It took a pandemic for teletherapy to become the standard, and now it may be here to stay.
If we have learned anything this year, it’s that there are things you can do from the comfort of your own home that you’d never taken advantage of before. Ordering delivery through Uber, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates has increased exponentially. Online grocery/household items can now be delivered to your door — hassle-free.
Many jobs transitioned to work-from-home status, and some companies have permanently gone remote. Schools have swapped in-person learning for hybrid or virtual learning. Doctors are offering appointments and consultations online as a temporary replacement for in-office visits.
But are these things actually temporary?
As more and more people turn to virtual appointments and teletherapy for their personal needs, doctors are finding that this may become a mainstay for their businesses. Aside from the convenience of providing services to patients at home in light of social distancing, therapists can provide these same services in real-time instead of having a patient wait for an appointment a week, month, or more out.
The pandemic brought about the widespread use of telecommunications for therapy — whether it was needed before the pandemic or as a result. In looking ahead, that practice may be here to stay, and here’s why.
Online Therapy Is More Affordable Overall
Other than the actual session costs, teletherapy provides other financial benefits as well. You don’t have to pay for transportation — gas, transit, etc. — to get to your appointment. You don’t have to find a sitter if you have kids.
Many people, especially younger generations, use the web for their personal and shopping needs and typically do so for discounted rates. You’re saving money by staying home, and who doesn’t love doing both?!
Teletherapy Allows for More Flexibility
Sure, 2020 has slowed everything down, seeing as most people spent much of it at home due to the pandemic. But has it really slowed us down that much? Working from home, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, shopping, and more still cram schedules for the average person. So why should therapy take up more time?
The average time for a therapy session (including transportation to and from) can be over two hours. That’s two hours of time that you could spend more wisely. Teletherapy, backed by some of the top therapists in the country, can cut that time in half or more and allow therapists to fit more patients into their schedules.
Studies show that online therapy is up to 7.8 times faster than face-to-face treatment. Efficient and straightforward is appealing when going through your day. Teletherapy allows for a session to occur on your schedule when it is convenient for you.
You can spend the session outside, on a couch, or in the privacy of your hotel room if you are traveling. There’s no excuse for avoiding therapy because you simply “don’t have the time.”
Teletherapy Provides a Comfortable, Personal Environment
Social distancing in using the web is a bonus factor to the anonymity of doing things digitally. Teletherapy fits into the fast-growing digital landscape in the same way. Sure, therapists occasionally offer home visits, but teletherapy ensures that you are in your element and in a comfortable environment for you.
You’re in your own space. There is no waiting room or therapy couch. The session is completely private. When you get to choose your environment for anything, you generally choose a place that is comfortable and quiet for you. Teletherapy allows for that protection.
Sessions Can Occur in Real-Time
While it may be hard to hand a patient a tissue if they begin crying during a session, there are other benefits to teletherapy in real-time. Say you begin having a panic attack before the session or on a whim, and you can’t get to your therapist in person to handle the situation and ease your tensions.
With teletherapy, you can speak to your therapist while it is happening. Some of these instances may occur on your way to an in-person appointment or at other times, leaving you to recall by memory for your actual session.
Take this example from the New York Times:
The 10-year-old girl was afraid that her American Girl dolls — buried in the bedroom closet — would come alive and attack her. As the girl pointed her iPad at the scary closet door in a remote therapy session, her therapist, Daniela Owen, was able to coach her in real-time to conquer the fear of the dolls.
Something like this wouldn’t be as effective in the office, as the patient wasn’t in the environment that triggered her fears.
The COVID-19 pandemic sent the world into a spiral. It caused so many professionals to reevaluate how they do business and, in turn, how their consumers/clients continue their regular activities.
Many businesses didn’t have any choice but to begin conducting everything virtually. Teletherapy was necessary as a means of safety and social distancing as the pandemic began. When this is all over, virtual businesses will still exist. Improving community health by providing more accessibility and better care is what professionals thrive on.
With adult, adolescent, and child therapy, Lisa Rogers Counseling offers in-person sessions based in New York City while also providing virtual therapy sessions in New York, California, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, and Vermont. If you are searching for affordable and effective therapy from home, contact Lisa Rogers Counseling services today!