How Effective Is Online Psychological Therapy?

These are the main elements that participate in the effectiveness of online psychotherapy.

What is the effectiveness of online psychological therapy

As the Internet expands to respond to all kinds of human needs, so do the variants of psychological therapy.

That is why, although some 15 years ago the idea of ​​”going to the psychologist” through the Internet was considered a rarity, today it is part of normality. In fact, it is one of the services most demanded by patients, and it is becoming more and more so.

None of this is coincidence: remote psychological intervention combines a series of very significant advantages, on the one hand, with a characteristic to take into account, and that is that in most cases, its effects are just as intense and long-lasting as those of face-to-face therapy, that which takes place while being in the same room as the psychotherapist. Throughout the next few lines we will explore precisely this topic: the effectiveness of online psychotherapy.

The characteristics of online therapy

Let’s start with the basics: what is online therapy? It is, basically, the psychological intervention in patients carried out by psychology professionals and that is carried out using the Internet as a communication channel. This means that, in practice, patient and therapist can be communicating in real time despite being miles away from each other.

Currently, more and more psychotherapy centers and psychologists offer online therapy, since it is a highly demanded option due to the advantages it offers and its potential to access a wide variety of patients.

The effectiveness of online psychotherapy: 4 reasons why it is of great help

Although the differences between online therapy and the “classic” that is carried out face to face are evident, this does not translate into differences in its effectiveness. Research carried out in this regard shows that, in general, both the intensity of the changes produced in the lives of patients and the duration of these are practically the same.

Now this is not surprising; There are several reasons why interacting with the psychotherapist through the Internet does not lose a significant part of the effects of the psychological intervention. Let’s see what they are.

1. Video call option captures non-verbal language

Currently, the technology used for video call connections makes communication fluid and in real time both in terms of sound and in terms of image. This means that, unless the Internet connection is very bad, talking by video call with the psychologist is very similar to being in front of him.

This fact helps to establish the therapeutic link, necessary for patients to connect emotionally with the therapeutic process, to express themselves openly and honestly in front of the professional and, ultimately, to commit to the therapeutic process.

2. Helps patients be calmer

By not needing to go to the psychologist’s office, online therapy offers the possibility of having professional support without leaving home, in an environment that is familiar to us.

In addition, the possibility of avoiding exposing ourselves to sources of stress and fatigue during the journey (for example, due to bus delays, fear that someone will see us enter the consultation, etc.) is, for some people, something that also Mark the difference.

3. Much of the work is done between sessions

Psychotherapy is much more than what happens during sessions with the psychologist.

We must not forget that going through psychological therapy to overcome a problem or satisfy a need is more like receiving training than participating in a normal conversation, and that the most important advances occur not while talking with the professional, but in day to day, by following the guidelines learned in these sessions and applying them in our lives and in the contexts to which we are usually exposed.

And, of course, what happens between each of these “meetings” is the same regardless of whether we use online or face-to-face therapy.

4. Give access to more tools

Something as simple as having immediate access to a computer helps to have more support resources throughout the sessions. This can be very useful in certain treatments.

Are you looking for online psychotherapy services from experts?

If you are interested in having the support of psychology professionals with many years of experience and who offer online therapy with all the guarantees, we invite you to contact us. At Avance Psicólogos we have a history of more than 20 years helping people of all ages, and our team of psychologists attends both in our center located in Madrid and from the modality through the Internet.

Bibliographic references:

  • Change, D. (2008). The Effectiveness of Telemental Health Applications. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 53: pp. 769-778.
  • Change, DJ (2010). Empirical evidence on the use and effectiveness of telepsychiatry via videoconferencing: implications for forensic and correctional psychiatry. Soc Sci Med 71: pp. 1308-1315.
  • González-Peña, P., Torres, R., Del Barrio, V., and Olmedo, M. (2017). Use of technology in psychological practice in Spain. Infocop.
  • Zack, Jason; Stricker, George (2004). Kraus, Ron, ed. Online counseling: a handbook for mental health professionals. Amsterdam: Academic.

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