Alternatives to Traditional Mental Health Resources
Online therapy has emerged as an important alternative to traditional and in-person therapy. Online therapy has recently emerged as a solution to improve access to care for many patients with barriers to treatment, but some people wonder whether online therapy is as effective as traditional in-person therapy. Recent research confirms that for many people living with mental health disorders, online therapy is a highly effective and convenient therapy option. If you’re still on the fence, check out these 6 benefits of online therapy.
Online Therapy Is Accessible
According to the American Psychological Association, 65% of mental healthcare providers are not accepting new patients. This is common here in Rutherford County, and this means for many people it can be difficult—or even impossible—to obtain an in-person therapy appointment. Online therapy increases access to mental healthcare providers, particularly for people living in the more remote areas of our County.
Because online therapy is accessible from any device connected to the internet, people living in remote areas can still obtain mental health treatment, even if there are no nearby therapists. And here in Rutherford County it also means a therapist can be sought out online immediately when there is a long wait for treatment in person.
Online Therapy Can Overcome Barriers To Access
Unlike traditional therapy, you don’t have to go into an office to receive online therapy. This means no matter where you are, you can get the mental health treatment you need as long as you have an internet connection.
Online therapy allows you to talk to a mental health professional from the comfort and privacy of your home, whether you’re on your lunch break, vacation, or having car troubles. With online therapy, you never have to miss an appointment or experience a disruption in your mental health care. Life happens, but it doesn’t have to cause a setback in your treatment plan. That’s a real benefit of some of these alternatives to traditional mental health resources.
And for those who find the idea of in-person therapy intimidating, communicating with a therapist via video chat or even just text chat reduces barriers and helps people access mental health treatment in new ways.
Online Therapy Is Affordable
Another barrier to seeking traditional mental health care is cost. Traditional therapy is only covered by some insurance plans, and each appointment is generally more expensive than online therapy. Online therapy is a more cost effective and accessible way for most people to obtain mental health care.
For patients without insurance coverage for mental health services, online therapy costs less per appointment than in-person services. Online therapy has lower costs because therapists have lower operating costs when treating patients online. Therapists can charge less because they don’t incur overhead costs like large office space or receptionist staff.
Those seeking alternatives to traditional mental health resources because of cost may find online therapy from a provider like BetterHelp more affordable.
Obtaining medical services involves indirect costs beyond just the cost of services. For many people, attending an in-person appointment requires either taking time off work or paying for childcare. Because online therapy can be scheduled at your convenience instead of during therapy office hours, indirect costs are no longer a barrier to obtaining treatment.
Online Therapy Improves Representation In Healthcare
When seeking in-person therapy, you’re limited to the available providers in your locality. Online therapy increases the diversity of mental health providers available to treat you, which can help you obtain treatment from a provider from the same race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
And research confirms that having medical providers of the same race not only increases patient comfort, it results in better patient outcomes. If you don’t feel comfortable with your mental healthcare provider, you won’t be able to effectively explain your emotions. Additionally, a provider that shares your unique background may better understand the factors impacting your mental health diagnoses, which can result in more effective treatment.
Online Therapy Is As Effective As In-Person Therapy
There are hundreds of reasons why someone might seek therapy services, but continual research confirms that in most cases, online therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy for treating a variety of mental health conditions. While research is still ongoing regarding the use of online therapy to treat serious mental illness, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, online therapy is an equally effective option for conditions like:
● Depression and anxiety. In a review of multiple studies, treatment of conditions like depression and anxiety using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) methods was just as effective online and in-person.
● Addiction. Recent studies suggest that online therapy may encourage more individuals struggling with addiction to begin—and stick with—treatment, improving outcomes.
● PTSD. Research confirms online treatment for PTSD increases access to care while providing similar outcomes to in-person treatment.
Online therapy can also help people obtain therapeutic support for reasons unconnected to a mental health diagnosis, like couples counseling, grief support, or family therapy.
Online Therapy Can Get You The Help You Need Faster
When patients try to establish care with a new therapist, they may wait months to get an appointment. However, most patients seeking online therapy can match with a licensed therapist in less than a week.
When you need mental health support, waiting weeks or months for treatment can seriously disrupt your everyday life. Stress, depression, PTSD, or other mental health conditions can negatively impact your relationships, your career, and your overall well-being. Online therapy makes it easier to get mental health treatment fast, which can help prevent the negative impacts of a delay in treatment.
Alternatives Like BetterHelp Offer Convenient, Affordable Mental Health Support
If barriers to traditional therapy are holding you back from obtaining treatment, online therapy may be a great option for you. Alternatives to traditional mental health resources like BetterHelp may allow you to obtain affordable mental health treatment for a variety of disorders, all from the comfort of your home. BetterHelp’s therapists are fully licensed, and subscribers can match with a therapist and start treatment within 48 hours after signing up.