ONLINE THERAPY BENEFITS
Online skype therapy has made private practice available to mental health professionals in terms of reaching and helping individuals globally. Therapy online makes therapists accessible to people who live in rural areas or small towns where limited number of qualified mental health professionals may be available. Physically disabled individuals who are housebound or people who are too anxious to go to a therapist's office may find online therapy very helpful in terms of receiving treatment. Pragmatic benefits of online therapy include no travel time to go to a therapist's office, being able to receive therapeutic help from one's home or office, and therapy fees that are more economical. Additionally, if and when an individual moves to another town or country, he/she can continue therapy with the same therapist.
A comprehensive review of the effectiveness of internet based therapeutic interventions conducted by Azy Barak, PhD (Journal of Technology in Human Services, 2008) strongly supported online pscyhological treatments as a legitimate therapeutic activity. The findings indicated that online therapy was just as effective as face-to-face interventions.
Another study published in the Lancet in 2009 concluded that online therapy was as good as therapy received in a therapist's office in helping individuals with depression.
Based on a research study conducted at the University of Zurich in 2013 online therapy was found to be even more effective than traditional therapy. The results of the study indicated that 53 percent of patients participating in the study who underwent online therapy -compared to 42 percent for face-to-face therapy- did not exhibit any depression following the treatment.
Internet has significant impact on all aspects of our lives. Online therapy is an area in which the influence of the internet is rapidly growing. Therapy online has the potential to improve access to services and the convenience of treatment both for individuals and mental health professionals.
Dr. Nil Alptekin