To Zoom or not to Zoom? This question seems to be at the forefront of some clients’ minds. 2020 taught us all some valuable lessons. We had to be flexible and adaptable. This time of uncertainty challenged us to break away from our structure and routine and adjust to being homebound. Technology became our friend as we were forced to accept our new normal. The digital era was imposed on us even if we were not ready. Now as we embark on a season of post pandemic, do we continue utilizing the technology and skills acquired in the last 2 years?
As a clinician, I have noticed the trend of clients wanting to move back to in-person sessions. This may be the best option for some who long for human interaction. However, there are some practical benefits to continuing online therapy.
Convenient Clients can schedule appointments that are convenient for them. Some clients who have late work schedules are often able to schedule sessions during their lunch break. Clients who have young toddlers can schedule sessions during nap time. Stay at home moms are no longer required to find a babysitter and drive to their appointments. The convenience of online therapy is endless.
Comfortable The internet allows clients to overcome the stigma of mental health treatment. Clients appear more comfortable in their home or whatever setting they choose. I’ve noticed some clients are more vulnerable and open online. Home represents a safe space for some clients, this space allows the client to be open and share without hesitation from their safe space. Clients are able to bring their favorite blanket or snuggle with their pet while in the session. Clients can lounge in their favorite pajamas or dress for the occasion.
Accessible Some clients have physical limitations. Online therapy provides an alternative for those with mobility issues. Mental health treatment is readily available online for all. Those living in rural areas no longer have to drive for hours to their appointment. Client can save on gas and not worry about traffic or parking.
Effective Online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy. It can be used to treat anxiety, depression and adjustment disorders.
The internet has a plethora of platforms for mental health treatment. The pandemic allowed online mental health treatment to thrive. Online therapy offers convenience and accessibility. However, it does not mean it is right for everyone. Decide for yourself the best way to navigate this journey. Research your options, ask questions, and consider what’s healthy for you. Remember, you have a choice. If online therapy does not work for you initially, you can always change to in-person sessions. The choice is yours.
Shannon Davis MA, LPC