the perfect pause to take a little time for yourself and check in with your own needs.
Of course, therapy is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is vulnerable and some people care more about absolute privacy than others. If you don’t want to be seen in a waiting room, because you might run into someone you know, teletherapy is an option that adds another layer of privacy to your counseling appointments. It’s also a way to help you socialize while staying isolated.
You Have a Hectic Schedule
If you feel like you’re just too busy to take any time for your mental and emotional health, teletherapy is an ideal way to make some space for your own self-care. Whether you travel a lot for work (probably not the case this year), or you have too much going on to be able to get away for a one-hour appointment—plus driving time, there are no more excuses. You can prioritize your well-being with video therapy sessions. All you need is a quiet space and a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
The Comfort of Home
Nothing can replace the comfort of home, not even the most empathetic therapist. Regardless of how great the relationship is with your therapist, you still might feel more secure in your own space. While some people prefer to meet in person in order to create some distance from daily life, if you’re a bit of a homebody, you might benefit from teletherapy sessions.
Health and Safety
Even though three vaccines are now available for the coronavirus, and millions of people have already been inoculated in the US alone, we still remain several months away from herd immunity. Additionally, with new strains of COVID-19 now circulating in the states, it’s more important than ever to distance ourselves and take extra precautions.
This is especially critical for people in more vulnerable demographics, such as anyone over the age of sixty-five, or those with chronic health conditions. If you feel more comfortable seeking counseling from a distance, at least until life more or less returns to normal, teletherapy is the safest option for high-risk individuals who need to be extra careful.
Is Teletherapy Effective?
You may be surprised to learn that some form of teletherapy has been around since the late 1990s. What that means is that there are over twenty years of research into this topic and that virtual counseling sessions have been crowned an acceptable alternative to in-person treatment. If you’re interested in learning more about this growing body of research, click here for a telebehavioral health reference bibliography. One thing to note is that when someone has a beneficial experience with virtual therapy, they may be more likely to transition to in-person appointments when they feel more comfortable.
Virtual services are also useful when it comes to couples therapy. Of course, all of the above benefits of teletherapy also apply to online couples therapy appointments. Similarly, some couples may feel more relaxed in their own environment and find it easier to open up.
A therapist that specializes in couples therapy will be able to help you with things like identifying relationship patterns, how to handle personality differences, and unhealthy coping behaviors that need to be evaluated. Improving your communication is one of the best things you can do for any relationship in your life.
A Secure Way to Connect
If you’re thinking about scheduling your first counseling session online, you may have some valid concerns about the technical side of things. At COPE Psychology, we use a secure HIPAA compliant video system for your peace of mind. Teletherapy sessions are protected and just as confidential as they would be in person. We take your privacy as seriously as you do, and we’re happy to answer any questions you have about the video platform we use during your virtual visits.
Schedule a Consultation Today
At COPE Psychology, our mission is to provide holistic mental health care that considers the whole person. It’s been a difficult year, on a global scale, and many people are struggling right now with feelings of isolation or anxiety. If you’re overwhelmed, we’re here to talk. You can schedule an appointment by calling 310-453-8788, or use the email form below. Even if you aren’t located in Los Angeles, teletherapy appointments are available throughout the state of California.