Online therapy, or e-therapy, e-counseling, teletherapy or cyber-counseling, is a development in mental health in which your therapist or counselor provides psychological advice and support over the internet. Distance communication between a therapist and client is not a new concept. Sigmund Freud utilized letters extensively to communicate with his clients. In a review of studies published in the journal World Journal of Psychiatry, patients receiving mental health treatment through video conferencing reported “high levels of satisfaction.”
It is understandable that you may have concerns about your privacy. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is the United States legislation that provides security and privacy to protect your medical information.
Here at the Bridge Therapy Center, your video appointments are always protected with bank-level encryption and security. We offer reliable, trustworthy, and careful data protection to all out online therapy clients through our HIPAA compliant platform, which is very similar to Skype or Facetime.
So, is online therapy right for you? Those with busy schedules, people who do not have transportation and those with small children at home may find that e-therapy is a better option for them than traditional counseling sessions. There are circumstances where online therapy may even be the best option. You may not want to devote the time to traveling to our offices, and an hour-long voice or video chat will take no additional time out of your day. Some people may even have difficulty leaving the house because of the mental health issues they face, but will still need professional support. Others, just want to stick with the therapist they trust the most, and that might not be someone they can visit in person.
Research shows that therapy from a distance can be just as effective as in-person therapy. One study in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, for example, found that teletherapy patients reported improved mental health after a month. Online therapy patients also reported similar levels of overall satisfaction and comfort as in-person ones.