Virtual or Teletherapy provides mental health care or counselling services through the internet1. There are dozens of reasons people are reluctant to see a therapist. Social stigma, busy work routine, travelling inconvenience, distance, and cost can make it difficult for some people to get in-person therapy sessions2.
Mode of Virtual Therapy:
A therapist may use any available tool to communicate with the individual. Some commonly used tools are:
- Video conferencing
- Text-based chats
- Telephone Voice call
- Real-time messaging
- Mobile Apps like BYOU
How Do Virtual Therapies Work?
Virtual therapy offers people multiple ways to connect and communicate with a licensed therapist through mobile, tablet, or laptop. The best option is to take the session through a live video call. The other available options include live chats, messaging, and phone calls.
The Goal of Virtual Therapy:
It is the individual who determines the goal of the online therapy session. Most people take virtual therapy to find a solution to a specific problem, lifestyle change and learn better ways to cope with difficult situations. In the initial virtual therapy session, you and your therapist set the goal of the whole session and plan an outline for better outcomes.
Who Can Take Virtual Therapy?
Online therapy has helped people suffering from the following conditions.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Substance abuse
- Eating disease
- Smoking cessation
- Chronic pain or disease
- Panic disorder
- Other mood and behaviour disorders.
How Is Virtual Therapy Better Than Traditional In-Person Therapy?
Virtual therapy is better than convention in-person therapy in many ways4.
Different social taboos and physical barriers may hinder you from getting office-based therapy. Transportation and waiting in long queues can be exhausting. Virtual treatment allows you to connect to a therapist with one click at the BYOU app
Since you don't have to travel and pay transportation fares, it is cheaper than traditional therapy. All you have to pay is the affordable fee for a therapy session.
Virtual therapy doesn’t force you to suspend your routine activities. Instead, you can choose a time for a video call, sitting on a couch in your own house.
Worried about bumping into any friend or co-worker at the therapist's office? Although it's not a shameful thing, society thinks it so. Some people find it challenging to face this situation; the best alternative is to go for virtual therapy, which is entirely private and confidential.
Research suggests that virtual therapy is equally effective as traditional therapy5. some studies even suggest e-therapy can be more effective than in-person therapy6. However, virtual therapy has some drawbacks, such as limited care, internet issues, and cybersecurity theft3.
- Maples-Keller JL, Bunnell BE, Kim SJ, Rothbaum BO. The use of virtual reality technology in the treatment of anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2017;25(3):103. doi:10.1097/HRP.0000000000000138
- Rössler W. The stigma of mental disorders: A millennia‐long history of social exclusion and prejudices. EMBO Rep. 2016;17(9):1250. doi:10.15252/EMBR.201643041
- Singh S, Sagar R. Online Psychotherapy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Good, the Bad, and theUgly. Indian J Psychol Med. 2022;44(2):177. doi:10.1177/02537176211070427
- Brenes GA, Ingram CW, Danhauer SC. Benefits and Challenges of Conducting Psychotherapy by Telephone. Prof Psychol Res Pr. 2011;42(6):543. doi:10.1037/A0026135
- Gude J, Subhedar R V., Zhang MH, et al. Emerging Needs and Viability of Telepsychiatry During and Post COVID-19 Era: A Literature Review. Cureus. 2021;13(8). doi:10.7759/CUREUS.16974
- Langarizadeh M, Tabatabaei MS, Tavakol K, Naghipour M, Rostami A, Moghbeli F. Telemental Health Care, an Effective Alternative to Conventional Mental Care: a Systematic Review. Acta Inform Medica. 2017;25(4):240. doi:10.5455/AIM.2017.25.240-246