With the whole world going digital, it’s no surprise that more therapists are offering their services online. Not only can therapists provide their services to a global market but can do it from the comfort of their home. Patients also no longer need to leave their homes to receive treatment, but is the treatment as effective?
What is digital therapy?
With platforms like Face-Time, Skype, Zoom, and GoTo Meeting on the scene, therapists can now hold sessions digitally. Instead of physically visiting your therapist, you will have an online session using your webcam or cellphone. That said, there are both pros and cons to choosing a digital therapy option.
One of the benefits of digital therapy is how accessible it is. No matter where you are located, you can seek treatment as long as you have an internet connection. It could be a good option for those with extreme anxietyaround going to therapy or who aren’t comfortable leaving the house, or those that can’t physically get to a clinic or office.
- Less intimidating
For those with severe mental health issues seeking therapy can be a significant step. Going into the office can be slightly intimidating, and it may be easier to simply speak to someone over the phone first or via a video chat.
There is no doubt that digital therapy is convenient. There is no commute involved, and you do your sessions from the comfort of your home. You can also fit your treatment into your schedule by doing it during your lunch break or whenever works best for you.
- No body language
A considerable portion of mental health therapy involves the assessment of physical queues. When you do a digital session, there is no body language to assess, and it is, therefore, harder to tailor treatment. On top of that, the patient receives no body language cues from the therapist either, and it’s hard to feel comfortable.
- Can’t control the atmosphere
The issue around digital therapy is the loss of the personal connection you develop with your therapist and whether that is still possible virtually. A residential health center like igniteteentreatment.com offers a guaranteed opportunity to develop therapist/client relationships in person that digital therapy doesn’t.Plus, as part of therapy sessions is about creating an atmosphere where the patient feels comfortable and calm, they will learn to associate the residential home as a safe space where they can share things freely. They may not feel this sense of safety at their own home, and there are external distractions to deal with during digital therapy sessions.
Relying on technology and internet connections means that digital therapy is unreliable. Technical issues can arise, or connectivity issues which break the flow of the session.
- Limited in therapy options
Many types of therapy require a hands-on approach, such as music, art, or animal therapy. With digital treatment, you are limited to only talking, which doesn’t allow the therapist to explore all treatment options.
The reality is, although digital therapy is accessible and convenient, the loss of personal connection and unreliability means it’s just not as effective as residential therapy.