Often, we think of therapy sessions consisting of face to face interaction between a client and a therapist- perhaps in a professional office setting where the patient is observed and assessed. Whilst there are undoubtedly benefits to this type of therapy, right now this just isn’t a viable option for many.

Yet, did you know online therapy- especially ones focused around CBT and Hypnotherapy- can be just as effective as face-face sessions?

Some studies that support this:

– A recent study published in the Journal of Psychological Disorders found that online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is just as effective as face-to-face sessions, especially when treating mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and paranoia disorder.[1]

– Perhaps even more encouraging is that studies have suggested that online therapy is the first step to continued development for the patient tackling their issues. This may even lead to face-to-face therapy sessions being conducted in the future. Megan Jones, PsyD, adjunct clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, found that those of a younger demographic (college students) were more likely to seek online therapy for issues such as eating disorders, as they feel more comfortable when coached online by a professional through the online therapy model.[2]

Whilst it is likely patients with deep-set mental health issues and disorders will need to participate in face-to-face therapy sessions at some point online therapy sessions can be a nice first step in treatment for someone who needs more intensive therapy.[3]

So what are other benefits gained from online therapy?

Location- Right now with travel and outside time being severally restricted due to COVID-19, online therapy sessions can provide support to people who need it from the comfort of their home. It is also ideal for those that live in rural areas or have transportation or mobility issues, as it makes therapy such as CBT or Hypnotherapy more accessible.

Privacy- Many patients struggling with mental health issues such as depression and eating disorders feel a great sense of shame and may not have the confidence to attend in-person sessions at the beginning of their treatment. Online therapy provides a sense of privacy which can help those experiencing feelings of embarrassment or shame to open up and seek support.

Cost-effective- If money is an issue or you are new to therapy and want to ensure you are benefitting from treatment before committing to face-face sessions, online therapy can be a great way to test the waterand develop a better understanding of what commitment you will need to make.

Busy lives- For those with demanding careers, busy family life etc, finding time to work on yourself can prove to be a struggle. Online therapy often provides a more convenient scheduling option for people.

It allows the therapist to help more people- It has been suggested that an online therapy session requires 7.8 times less of the therapist’s time when compared to face-to-face treatment. This means it can benefit the therapist too, who finds they have more time to help other people and see more patients.

It is especially effective for individuals struggling with anxiety- Social anxiety is a huge problem, no more so than during unsettling times. It can also be a huge hurdle to overcome when seeking support. Studies have suggested those with anxiety are often too afraid to attend in-person sessions, but are more likely to reach out to an online therapist where anxiety levels are less extreme.[4]

Dr Jeremy Alford is also offering Online Therapy sessions- including CBT and hypnotherapy sessions from the comfort of your home during this period when people are asked to stay home. For further information, please contact him here: https://www.choicesretreats.com/

[1]https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0887618517304474?via%3Dihub

[2]  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07448481.2014.901330

[3]https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07448481.2014.901330

[4] https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/therapy-for-anxiety-disorders.htm

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