The top five ethical arguments against participation in online psychotherapy were (issues of privacy, confidentiality and security); (competence of the therapist and need for special training); (technology-specific communication problems); (research gaps); and (emergency issues). But the rapid transition to telehealth hasn't been entirely smooth. For patients who are locked up with their family members, finding a quiet place to zoom in with a therapist and potentially complaining about those same family members can be difficult. Therapists may have trouble reading emotions on the phone, so they may risk missing important signals about impending crises.
For some disorders, being in the same room as the therapist is part of the treatment. And some cybersecurity experts warned me that there is a small but real risk that virtual therapy sessions could be hacked and personal medical data stolen. What is your comfort level with the risk of Covid? If you, your therapist, or a member of your family are at high risk of complications from contracting Covid-19, virtual is almost certainly your best option, Dr. Who and what is it treated? Certain Conditions May Benefit From Being Treated Remotely.
Autism patients, for example, may feel that virtual therapy gives them more control over their environment, said Dr. Virtual sessions may also be better for exposure therapy, a psychological treatment that helps patients with conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety cope with their fears. Instead of assigning exposure as a task, a therapist can observe what is happening in real time. And teletherapy can be a good bridge to face-to-face sessions for people with severe anxiety or agoraphobia, or who are prone to panic attacks.
The forced transition of therapists to provide psychotherapy remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic offers a unique opportunity to examine therapists' views and challenges with online therapy. Therapists who reported more challenges with patients' privacy issues at the start of the study later perceived that online therapy was less effective. Because online therapy can cross state and even international lines, it is vitally important to know whether or not the therapist is licensed within the state in which the patient lives. The COVID-19 pandemic provided a unique context in which to better understand therapists' attitudes toward online therapy and how those attitudes change over time.
Many therapists offer online therapy directly to clients through their private practice (you can search for one here). Most psychotherapists had little training and experience in providing online psychotherapy before the pandemic, but nevertheless had multiple concerns about this therapy format. All therapists were asked to report on the challenges they experienced in conducting online therapy at baseline and at follow-up. In addition, the survey responses on therapist challenges and the perceived effectiveness of online therapy were unique elements that, although based on theory and clinical writing, were not part of the standardized measures.
Future research designs could benefit from the inclusion of a qualitative approach and might be able to decipher which parts of therapists' experiences resulted from the unique COVID-19 situation and which part reflects online therapy more generally. The subsample of participants who completed the 3-month follow-up measurement (N %3D 320) did not differ significantly in any demographic variable or in their attitudes and views on the effectiveness of online therapy from therapists who only provided baseline data. The results should be replicated in online therapy sessions outside the pandemic, as it is possible that social unrest and the context of high stress have influenced the professional challenges perceived by therapists and their openness to new technologies. That is, even though younger generations might have had more preliminary experience with videoconferencing, which they could have used more for personal communication purposes, older and clinically more experienced therapists might have had the advantage of having developed a more robust and transferable therapy.
skills that could be more easily adapted to the new online platform. Following restrictions imposed to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, many therapists had to move their practice to the Internet, regardless of their previous attitudes and concerns about online therapy. . .