As the internet has become increasingly more important to an individual’s life, programs to help people both physically and mentally have surfaced onto the internet.
Physical health and mental health have been advocated on the internet for quite some time. An example of this would be online therapy.
Online therapy is considered to be a modern way of therapy. Through websites, users can chat live face-to-face with therapists as well as text or call them.
One of the main benefit of online therapy is accessibility. BetterHelp, a popular online therapy website, uses this point to try and get more users to use their site.
“Message your therapist anytime from anywhere. No scheduling needed … Schedule a live session at a time that's convenient for you,” BetterHelp states.
Getting help from the comfort of a person’s home is one of the most tempting factors with online therapy; however, this is not the only appealing aspect. The affordability also contributes greatly to someone’s choice on the matter.
But there are some cons to online therapy. Many people question if online therapy is actually effective. Famous YouTuber Pewdiepie, for instance, is skeptical that online therapy works.
However, according to the website Taylor & Francis Online, online therapy is and can be as effective as regular therapy.
“A comparison between face-to-face and Internet intervention as reported on in 14 of the studies revealed no differences in effectiveness,” said the website.
Although it may be effective, psychologists warn that online therapy is not a complete alternative to actual therapy and will not help people with serious problems.
“E-therapy can be useful for a variety of situations, but not when it comes to more serious psychiatric illnesses that require close and direct treatment,” website Verywell Mind states.
Other controversies include legal and ethical problems. Take the website BetterHelp controversy. The website received criticism after offering YouTuber’s sponsorships. If YouTubers get their subscribers to sign up then they would make a profit.
This caused controversy because people believed that mental health was being treated like an advertisement. Since the controversy, all of Better Help’s sponsorship deals have since been removed from YouTube.
Other legal issues arise as online therapy websites do not have to follow regular code and ethics that traditional therapists have to follow.
According to the American Psychological Association, a person should ask the following questions before trying online therapy: Is the therapist licensed? Is the psychologist licensed in the state you live? Is the site or app secure? Will the information I provide remain confidential?
Nevertheless, online therapy can be a great way of improving a person’s mental health as long as the person chooses the right website.
Whether or not online therapy is the right decision for an individual, be cautious and safe.