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Tele-therapy in the 21st Century

We are about a fifth of the way into the 21st century, and already, a lot has changed. Technology continues to accelerate, and while every piece of tech has its concerns, technology can benefit many people as well.

One way it’s helping people is by getting them therapy from the palm of their hands, or from the comfort of their computer desk. In this post, we’ll talk about tele-therapy and how it can help you.

What is Tele-therapy?

In modern times, the term “tele-therapy” is used to refer to online counseling or therapy. In addition, it can be used to describe any form of therapy that is done remotely and not face-to-face. Due to the convenience, lessened cost, and its effectiveness, tele-therapy is quickly becoming a major way to speak to a counselor, therapist, psychiatrist, or any other medical professional who can serve you remotely.

Ways to Conduct Tele-therapy

With online counseling and therapy, you may be surprised by how many ways you can speak to a therapist. These methods include:

Phone Therapy

This form of therapy has been around long before the Internet. The concept of phone therapy is simple enough: you speak to a therapist on the phone. While face-to-face interaction isn’t there, your tone of voice can tell a lot about you, and many therapists can use that to deliver some useful therapy.

Email Therapy

This is when you have a back and forth using your email. With email, you can write elaborate messages. It’s not as quick as texting, so both sides have some time to think about what they want to say and respond accordingly. Usually, a therapist may get back to you once a day, sometimes more if they are not doing anything.

Text Therapy

This is when you use texting, usually through an app, to speak to your therapist. With texting, the messages are shorter and usually not as well thought out, but this can be to your benefit. When you aren’t holding back, you can reveal some things about yourself that your therapist can use. For example, having emotional outbursts through text.

Video Therapy

This is when you have a face-to-face conversation through a webcam or other type of camera. It’s the closest you can get to traditional, face-to-face therapy. At the beginning of the 21st century, video chatting was something few people could do. Nowadays, most people have a quality camera and they have competent Internet speeds. This makes video therapy possible.

Of course, there are still drawbacks, like delays or dropped frames, but it’s getting better every single year.

Self-Service Apps

These are apps that don’t involve a therapist. They may be meditation and mindfulness apps such as Headspace, which can teach you valuable techniques. For people in a pinch, this can be an effective way to help yourself improve your mindset.

The Future

One method of therapy that may be used, but is still being worked on, is VR therapy. This is when you put on a VR headset and it simulates the feeling of being in the therapist’s office. In addition, VR could be used to simulate other imagery that could treat anxiety or depression.

Why Tele-therapy?

Tele-therapy may be someone’s preferred way of speaking to a therapist, and here are some reasons why that may be.

  • First, not everyone has a traditional schedule. Some people may work around the clock, or they may work at odd hours of the day. Because of this, it may be harder to speak to a therapist. That’s where tele-therapy comes in. It makes it much easier to speak to a professional on your own schedule.
  • Some people may have disabilities that make it hard to leave the house. There are some who may not be able to walk. Then, there are others who have mental disorders such as the fear of the outdoors. Tele-therapy is the solution to this.
  • Tele-therapy can help those people who live in smaller communities, which may lack counseling services. Some live in areas where it may take hours to drive to see a therapist, and online therapy can save time and money.
  • Tele-therapy may be less expensive, especially if a person has no insurance. Often, online therapy services bill a clear amount, with no surprise fees.
  • Finally, tele-therapy makes it much easier to match up to a therapist who will be the best fit for you, as well as change it should you not be satisfied with your service.

How Effective is Tele-therapy?

Some people are skeptical about tele-therapy, and it’s understandable. No matter how good our tech is, some people prefer being in the same room as their therapist. They may feel like something gets lost in translation from real life to the screen.

Studies seem to suggest that tele-therapy can be a worthy substitute for in-person therapy, especially when there is no other option. As long as the person you’re speaking to is a licensed therapist, you can reap all of the same benefits.

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