COVID-19 forced many people to seek online therapy who never would have done so under normal circumstances. While this was a major shift, and many were skeptical, it hasn’t been all bad. In fact, some therapists have found that their clients want to stay online, even when it’s safe to return to the office. So, why are people enjoying online therapy so much?
Online Therapy Eliminates Travel
Travel is a major barrier to many people who could use therapy. For those who might rely on alternative forms of transportation, online therapy can be a major source of independence. For those who are extremely busy, eliminating travel is a way to save time. I’ve had clients with two jobs and kids have a session with me during their lunch break. That’s dedication to your healing! Finally, there are several populations, like those with depression, for whom getting dressed, up & out of the house feels like a monumental effort. However, grabbing your laptop from the other side of the room doesn’t seem so bad. Small wins such as that pave the way for big wins later on.
Privacy and comfort in your own space
Therapists do their best to make their offices inviting so you feel safe and comfortable opening up. However, nothing can really compare to the comfort of your own home. It’s familiar territory. Plus, the therapist gets to see you in your natural habitat, so to speak. Sometimes people worry that therapists miss out on body language, (which is only half true if you’re using video) but this is certainly balanced out by getting a more complete picture of a client’s environment.
I had a client who was a mom, and part of her presenting problem was that she “never had time to herself.” When we had sessions in person, I understood that to be” regular” mom stress. However, when we went remote, I saw firsthand that her daughter felt comfortable walking into her sessions just to hang out, and her boyfriend was expecting dinner. She ended up having our first remote session from her car while scarfing down a hot dog for dinner. Of course, her family had an entire beautiful barbecue complete with sides and desserts.
Without this remote session, I would never have gotten a true concept of how dire her boundary situation was.
Added Flexibility and Reliability with Online Therapy
Although travel may eliminate traditional therapy from the equation, online therapy is flexible and even reliable. Neither client nor therapist has to worry about traffic, flat tires, missed busses. Therapists may also be able to add more hours to their schedules if they do not have to travel.
Online Therapy Provides Added Accessibility
It is true that there are some populations for whom online therapy is not ideal. For example, people with severe psychiatric disorders which require close monitoring. Or people with trauma, who use EMDR for their healing, which requires closely watching the client’s eye movement to re-process memories. In these cases, it’s understandable that online therapy would not be a clear choice. However, there are many populations who greatly benefit from an online option for healing.
For example, people in rural communities often struggle to find necessary specialists within range of their home. And even if there is a therapist who can meet their needs in their area, confidentiality may become an issue. Often, the close-knit nature of such communities means that the therapist may know the potential clients personally, or perhaps the people they want to talk about in sessions. Online therapy gives people in rural areas a great deal more access to high-quality mental health care.
Another population for whom traditional therapy doesn’t work is those with physical disabilities.
Getting to an office can be a major inconvenience, as is finding a therapist who can accommodate wheelchairs, for example. With online therapy, you eliminate these concerns. Of course, we hope that someday the world is more accessible for people with physical challenges, but until then, it’s a wonderful option to be able to bring therapy to this population.
Finally, people with certain mental illnesses such as extreme depression, agoraphobia (fear of situations where escape may be difficult), or panic attacks, benefit from therapy at home. People with these afflictions may find leaving the house to be an insurmountable task. But by starting therapy from home, they can work their way up to a point of being able to get to the office. Therapists can help people who are at an even lower point.
Online Counseling for Relationship and/or Family Therapy
Relationship and family therapy can be made easier by using of online therapy. For example, when several schedules are being juggled, eliminating travel can make it easier to set up an appointment with everyone. It’s also an option for couples who live apart, or who are long-distance. Relationship therapy such as premarital counseling can greatly increase a couple’s emotional connection, which can be especially necessary while long-distance.
We can help your relationship thrive, in couples therapy online in New Jersey or in Mountainside, NJ.
If you’re seeking a trained and qualified professional for your couples’ therapy, NJ based therapists from Mountainside Counseling should be your top choice. See firsthand how you can build a stronger relationship with my targeted methods. Starting marriage counseling at my New Jersey mental health clinic is simple. You don’t have to live with conflict in your relationship forever. When you’re ready to begin, follow these steps:
- Click here to schedule your first appointment.
- Meet with a trained couples therapist in New Jersey who gets it.
- Get your relationship back on track with the right tools for communication and connection.
Other Therapy Services at Mountainside Counseling Center
Here in Mountainside, NJ, we know that you are not a one-dimensional human. That’s why we treat your mental health needs in a comprehensive, individualized way. In addition to online counseling, our therapists provide a range of mindfulness-based therapy services for individuals and couples. We can help you with anxiety treatment, therapy for depression, stress management, premarital counseling, discernment counseling, and therapy for teens. One of our specialties is serving individuals recovering from addiction, the partners of addicts, and the family members and loved ones who are supporting them. We also have more on our blog, regularly updated with relevant information for your life. We look forward to meeting you, soon.