But virtual therapy can't be as beneficial as in office therapy... or can it?
Updated: Mar 8
Virtual psychotherapy, also known as telethealth or online therapy, has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way for adults to receive mental health services from the comfort of their own homes... or offices... or cars. With the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures, virtual psychotherapy has become even more accepted in providing adults with access to mental health support. While some may still be skeptical about the effectiveness of virtual psychotherapy compared to in-office therapy, research has shown that virtual psychotherapy is just as effective in treating adults, teens, and children (Shore et al., 2014; Barak et al., 2008). In fact, a meta-analysis of 25 studies found no significant difference in the effectiveness of virtual psychotherapy and traditional in-person therapy (Carlbring et al., 2018).
One of the main concerns about virtual psychotherapy is the lack of face-to-face interaction between the therapist and client. However, many virtual psychotherapy platforms include video conferencing, which allows therapists to see and interact with their clients in real-time. In fact, some studies have shown that virtual psychotherapy can actually enhance the therapeutic relationship, as clients may feel more comfortable opening up about sensitive topics in the privacy of their own homes. At the Therapeutic and Wellness Solution Center we sure a secure web based platform only for medical providers that allows our therapists to meet with clients via video or phone.
Another concern is that virtual psychotherapy may not be as effective in treating severe mental health issues. However, research has shown that virtual psychotherapy can be just as effective as in-office therapy in treating a range of mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One study found that virtual psychotherapy was equally effective as in-person therapy for reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress in college students.
Virtual psychotherapy also has several practical advantages over in-office therapy. For one, it eliminates the need for clients to travel to and from appointments, which can be a significant barrier for those with limited transportation options or who live in rural areas. Virtual psychotherapy also provides greater flexibility in scheduling, as clients can more easily fit therapy sessions into their busy schedules without needing to take time off work or make childcare arrangements.
However, virtual psychotherapy does present some challenges. Technical difficulties such as poor internet connection, video conferencing glitches, and lack of privacy can disrupt therapy sessions and negatively impact the therapeutic relationship (Luxton et al., 2016). With over 30 years of combined telehealth experience we have found that most smart phones are more than capable of maintaining proper connection for therapy sessions. But even with this we the Therapeutic and Wellness Solution Center each therapist is equipped with a back of telehealth platform if technical difficulties are experienced.
All in all, virtual psychotherapy is a viable and effective option for adults seeking mental health support. While there are some concerns about the lack of face-to-face interaction and the effectiveness of virtual psychotherapy for severe mental health issues, research has shown that virtual psychotherapy can be just as effective as in-office therapy for a range of mental health concerns. Virtual psychotherapy also offers several practical advantages over in-office therapy, such as greater scheduling flexibility. With the increasing availability of virtual psychotherapy, more clients than ever before have access to the mental health support they need.