Due to the increased usage of wellness-based mobile apps and online therapy, the field of mental health is gradually following the path laid by technology in order to design more convenient and accessible platforms for their clients. There are several online programs like Talkspace, BetterHelp and many others which are helping mental health patients to break the taboo and speak about their disorders with anonymous counselors and therapists who are waiting to help them. Such programs are encouraging the people who are less likely to get help for their mental health disorders.
According to the World Health Organization, there is a wide gap between those who require mental health treatment and the capability of the organizations to meet their need. This is one of the most significant global problems that have always affected the mental health industry. With the increasing numbers of virtual therapy initiatives, what are the positive and negative outcomes which can be predicted from an “anonymous” form of therapy?
If you take a look at the bigger picture, you will find many companies who use technology for therapy, and this is proving to be beneficial for reaching a wider spectrum of people who are in need. Studies reveal that in several cases, virtual or online therapy is way more effective than conventional therapy. Due to the accessibility and convenience of these online platform, there are higher outcome rates, simply because more people are receiving therapy. And, as already stated, online therapy has proven to be effective in its own right.
These programs are all available online and hence anyone can get access to them through any device provided he/she has a stable internet connection and/or a smartphone. It is rather interesting to delve into the implications this technology may have for a client who, for example, is going through a sad and distressed stage of life. For instance, you may imagine being given the permission to access instant resources for long-term management of stress and anxiety. These resources over the internet were not available just a few years ago.
However, set against the conventional form of therapy, virtual mental health treatment also has its cons. There are several clients who think that face-to-face interaction is vital for the therapist to develop a good and effective relationship with the client. Moreover, body language is one more important thing that speaks a lot about the person’s mental state. With virtual therapy, the therapist is often not able to see the body language. Although virtual therapy can sometimes support visual components, it will still have its limits and restraints. Yet, with all of the limitations, research has shown that people primarily care about one thing: privacy. When you seek the help of a virtual therapist, there is enough confidentiality during the process. You can sit alone in your living room and speak to the therapist, and never fear that someone else is also listening to your conversation. The chats are further encrypted with SSL technology. And, you have the ability to remain anonymous. These are just a few of the ways in which technology has helped the mental health industry. Over the next few years, telehealth is expected to make a serious impact on the mental health world. Driven by its technology, it’s not hard to see why.