How Well Does Online Counseling Work? The Effectiveness of Telehealth for Therapy
There are some people who have their doubts about therapy, and many more who have doubts about telehealth. You may be wondering just how effective online counseling might be. The fact of the matter is that, like with any type of therapy, the end results are really up to the work you put into therapy and the relationship you build with your therapist. However, there are some statistics and information that might make you feel better about your online therapy adventure.
Research on the Effectiveness of Online Counseling
As online counseling has become more and more popular, there have been many concerns about whether or not it is as effective as traditional therapy. Therefore, researchers have completed several studies to determine how effective online counseling really is.
One study was done by the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. Their study found that most clients reported improvement in their mental health after about a month of online therapy. This is about the same amount of time it usually takes in traditional therapy to begin seeing changes in emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
Telehealth clients also reported in the study they were just as satisfied with their online therapists as in-person clients are with their counselors.
The Best Methods for Online Mental Health Services
The best method for online counseling is a personal choice. How you use online therapy should be based on the needs and is a decision you and your therapist will make together. Most therapists prefer live video chats (synchronous) over voice only or chat sessions. Video chats still allows the therapist to see the body language and expressions of the client, which is a big help in determining what is really going on and how they can help.
Some clients express themselves more easily through the written word than by speaking. In addition, some clients are less distracted when using chat than with other methods. At Compass Counseling, these types of non-live communication (asynchronous) are only part of a treatment plan for established clients when appropriate. So, if you would prefer chat or phone counseling sessions, please let your therapist know.
Overall, anything that can be done in an in-person session can be done in an online live video therapy session, to a certain extent. For example, your therapist can still walk you through exercises that you do either while in session or after the session. Your online therapist can still help you with education and support, just as though they were in the same room with you.
Building a Relationship Through Online Counseling
The therapeutic relationship between clients and their counselor is arguably the most important part of therapy. If there is not a good therapeutic working relationship, please mention this in therapy early on to your therapist and discuss options. The biggest concern that many people have with online therapy is that they worry that they will not be able to build a relationship with their therapist if they are not in the same room. However, this is really not a concern for many clients. At Compass Counseling, therapists prefer to meet with clients at least once in person, this will be discussed at the initial consultation and determined based on your individual situation. We understand this isn’t always possible for people who live further away from Paducah or Owensboro where our main offices are located. However, if you are able to drive into one of these locations from your home elsewhere in Kentucky, but it does help some clients feel comfortable with their therapist more quickly. Relationships and trust can be built with therapists regardless of how you interact with them. However, for telehealth sessions, live video chat seems to be the most proven way to ensure relationships get off on the right foot.
Begin Online Therapy in Kentucky
If you are interested in learning more about telehealth therapy sessions at Compass Counseling, please call our Paducah location at 270-777-4490. If you’d prefer, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get you set up with a licensed psychologist or therapist who is experienced in using e-counseling. For instance, Katie Englert, MAE, LPCC, NCC, is the president of Compass Counseling and a Board Certified Tele-Mental Health Therapist. We offer online therapy services for teenagers, adults and even couples counseling.
Learn More About Online Counseling
Are you interested but still have questions about our Telehealth/Online Therapy services?