In today’s stressful world, approximately 20% of Americans suffer from mental health concerns. While many of us have experienced occasional periods of anxiety or a feeling of being overwhelmed, most of us have just come to accept the tension and demands in our life. But for the 1 in 5 Americans who have true depressive or anxiety disorders, everyday stresses represent something more intense. These burdens begin affecting their home life and relationships and start impacting their work; all clear signs of an anxiety disorder.
The best way someone with an anxiety disorder can help themselves is by seeking therapy. Licensed therapists can evaluate your concerns and determine the best treatment options available for your situation. The only problem with this, until recently, is that all types of therapy have required a visit to the therapist’s office, making it difficult for certain people to obtain the help they need. Those who may not have been able to easily seek help in the past are:
- People who live in rural areas, where the nearest office could be hours away from their home
- Agoraphobics – those people with a phobia of going outside
- People with social anxiety disorder
- People with mobility constraints
Enter the virtual therapist. This is psychotherapy that’s done electronically via resources like Skype and FaceTime. The emergence of online therapy and phone therapy has revolutionized the way counseling is performed. In addition to making treatment more accessible to people, there are a number of positive reasons to consider internet counseling as the preferred way to seek professional help:
- Increased comfort: imagine being able to complete your therapy from your very own couch in the safety and comfort of the familiar surroundings in your home.
- Increased options for therapists: if the therapist you want to see or need to see isn’t conveniently located near you, you can still use their services.
- Increased availability to continue therapy while traveling for work or while on vacation.
- Increased privacy: there’s no concern that you’ll run into someone you know while sitting in the waiting room of your virtual therapist.
- Time saved from having to drive to and from the psychologist’s office.
Is Online Therapy Right For You?
Just like anything else, there are important things to consider before jumping into phone therapy or internet counseling:
- Ask your therapist about HIPAA compliance to ensure your electronic communications will be kept confidential.
- A physical doctor’s office guarantees solitude and quiet to discuss your concerns: can your virtual therapist ensure they will provide a similar environment when engaging in therapy at your convenience?
- State licensure: while internet therapy does offer more convenience, you will most likely still need to use a therapist who is licensed in your state. Don’t be surprised if this becomes a topic of conversation.
- It may not be possible for your therapy to be 100% electronic. Some concerns may require visits to local clinics for in-person assessing.
What to Expect
So how does online therapy appointment differ from a regular in-person appointment? The short answer is, it doesn’t – for the most part. Aside from the fact that you’ll be talking to your therapist through a device, your internet therapy appointment should be very similar to a typical appointment in a physical office.
Your psychotherapist will work with you to go through the same exercises and analysis as they normally would if you were sitting in their office. Additionally, some therapists may periodically assign videos to watch or “homework” assignments that can be submitted electronically, but even these won’t be much different than what an in-person therapist might ask of you.
So how do you get started? Not every therapist is equipped to administer online therapy or provide internet counseling. But Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida is ready to receive your call and make getting help easier. Contact them at 561-496-1094 or contact Dr. Rosen and The Center today.