Counseling administered via an online portal is occurring more than ever before, and the experts agree that this is a good thing. In an article on the American Psychological Association’s site, David Mohr, PhD, says, “Telehealth is essentially just as effective as face-to-face psychotherapy—and retention rates are higher.” He is the director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University and has spent his career studying telepsychology and digital mental health
Remote/Virtual Treatment Removes Barriers to Treatment
Telehealth counseling is referred to by many different names, including:
- Telemental health
- Virtual Therapy
- Zoom therapy
Telehealth services can be especially helpful for those with a disability, or anyone who has a difficulty with transportation to ‘in-person’ appointments. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the added benefit of protecting participants from spreading the virus, and even during ‘normal’ times, telehealth can benefit those who are immunocompromised.
Demand For Therapy is High, and Growing
The need for mental health professionals is at an all-time high, exacerbated by the isolation and despair wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a 2020 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, or APA, a third of U.S. therapists reported that they are seeing more patients overall. Of psychologists who treat anxiety disorders, nearly 75% of those surveyed by APA reported an increase in demand for treatment, while 60% of those who treat depression saw an increase. Similar rises in demand for treatment for trauma and stress-related disorders and sleep-wake disorders were also reported.
The Downside of Telehealth Counseling
As with all choices, there are tradeoffs. Here are some potential downsides to telehealth counseling, such as:
- Unreliable Technology: Using the technology can be difficult, and it is prone to poor connections, or even going down completely.
- Less Rapport and Communication: Counselors have noted the reduced ability to see and hear all the verbal and non-verbal communication via telehealth.
- Environmental Interference: Counselor or patient might contend with interruptions during the session (like dogs barking or kids interrupting).
- Forgotten/Missed Appointments: Since people who are working from home might be inundated with notifications and/or appointments, it can be easier to forget/miss a telehealth/counseling appointment.
However, even when you consider the above ‘cons’ of telehealth, the ‘pros’ outweigh them by far.
Great Northern Helps Injured Workers Recover
Great Northern Therapy Associates uses telehealth every day as part of our mission to improve the lives of injured workers. We have therapists throughout many states who can meet via remotely (and in person, if preferred), to work with injured workers and develop an individualized plan to help them adjust and successfully return to work.
We have partnered with and provided mental health support to workers at some of the largest companies in the world. But, at our core, we are still “people taking care of people,” one person at a time. Contact us today by filling out a form (below), submitting a referral, or calling us at the number below.