Every year, thousands of Americans face psychological issues and stress-related problems that require therapy. Many of these sessions are held remotely. The onset of COVID-19 has further increased the demand for online therapy sessions.
Despite the need for effective counseling, some people are still reluctant to seek online therapy. They think that in-person therapy yields better results. However, this is not true.
According to the National Center for Health Research, there is no proof that traditional therapy is better than online therapy. It means that patient satisfaction does not depend on the type of therapy but the quality of service and, in some cases, the number of therapy sessions.
Why start Skype counseling?
Skype is actively used by 200 million Americans. It's a great tool for counseling because users can enjoy crystal clear audio, HD video, and text messaging. During the session, both the patient and the therapist can easily share important text and informative leaflets. The seamless coordination can improve outcomes because patients have access to the content of the therapy session after it ends.
What are the advantages of therapy via Skype?
Skype is playing a critical role in providing telemedicine to thousands of people around the world. In the moment of crisis, it helps save lives and prevent long-term injuries. Here are just a few of the many problems that online Skype therapies address:
There is no substitute for good health, and this philosophy is reflected in the rising cost of healthcare. In America, an average in-person therapy session usually costs $65 per hour and may go as high as $300 per hour. For a traditional therapy session, expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $200 per session excluding any fuel and miscellaneous costs to reach your destination.
Fortunately, Skype therapy sessions are only a fraction of the total cost. Instead of paying an hourly cost, clients can often pay a fixed monthly fee. BetterHelp, a reputable healthcare provider, charges $80 per week, billed every month until the patient is satisfied. The company has over 11,000 therapists who also conduct regular in-person sessions.
Therapy sessions can disrupt the daily routine because patients often need to travel long distances from home. Managing regular therapies is even more hectic for busy office workers who may need to take off from their work. Juggling between work and therapies can cause people to lose interest and enthusiasm.
Skype and online therapies offer flexibility because patients can schedule their sessions sitting on their couch without leaving home. As most online appointments start at their designated time, waiting for the doctor is one less thing to worry about.
Lack of health facilities and quality of healthcare is also a dilemma for patients in rural communities. Skype solves their problem by offering them a chance to select some of the best therapists in the nation at a fraction of the cost of a traditional therapy session.
Traditional therapies suffer from low retention rates. According to extensive medical research, traditional therapies are not sustainable for a large population. Almost 35 percent of patients stop their therapy after a single session and half of them don't show up after three sessions.
Some of the major reasons include non-adherence including patients underestimating the required commitment and unfriendly timings. Coping with a busy pattern is often very difficult particularly when someone is suffering from mental issues. Financial concerns and a mismatch between the therapist and the patient is also a common reason why patients leave.
Online Skype counseling is more sustainable because it allows patients to overcome such hurdles. As a result, they can easily follow up and continue the therapy. Besides offering flexibility, Skype counseling is cheaper and there is always plenty of options to select from a range of therapists.
What are the disadvantages of Skype therapy?
There is no doubt that online therapies have certain constraints that require attention. Before initiating Skype therapy, consider these two major drawbacks:
Not everyone is tech-savvy, which makes it difficult for people to schedule an online appointment without help. Compared to Generation X, seniors are reluctant to use the technology because they're used to meeting their doctor in person.
It is also challenging to set up equipment and fix related technical issues during a therapy session. Sometimes, the problem takes forever to fix increasing anxiety among patients. Frequent disconnections can cause patients to lose focus leading to the abandonment of therapy.
Online consultation may not be a viable substitute for in-person therapy sessionsTo prevent such issues, BetterHelp and other reputable providers of online platforms spend significant time and budget to create user-friendly platforms, which require minimal input from the user.
Types of treatments
While Skype sessions cover the majority of psychiatric illnesses, some patients require close and direct treatment to recover from an illness. Online therapies are generally not suited to people who require around-the-clock treatment in a residential setting and inpatient program.
Under certain circumstances, your doctor may suggest medications to treat psychological problems associated with drug intake. Therefore, it is necessary to visit a doctor who can ensure a streamlined procedure according to preexisting guidelines.
How to get the most out of Skype therapy sessions?
Just like any other medical treatment, you will require a firm commitment to overcome a medical condition. At the end of the day, your commitment will determine the eventual outcome even if it means walking a few steps to another room to join an online therapy session.
Follow these important tips to get the most of the online session:
- In the first session, determine your goals with the therapist.
- Take a bold stance and speak honestly about your problems and cravings. Hiding something will not help achieve goals.
- Track your progress from the first day.
- Make sure to ask questions and clarify if something doesn't make sense.
- Before each session, check the Internet connection and software issues. If you're not comfortable, it is best to reschedule the appointment.
- Don't feel shy asking your therapist to check if they may have a technical issue at their end.
- Schedule a therapy session at an appropriate time without background disturbance and interference.
- Try to build a strong relationship with a therapist. Treat them as a part of your own family, and don't shy away from sharing personal experiences that can assist them in understanding the choices that you make.
What is the best way to pick a good psychologist?
Selecting a psychologist is unlike selecting a doctor. While any licensed and well-known doctor will likely offer a diagnosis under prescribed guidelines, a psychologist is more like your friend. A therapy can take different routes depending on the nature of interaction and your goals. Therefore, it is necessary to select a psychologist with who you're comfortable.
Before selecting a psychologist, make sure they're licensed to offer you the treatment you want. The easiest way to do this is to check the state licensing board and verify if the license is current and it is in good standing. Online reviews can also provide important insight into the personality of psychologists. You should also make sure that your insurance will cover the treatment offered by your psychologist.
It is equally important to select someone with who you feel comfortable. For instance, a female therapist may be better if you want to discuss feminine issues. This is also true if you will be discussing certain religious topics or specific lifestyles. During the session, if you feel that your psychologist is unresponsive to your needs, don't feel shy to pick another psychologist.
Does Skype therapy work, and is it right for me?
There is no definite proof if traditional therapy or online therapy is better than the other. Like any other medical treatment, each has its rewards and challenges. As a result, scientists and researchers continue to advocate that the best therapy is a therapy that you think will work for you.
Several studies on this topic offer conclusive evidence that Skype and online therapies are as effective as traditional therapies. While online therapy may have its constraints, people often feel more comfortable sharing their feelings online. Similarly, online therapy is better to deal with social anxiety and nervousness experienced by most people.
Overall, you shouldn't doubt the effectiveness of online therapy. Online therapy is just a bit different from traditional methods but it gives you a lot of flexibility in dealing with psychological issues. Besides, it is much more cost-effective and less time-consuming. BetterHelp and other online portals have made it easier for everyone to access world-class psychologists and enjoy top-quality healthcare. Go here to sign up.