Online Counselling has become a very popular way for clients to get mental health care. The practice is a convenient and effective way for people to access therapy. If this is something you’re interested in trying, there are a couple of options to consider. Both video meetings and voice calls are viable options for online therapy. Here’s what you need to know to decide which one is right for you.
Which Approach Is Most Effective?
First of all, let’s get one thing out of the way: you’re not sacrificing quality care either way. In fact, both therapy types have scientific research to back them up.
According to a review of the literature that was published in the journal Psychological Services, video therapy has been demonstrated to work for a range of different populations, adapts to many therapeutic styles, and has similar outcomes to traditional in-person therapy sessions. Clients also report high levels of satisfaction with this approach.
Voice call therapy also has data to back it up. This article from the American Psychological Association outlines some of the research showing that telephone therapy sessions are effective. Clients are able to form a strong therapeutic connection through phone calls, and the results are comparable to traditional in-person therapy in providing relief from psychological symptoms. One extra benefit of voice sessions is that clients typically complete a higher number of sessions than they do with in-person appointments, possibly because it’s simply more convenient.
The research makes it clear that you don’t have to give up quality mental health care to enjoy convenience when it comes to telephone therapy or video therapy. This is great news, but it can also make it harder to choose the approach you want to try.
When weighing your options, it’s helpful to know the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Ultimately, there’s no “right” choice, just the choice that’s best for you. Here are some of the factors to consider when deciding.
Online Therapy: What Are The Benefits Of Video Therapy?
The last few years have made a lot of people feel more comfortable conducting all kinds of business online, and therapy is no exception. Video therapy appointments have boomed in popularity, and for very good reasons. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of video therapy.
Many people appreciate the freedom to fit a session into their schedule, without worrying about going to an office or spending time commuting. Some clients even choose to schedule appointments during their lunch break at work, if that’s comfortable for them. Video conferencing technology means you can take advantage of this in all kinds of situations, such as scheduling a session with your therapist when you’re out of town visiting your family.
A comfortable format
During the worst of the pandemic, many of us adjusted to video calls. After getting familiar with the technology and online etiquette, the benefits of online meetings started to become more clear. They allow you to take meetings wherever you have a connection and a laptop or phone, and you don’t even have to be in the same city as the person you’re speaking to.
For some people, being able to read expressions and body language is an important part of communication. Video calls allow clients to receive this non-verbal communication. Depending on your communication style, this may make you feel more at ease and connected with your therapist.
What Are The Benefits Of Therapy Over the Phone?
Some of the benefits of online therapy apply to voice calls. For example, this approach offers just as much flexibility and convenience. But there are subtle differences that make this version more appealing for certain people. These are a few of the strengths of just picking up the phone to talk to your therapist.
Lower technical requirements for online therapy
Video calls require more broadband services and tech capability than a simple phone call. Not everyone is comfortable navigating the process of video meetings or has the internet connectivity that’s needed for an effective session.
Might be more convenient, depending on the situation
One of the challenges of any remote therapy session is finding a private space to have your appointment. For some people, a phone call is an easier way to make that happen. If there’s no secure spot to retreat to in a crowded house, you could even go for a walk outside to get some privacy.
On top of this, some people don’t feel comfortable showing their home, so a phone call can also relieve that anxiety.
Fewer non-verbal cues
The lack of non-verbal communication may actually be a benefit for some people, while it’s definitely not for others. Depending on how you best process information, you might find it more relaxing to simply focus on the conversation without trying to navigate the non-verbal component of a video call.
Ultimately, there is no “right” or “wrong” answer when it comes to remote therapy. The method you choose should fit your life and feel comfortable. If you’re struggling to decide, it may help to schedule an in-person appointment with a therapist to discuss your options and come up with a plan that seems like it will work for you.
You can also schedule an appointment to try each approach, and see which one seems to fit best. Again, what matters is what works best for you, so there’s no reason you should feel any pressure to opt for one option or the other.
At Trillium Counselling, we offer both voice and video therapy sessions, using the simple and secure platforms Jane App Platform or Web-ex video chat. If you’d like to speak with a therapist about setting up a remote appointment, we welcome you to contact us today. Technology has created new possibilities for communication, and we believe these advances should be used to promote the well-being of our clients.