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Online Therapy is the New Normal


The world has reached a place where we can access all kinds of services at the tap of a button and from the comfort of our homes. The pandemic has added to the quick uptake of virtual platforms leading us to a ‘new normal’ way of life. Think about all the virtual meetings, online lectures or even getting medical consultations via online applications and platforms.

When it comes to seeking therapy for one’s mental health, many people are starting to opt for virtual therapy/online counselling rather than in-person therapy. However, many people are concerned about how viable is something that requires human presence to be substituted by devices and virtual texts, calls or emails. 

As we move towards a digital world, can online therapy be as effective as face-to-face therapy? Let us explore the benefits of our new normal:

  • Online therapy can help limit therapy-induced anxiety

Distant therapy is not a new concept, the father of psychology Sigmund Freud often used letters to communicate with his clients. Traditional in-person therapy sessions can be daunting due to being in an unfamiliar place and talking to a stranger. A new environment and talking to a stranger can lead to fear of judgement or inhibition towards discussing actual problems. Online therapy gives us the ability to talk via various mediums (chat, email, or call) from the comfort of one’s home. 

More often than not, how many of us prefer texting difficult requests or situations to people? I assume the majority prefer sending those risky texts that are quite daunting to speak about in person. Hence, such different mediums aid in:

  • Explaining issues, one has difficulty speaking about with greater ease,
  • Provides extra time to respond to a given situation or suggestion,
  • There is greater time to process the conversation and then respond.
  • A cost-effective option for one’s mental wellbeing

One of the research studies conducted in 2017 indicated that online CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) was cost-effective and helped with most psychological issues. In-person therapy has a great rate of cancelling due to commute, anxiety, or even sudden schedule change. Whereas, the benefits for online therapy are:

  • Saves time and money taken to commute,
  • Consultation charges are cheaper than in-person facilities,
  • Saves one from taking paid leaves just to accommodate sessions.
  • Greater flexibility of services and security of data  

The flexibility is multifaceted with online therapy. Think about how some people are more comfortable discussing their problems over texts, while some prefer calling and some might use video calling. Hence, online sessions provide one with the flexibility to express and seek help just the way it suits their likings. 

Secondly, think about having the freedom and flexibility to choose when you set up your sessions. Our lives are getting busier by the day, which makes it difficult to schedule time for our well-being. Hence, having the option to arrange texts, calls, or emails for therapy that works to the best of our schedule can be very convenient. 

In terms of security, online therapy comes with a risk of data encroachment, using services that use the best software and application for data protection can be effective.

Online therapy can be quite debatable on its effectiveness for someone who prefers face-to-face therapy. But such times push us to adapt to new normal ways of life. The world is digitizing at a fast pace, hence losing inhibitions, and learning to adapt to online therapy can be vital. 

One can start with using services like chat services provided by several mental wellness platforms to express how one’s feeling without any judgments or explore self-help articles to help deal with the distress of everyday life. There are even some platforms that provide personality assessments with online counselling through texts. 

The world around us is changing and we need to adapt to these changes. Hence, embracing the new normal will be beneficial for our mental health.