You likely already have high expectations for the quality of the mental health services provided via teletherapy. However, you might be surprised to discover just how wide the actual scope of benefits is. Aside from the high-caliber services you will receive, on par with counseling services offered professional clinics with licensed counselors, there are other perks that may have not crossed your mind.
If you’re not already signed up for online counseling, you will be after familiarizing yourself with these 4 unexpected benefits to mental health teletherapy that you probably haven’t yet considered.
1. Increased accessibility
Historically, there have been many barriers to access for health care services, including mental health. Whether it be high costs, insurance coverage, lack of resources, lack of culturally appropriate services or difficulty with transportation, many clients in need go without essential services.
The introduction of teletherapy is a step into the future when it comes to increasing access to mental health services. The issue of transportation is easily addressed when sessions can occur remotely, and individuals can be paired with a professional who may not live locally, but has a better cultural understanding of the client. Extending therapy to the virtual setting expands the opportunity for many people to access needed mental health services.
2. More time saved than you’d think
Back in the days of in-person therapy, there were many more steps in the process of participation in counseling. First, getting ready to go somewhere is a process in itself (getting changed out of pajamas, collecting keys/wallet/phone, you know the drill). Then, there’s the drive to contend with, finding parking and the time spent in the waiting room. Sometimes people find this routine soothing, but many others find it bothersome.
The time it takes you to turn on your device and log in to a counseling session is guaranteed to take up less of your day than the commute to your practice’s office. If you truly enjoy the routine and the car ride to process your thoughts, by all means, take a drive around the neighborhood before or after the session. However, if your schedule is packed or the last thing you want to do is sit in traffic, teletherapy is your answered prayer for more hours in the day. Plus, save money on gas!
3. Enhanced overall flexibility
By definition, teletherapy is mental health counseling that occurs remotely – you and your therapist are in separate physical spaces. Rather than attending a session face-to-face as you would in traditional therapy, you have the luxury of participating in beneficial therapy from the location of your choice. This offers note-worthy benefits in both the short and long term.
First, online counseling allows both you and your provider the ability to prioritize safety at a time when it’s at the forefront of all of our minds. Minimizing contact with others is the most effective way to stop the spread of the pandemic, and teletherapy enables us to keep our distance without neglecting our mental health. Technological advances in recent years have brought vast improvements in virtual communication, that have culminated at the most opportune time and afforded us the convenience of teletherapy.
Transitioning to teletherapy now will also yield long-term benefits. The availability and accessibility of teletherapy is likely to stick in many people’s minds long after the pandemic is over. Even a transition back to face-to-face therapy will occur slowly and partially, with many people electing to continue receiving counseling through virtual means. If you try teletherapy now and find you like it, you may be looking at a life-long habit of supporting your mental health through online counseling. If you transition to a job that requires lots of travel, or you find you need to participate in your weekly counseling session while you’re on the go, teletherapy can handle that obligation without issue.
4. Minimized anxiety
Not everyone who attends therapy struggles with clinical or acute anxiety. However, everyone at some point in his or her life is confronted with anxious feelings during stressful and scary times.
Oftentimes, beginning therapy, or attending therapy in general, can be a huge trigger to feelings of nervousness. After all, sharing the intimate details of your life is no easy task. Attending therapy from the comfort of your own home allows you a serene and predictable place to voice and process your experiences. While mental health professionals make an effort to maintain a warm and pleasant office space, your home is uniquely set up by you, with your comfort in mind. In terms of comfort and convenience alike, there really is no place like home.
While attending therapy in-person has its own benefits, considering our current circumstances, adjustments must be made. Thankfully, the hardest part of online therapy is the transition itself. Once you are comfortable with the new platform, you can proceed with your therapy routine as normal, and embrace the unique perks that come with online counseling. Teletherapy gives us increased accessibility, saves time, offers more flexibility and eases the anxiety of therapy. You and many others might find that online counseling is just your cup of tea. If you’re at all interested in pursuing mental health counseling online, The Light Program is ready to help. Call (610) 644-6464 to set up an appointment, or visit us online to find out even more about why teletherapy might be right for you.