Online therapy, also known as telehealth therapy, is a type of mental health therapy that is delivered over the Internet. It can be done through video conferencing, phone calls, or instant messaging. Online therapy has become increasingly popular in rec
ent years, as it offers a number of advantages over traditional in-person therapy, such as convenience, affordability, and accessibility.
But how effective is online therapy? A growing body of research suggests that online therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy for treating a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For example, a 2017 meta-analysis of 66 studies found that online therapy was equally effective as in-person therapy for treating depression and anxiety. Another study, published in 2020, found that online therapy was just as effective as in-person therapy for treating PTSD.
Why is online therapy so effective? There are a number of reasons why online therapy can be so effective. First, it allows people to access high-quality mental health care regardless of their location. This is especially beneficial for people who live in rural areas or who have difficulty traveling to in-person therapy appointments. Second, online therapy can be more convenient and affordable than in-person therapy. Many online therapy platforms offer flexible scheduling options and affordable rates. Additionally, some online therapy platforms offer financial assistance to low-income clients. Third, online therapy can be more accessible than in-person therapy for people who feel uncomfortable or anxious about discussing their mental health in person. Online therapy can provide a safe and confidential space for people to share their thoughts and feelings.
Who is online therapy right for? Online therapy can be a good option for anyone who is looking for convenient, affordable, and accessible mental health care. It is also a good option for people who feel uncomfortable or anxious about discussing their mental health in person. However, online therapy may not be right for everyone. For example, people with severe mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, may need the more intensive support that is offered by in-person therapy. Additionally, people who are new to therapy may find it helpful to start with in-person therapy, so that they can develop a rapport with their therapist before transitioning to online therapy.
Overall, online therapy is a safe and effective way to treat a variety of mental health conditions. It is a convenient, affordable, and accessible option for many people. Study citations:
Ahern et al. (2017). A meta-analysis of the efficacy of online therapy for depression and anxiety. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73(10), 1478-1497.
Egede et al. (2015). Behavioral activation therapy delivered via videoconference for depression in underserved patients: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA Psychiatry, 72(3), 251-259.
Ahern et al. (2018). A meta-analysis of the efficacy of online therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 55, 1-11.