One of the hardest steps for many people with mental health issues is to open up and trust someone. Yet some believe that many people can feel more comfortable seeking help with teletherapy, and it could be another crucial step forward for this technology.
Opening Up With a Therapist Online
Many are now looking into the benefits of telemedicine, where you can consult with a doctor online and get virtual help from practically anywhere in the world. And telemedicine is not just a boon for physical wellness, it can also potentially do wonders for mental health as well.
In fact, an article on Greatist has called teletherapy “the one great tool changing mental health.” One example this article points to is our increasingly hectic schedules. Having to work as hard as we do is stressful enough, but without seeking therapy, we can run the risk of running ourselves into the ground.
With teletherapy, it’s easier to set up an appointment without having to travel to a doctor’s office, and people in rural areas can get easier access to help as well. (Remarkably, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tells that that there are no psychiatrists in 55% of U.S. counties, which can make teletherapy an even more important necessity for mental health in the future.)
And while many would think it would be hard for some people to open up through teletherapy, in today’s technology age it could indeed be easier. (Think of it like talking to your therapist over the phone.) As one doctor explains, “Psychiatry is uniquely suited for telemedicine services since psychiatrists don’t typically perform physical exams.”
Mental Health Breakthroughs with Teletherapy
In technology terms that people today can understand, one doctor called Teletherapy “FaceTime on steroids,” and many patients are excited about the possibilities of teletherapy.
In addition to being able to hook up with a therapist if you live far away, and being able to make time for therapy when it’s convenient for you, there’s also the aspect of what is called the “impossible task.” When you suffer from serious depression, everyday things we all have to do can become “impossible tasks.” If people become paralyzed with mental health issues, a therapist can reach out through a video conference, and help people in the privacy of their homes.
As for the confidentiality aspect of therapy, this report tells us, “the video chat systems that psychologists and psychiatrists use have to meet security requirements that are extremely stringent,” making your session with a psychiatrist as private as an in-person visit. (the technology is already in place with many mental health apps that keeps patient sessions safe and confidential.)
While teletherapy is still in development, there is tremendous potential for it to grow and help people all over the world. Already therapists and patients alike feel it can be a powerful tool in improving people’s mental health, and it can also make it easier than ever for people to hook up with the right treatment, and get the help they need.