Online services within psychology have been increasingly accessed due to the pandemic. This mode of delivery, through phone or video platforms, has several advantages over traditional therapy. Throughout the pandemic, and going forward into the future, online therapy enables everyone to access support. Not only is online therapy practical (link to creative one blog), but it mitigates mental and physical barriers to attending therapy.
ONLINE THERAPY CAN REDUCE ANXIETY ABOUT ATTENDING THERAPY
Commencing therapy can be anxiety producing. Walking into a busy clinic and sitting in an unfamiliar environment can be overwhelming. Ironically, the difficulties for which you are seeking support can make it challenging to access help. For example, agoraphobia or social anxiety may produce fear around attending a session in person. Difficulty with emotional expression is likely to cause mental-health difficulties and also to make people feel a sense of stigma around attending therapy. A common symptom of depression is low motivation, making it difficult to get out of the house and travel to appointments.
Online therapy makes these barriers easier to overcome. From the comfort of your own home, you can seek support, making the process feel more manageable. Our nervous systems are affected by our surroundings and being in a place you feel safe may improve your ability to focus and open up during your therapy session. Through removing barriers to accessing therapy, online therapy can provide support to everyone. Your therapist will work with you to set goals and make progress. A review of studies found that online therapy is effective in removing some of the barriers that may stop you from attending face-to-face therapy in the first place. For example, behavioural activation, a strategy which assists people in increasing their activity levels, is just as effective via online therapy as in person. You may even choose to use online therapy as a stepping-stone to attending in-person therapy if this is your goal.
Our clinicians are skilled in building strong, supportive relationships with clients. The relationship between therapist and client has been found to be just as strong for online clients as in face-to-face therapy. To assist you in selecting a clinician you can look at our website for information about our team members, including a photo and a blurb about their approach and areas of interest. We have a diverse team who can assist with a range of mental health difficulties.
ONLINE THERAPY OVERCOMES PHYSICAL BARRIERS TO ATTENDING THERAPY
Pain and being in poor health tend to worsen our mental health. These physical factors can also make it more difficult to attend therapy in person. Online therapy also allows people who have mobility issues (such as older adults) or are immunocompromised to access therapy.
One of the major barriers to accessing healthcare for some people is location. Our online services are available across Australia, meaning that those in rural areas are able to seek support. This is especially important given that rural populations have similar rates of mental health difficulties to major cities, but significantly less access to in-person services.
Online therapy is on the rise. One of the key strengths of online therapy is that it enables everyone to access mental health support. If you’re struggling to access in-person therapy and would like to try online therapy, please contact us on (07) 3857 0074.