Finding the right form of therapy may help patients maximize the benefits of mental health care. Telemental health has become popular over time, as it allows people to have their sessions from the comfort of their homes. The convenience this form of therapy offers makes it an excellent alternative to in-person therapy.
What Is Telemental Health?
Telemental health, also known as e-therapy, online therapy, and teletherapy, is a form of mental health care that occurs virtually. You may have already engaged in telemental health if you’ve had therapy sessions over the phone or by email. The only difference between in-person therapy and teletherapy is that the former occurs when a therapist and client are in the same room, whereas the latter occurs despite the parties not being co-located. Therapists can provide telemental health through synchronous or asynchronous modes.
This occurs when therapists and clients schedule sessions at the most appropriate time for both parties. Each party will log in at that time through a secured virtual platform. If the parties choose video chat as their mode of communication, they can see and hear each other in real time through webcams, earphones, or headsets.
Unlike synchronous teletherapy, asynchronous teletherapy doesn’t take place in real-time. Your therapist can create an individualized treatment plan for you to follow whenever you’re free and at your own pace.
Some therapists combine asynchronous and synchronous teletherapy to maximize their clients’ therapy benefits. Your therapist may conduct real-time sessions during your agreed-upon time and assign some tasks for you to complete before your next session.
Is Teletherapy as Effective as In-person Therapy?
Teletherapy is just as effective as in-person therapy since the key aspects of therapy are present. Your therapist can still use the therapeutic approaches they’d use in a typical in-person setting during your teletherapy. They can still employ cognitive behavioral therapy despite not being in the same room as you. You can make the most out of your teletherapy sessions by:
Finding the Right Therapist
Your therapist can determine whether you make progress, so you should be careful when choosing one. If you’re set on teletherapy sessions, find the best behavioral health center who can accommodate your needs. Such therapists will guide you on the best platforms to use for your privacy and session efficiency.
Finding a Safe Space for Your Sessions
You should find an enclosed and quiet place for your sessions to allow you to focus wholly on your therapy. A private space may also make it easier for you to open up, potentially improving your chances of getting the help you need.
You should be able to focus and express yourself to make the most of your teletherapy sessions. Mute your phone if you get constant notifications, wear headphones if you’re in a noisy environment, and ask for space from your loved ones if you want to have the sessions at home. Focusing solely on your session may improve your chances of getting positive results.
Being Open About Your Emotions
You should name your emotions during your sessions rather than expect your therapist to read your body language, especially if you communicate through emails or texts. The more honest you are about your emotions, the more your therapist may be able to help you.
Being Flexible With Various Teletherapy Formats
Teletherapy offers many tools at your disposal — you can communicate over texts, emails, or video. Explore various tools to find one that works for you to enhance convenience during your sessions. Ask your therapist if they’re willing to try out different tools before committing to them.
Testing Your Technology in Advance
Confirm your phone, computer, mic, and webcam are in good working condition before your sessions to avoid time wastage. This may help you take full advantage of the time allocated for your session and achieve your therapy goals.
Telemental Health Is an Effective Form of Therapy
Telemental health can be an excellent alternative to in-person therapy as it allows you to receive mental health care from anywhere. Therapists can also use the same therapeutic modalities they’d use in in-person sessions during teletherapy. You can optimize your teletherapy sessions by choosing the right therapist, finding a safe and quiet location, eliminating distractions, and trying out different teletherapy formats until you find one that works for you. Try teletherapy if you’re looking for a convenient way to seek help.