COVID-19 is causing significant problems and disruption to virtually all areas of our lives. It is impacting our physical health, our financial health, our relational health, our spiritual health, our mental health and every which way in-between. As the majority of the world is currently enduring social distancing, telemedicine (or telehealth) has been booming. For patients that do not need in-person care, doctors in various medical fields are able to assess, diagnose, and sometimes even treat their patients using virtual technology via their telemedical solutions and e-prescribing tools. In the field of psychology and mental health the same sentiment rings true via teletherapy (also often referred to as online therapy, video therapy, or e-therapy). There are many benefits of teletherapy for both the patient and the therapist, and it may become much more commonly used in the future. For the unforeseeable future teletherapy is certain to be the only method of conducting psychotherapy and psychiatry, at least hear in New York City. Below is an outline of 10 of the most significant benefits of teletherapy, and why you may want to consider it in the long-term, even in a post-COVID world.
1) Lower Barrier To Entry
Seeking professional help from a psychotherapist for a mental health or addiction related issue is generally not something somebody does out of desire, but rather out of necessity. As such, many individuals who need help from a therapist or who contemplate seeing a therapist hesitate, contemplate or procrastinate making their initial appointment. Not only is talk therapy extremely intimidating, but you also have to disrupt your regular life to carve out time to go to a therapist on a regular basis. Teletherapy eliminates many of the burdens that come along with going to therapy such as the travel time to the therapist, finding the therapist’s office, the waiting room (if there is one), etc. The convenience factor of teletherapy significantly reduces the barrier to entry by eliminating such concerns or excuses that might otherwise prevent people from getting help for their mental health or addiction related issues.
While there may be drawbacks to seeing your therapist via video therapy from your home, there is undoubtedly a comfort factor. For most people, they can find solace being in their home. Not only can they sit in their favorite chair or couch, or even be laying on the bed, but they can also be in much more comfortable clothes. Being comfortable can allow you to focus more energy and attention on your therapeutic session rather than on your comfort.
3) Safe Place
Understandably, not everyone feels safe in their home. Individuals who may be experiencing marital discord or domestic violence know this better than anyone. Such individuals, especially those experiencing physical or emotional abuse should seek out professional help immediately. However, for most individuals, their home is a safe place. They not only feel comfortable, but they may also feel more privacy. Especially for clients who value confidentiality, they do not have to worry about bumping into other clients or being seen walking in or out of their therapist’s office.
4) Less Intimidating
Teletherapy can be less intimidating than in-person therapy, especially for clients who may be new to the therapeutic process and may have not yet established a strong relationship with their therapist. Walking into a therapist’s office and being just a few feet away from them while telling them your secrets and being vulnerable is not easy. Being in your home and behind a computer screen can be much less intimidating, and might actually help some to express thoughts, feelings and emotions that could be more challenging in a live therapy session.
Teletherapy is easily accessible and reduces excuses such as commuting. Teletherapy also allows for increased support to enhance wraparound care.
Teletherapy is efficient for both the therapist and the client. As mentioned above, teletherapy cuts out the commute to and from your therapist’s office and saves you time. Gone are the excuses that you can’t fit the time into your schedule to work on yourself.
No traffic and not having to look for parking will significantly increase the chances that you are on time to your therapy session. Since many therapists schedule back-to-back appointments with their next client and have to end therapy sessions as scheduled, being punctual means that you will get more time in your therapy session and get the most out of it.
8) Less Stress and More Energy
Teletherapy can be much more stress free than in-person therapy and increase energy levels for both you and your therapist. You are already home and do not have to worry about traveling home after the session, or pre-occupation with your parking and other such matters. This reduces stress and helps to increase energy, and subsequently serves to enhance the therapy session.
9) Greater Choice
Teletherapy allows for greater choice in therapist, especially for individuals who may live in remote locations. Choosing a therapist no longer has to be based on location and proximity, but rather can be based on the therapist’s specialty, therapeutic approach, experience, and other such factors that are important when seeking out a mental health professional. For example, you can find a psychotherapist that practices teletherapy and specializes in a certain mental health issue such as a therapist specializing in depression or a therapist specializing in alcohol abuse, and you can also find a therapist who specializes in a certain therapeutic approach such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma therapy, holistic therapy, marriage therapy or behavioral therapy.
Teletherapy can offer more safety over in-person therapy because not leaving your home means not having to worry about car accidents, random acts of violence, severe weather, contracting an illness, or other such worries.
For more information on therapy and mental health, or to inquire about our private concierge therapy services and/or our teletherapy services (online therapy/virtual therapy) please contact our undisclosed therapy office location in the Upper East Side of NYC today at (929) 220-2912.