“Access to good health care should not depend on where you are”
- Victoria Beckham
COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown has brought about a sense of fear and anxiety around the globe. People were exposed to incidents which lead to development of anxiety, panic attacks, depression, mood disorders, and other mental illnesses. Bereavement, isolation, loss of income, worries and concerns about the future and being quarantined due to infection or fear of infection are triggering mental health conditions or triggering existing ones. But when you talk about your feelings with someone you trust, it becomes less scary, less overwhelming and you become less anxious. Therapists support patients going through major life changes related to the pandemic, helping them cope with the changes with them, people can be seen, heard, and held in mind. Therefore, to make people feel better therapy has become more relevant today than ever.
Now let’s discuss the relevancy of online therapy post covid. Counselling services delivered via the internet are referred to as online therapy. Online therapy, unlike in-person therapy, allows you to communicate with a qualified therapist or counsellor from device with an internet connection, such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Online therapy also known as e- therapy can be very useful and first-choice for good reasons. People in rural or remote places can get mental healthcare through online counselling. Because there are few or no mental health services in rural areas, those who reside there may not have access to any other sort of mental health therapy. People in need of help may find it difficult to Make time from their busy schedules to travel long distances to seek in-person counselling. If they have dependable internet connectivity, online therapy allows them to get treatment quickly and easily that might not have had access to otherwise. Online treatment is typically both economical and convenient. You may typically arrange your therapy sessions for times that are most convenient for you because you will be attending therapy sessions online in the comfort of your own home. It also enables accessibility to people who are disabled or confined to their homes. When it comes to getting mental health care, mobility can be a major challenge. For example, a therapist working out of their house may not be equipped to work with clients of different abilities. People who are unable to leave their homes for a variety of reasons, such as physical or mental illness, may find internet therapy to be a valuable substitute for traditional in-person counselling. Mental health care has become more accessible because of the internet. People may feel comfortable expressing physical health concerns with friends and family, but they may not feel the same way about discussing mental health concerns, which are just as essential. Access to the internet makes it simpler to remove the stigma that has long been associated with mental health disorders. For these reasons, I believe online therapy sessions will be relevant in post-COVID era also.
But as we know, every coin has two sides, there are some considerable disadvantages of online therapy the therapists won’t be able to see facial expressions, vocal messages, or body language if you choose text-based treatment. These signals can be quite telling and provide the therapist with a better understanding of your feelings, thoughts, moods, and behaviours. While some delivery techniques, such as voice-over-internet technology and video chats, can provide a better view of the situation, they frequently lack the intimacy and nuance that real-world encounters provide. In this kind of therapy, keeping your personal information private is a big concern, but internet treatment adds another layer of complexity. Confidentiality is just as vital in online therapy as it is in other types of treatment. Because information is sent over the internet, privacy breaches and hackers are becoming increasingly common. Problems with technology might sometimes make it tough to get help when you really need it. Since virtual therapists are separated from their clients, responding swiftly and effectively in the event of a crisis might be, if not impossible, for a therapist to provide direct aid to a client who is having suicidal thoughts or has had a personal crisis.
To conclude, I would like to say, in these Times, when people are isolated and locked inside their homes, online therapy is the need of the hour.
By Mansi Jain