Online Therapy Works (theconversation.com)

 

The psychotherapy field, in general, has been dismissive of telehealth since the inception of the technology. However, the current pandemic has caused previously disdainful therapists and experts to rethink their stance.

A 2007 meta-analysis of 92 studies covering over 9,700 patients showed that "online psychological interventions" (telemedicine) were "a legitimate therapeutic activity." Many other studies in more recent years have shown the same. Now, due to the social distancing guidelines dictated by COVID-19, many mental health professionals have been forced to adopt telehealth options, and they're finding it just as effective as the studies suggest.

 

"I’m sad our profession needed COVID-19 to address telehealth, but the benefits will last for generations." - Nicholas Joyce, psychologist

 

This is a big win for patients, though many obstacles still exist for people suffering mental health problems. Whether it's the social stigma of being seen walking into a therapist's office, the anxiety of seeing a therapist face-to-face, time or transportation constraints, child care concerns, or a host of other reasons, telemedicine can ease the burden of seeking proper care. According to Nicholas Joyce, a psychologist at the University of South Florida, there are still obstacles to telehealth coverage, including national licensing and regulation. However, the future is looking brighter for those seeking treatment online, as Dr. Joyce highlights in a recent article on The Conversation. Read more there, and check the links he provides if you're looking for a provider yourself.

 

If you're interested, here are some links to some more helpful information:

Online resources reviewed by experts

Coronavirus online therapy hub

Psychology Today therapist search

Mayo Clinic tips on finding mental health providers

Anxiety and Depression Association of America telemental health provider search

 


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