Teletherapy: it’s necessary and it works

This article in The Washington Post describes the author’s and her husband’s experiences with mental health struggles during the pandemic. The author, with her busy life, had a hard time finding and scheduling a therapist, and worried that the online experience would not match the in-person experience. She says:

“After months of searching, I found a provider who offered the option of online therapy. I decided to give it a try, even though I was skeptical about revealing my feelings through a Zoom call. I worried that virtual sessions would ruin the intimacy of one-on-one counseling and that a therapist would be just another talking head on a screen.”

Benefits of Online Therapy

“But right away, I began to notice the benefits. For the first time in my life, I felt no anxiety before a therapy appointment. I found it comforting to talk to my counselor while wearing fuzzy house slippers. And to my surprise, I was able to share my emotions through a screen much more easily than I’ve ever been able to with an in-person psychotherapist.”

Some “therapists and patients have been eager to get back to in-person sessions. Others who would prefer to continue telehealth appointments, however, are finding the option being curtailed. Emergency orders established by states as the pandemic took hold, which mandate coverage of telehealth visits and allow out-of-state providers to participate, are expiring. And some private insurance companies have begun rolling back telehealth coverage.”

Teletherapy Option Vitally Needed

“But now is the time that the teletherapy option, in particular, is vitally needed, many experts say. The prevalence of anxiety and depression has increased by 25 percent worldwide since the start of the pandemic, while, at the same time, there’s an alarming shortage of therapists taking new clients.”

“The use of teletherapy by psychologists increased from about 7.1 percent of their work pre-pandemic to 85.5 percent of their work during the pandemic, according to a national study led by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and published in American Psychologist. And research indicates that it can be as effective as in-person treatment, said Ashley Batastini, a psychologist and assistant professor in the counseling, educational psychology and research department at the University of Memphis.”

Teletherapy As Effective As In-Person

“Batastini analyzed two decades’ worth of data comparing teletherapy and traditional treatment, for a range of diagnostic criteria that included depression and eating disorders. ‘We didn’t find any evidence that there’s a difference between videoconferencing and in-person mental and behavioral health interventions,’ Batastini said. In fact, based on the data, some women appear to have better outcomes using video therapy than in-person treatment, although Batastini says that further study is needed.”

Teletherapy Convenience

“The efficacy of teletherapy is not the only reason it should continue, patients and practitioners say. The convenience of teletherapy is also a lifeline for people who have challenges getting to in-person appointments — such as people who live in rural areas where practitioners are scarce, those who live in traffic-choked urban areas, those who have been exposed to or have symptoms of covid-19, and those who are disabled.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2022/05/23/teletherapy-mental-health-states-insurance/

 

The therapeutic modalities that Elaine Korngold offers, Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy and Brainspotting therapy work really well via teletherapy. Contact Elaine to learn more about how these modalities can help you resolve your emotional struggles.