We all have periods in our lives when we experience difficulties, feel depressed or have anxiety. In those moments we may need to discuss about our issues with an online psychologist or we may decide to do online therapy via secure telehealth platforms.
In this post I will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about online therapy.
What is online therapy?
Online psychotherapy is one type of therapy that allows remote psychological interventions. Online psychotherapy is suitable for several situations in which it is not possible to visit the psychology office.
Online psychotherapy allows remote psychological intervention between the psychotherapist and the client / patient, regardless of geographical location. This type of psychotherapy is similar to face to face therapy and is just as effective.
Because the contact is not made face to face between the client and the psychologist but through the internet, this can cause some people to feel disconnection from the psychotherapist. If this happens and the client feels that his progress is difficult because of it, he can opt for office sessions.
For people who have severe psychological distress (severe mental illness), it is recommended to opt for therapy in person.
Online psychotherapy versus in-person psychotherapy. Which is more efficient?
When we ask if online therapy is as effective as in person therapy, we consider several aspects. Studies show that online psychotherapy is equivalent to in-person sessions. However, we do not yet have studies to indicate that the online therapy service is suitable for everyone and for any type of problem.
|Comparison Criteria||Online Psychotherapy||In-person Psychotherapy|
|Type of problem
||It is still new and studies show that it is as effective as in-person psychotherapy, with some limitations depending on the severity of the client’s problem and the type of problem described.||Validated for a wide variety of mental health difficulties and issues.|
|Type of therapy approach used
||There are usually no limitations, but the CBT approach seems to have a wider applicability, being the easiest approach to study scientifically.||There are usually no limitations|
|Crisis situations and addictions
||We do not yet have data to support online therapy for crisis situations.||Excellent|
|Accessibility||It may depend on the internet provider, the quality of the internet connection, the availability of client space for sessions, private space available for communication||The safe and confidential space is provided by the psychotherapist|
|Confidentiality||Excellent, but may depend on safety factors and the platform used.||Excellent|
|Cost||It can be cheaper or it can have the same price as the therapy in the office.||The standard price of in-person sessions depends on each psychotherapist|
Some people prefer to talk to a psychologist online than go to the office. Especially if they feel better from the comfort of their own home than in a foreign location. On the other hand, there are people who prefer to meet face to face with a psychotherapist which gives them a sense of active engagement in their own healing process.
If you opt for online therapy, the psychotherapist will tell you if or when he considers that an in-person approach is better for you.
However, doing therapy – whether online or in-person – is much better than not doing therapy at all.
The choice is yours if you go to the office or choose to do the psychotherapy sessions online.
Who can attend online therapy?
Anyone in need of psychotherapy or online counseling can opt for online sessions, especially the following people:
- People aged 18 and over who cannot come to the office for various reasons or lack of time.
- People who suffer from severe physical and psychological conditions that make it difficult for them to leave the house.
- Expatriates in Romanian/ Bucharest who need a psychologist help online.
- Romanians or expats who live abroad who need psychological support or psychotherapy and want to work with a Romanian psychotherapist.
- People in cities other than Bucharest who want to benefit from talking to a psychologist online, not being limited to the area they live in. This is a great option especially for people who live in a small town.
- People who have small children and don’t have a friend, family or someone to babysit.
- Anyone who needs to talk to a psychotherapist online and for various personal or non-personal reasons cannot come to the office.
What do you need for online sessions?
For the online psychotherapy sessions you will need the following:
- A computer, laptop or telephone with internet connection.
- My personal preference is Webex video conferencing platform, which is GDPR and HIPAA compliant and provides high end-to-end encryption for the calls. You also need to have the Webex application installed on your computer or phone, a webcam and a microphone.
- The therapy sessions are held as a video conference or just audio for people who do not have a webcam connected to a computer or laptop.
- For a good therapy session, it is recommended to have 50 minutes in which you can be alone and undisturbed by anyone.
You can add me to your Webex contact list. My id is [email protected]. You can also find me as Valentina Dragomir (under the avatar picture I have my site psihosensus.eu and the email address [email protected]).
After we have confirmed the payment of the online session, at the time of the appointment we will start the video conference.
What are the benefits of online therapy?
There are several benefits of online psychotherapy:
- You have easier access to psychotherapy if you live or travel in rural areas. All you need is a good internet connection.
- You can work with a psychotherapist who is from a different city (or country) than the one where you live. This is an advantage especially for people living as an expat in a foreign country or in a different city that their home.
- You save time because you no longer travel by car or public transport. The hassle about searching for a parking space, which could lead to arriving late for therapy, is also avoided.
- It is an excellent option for people who have a disability or cannot physically go to the psychology office.
- If you feel under the weather, say you are sick, have a flu or a broken leg, and still want to see a therapist.
- You can continue your therapy if you leave the country for a longer period. For example, you won a scholarship, an internship or a job for a limited period, in a different city or country than your home country/city.
- When you are or live permanently abroad you can work with a psychotherapist who speaks your language.
How much does an online psychotherapy session cost?
You can see the list of prices for psychological services.
What is the accepted payment method?
The payment of online psychotherapy sessions is made by bank transfer. I will make the bank account available to you at the time of the appointment request. The payment is made in advance and you can send me the payment confirmation by mail. After confirmation of payment by mail, the meeting is also confirmed and we will start at the date and time discussed.
The receipt and invoice will be issued in this case electronically and will be sent to the client’s e-mail address.
What are the steps for making an appointment for an online therapy session?
I often get this question which I will answer below. For online meetings the procedure is simple. Here is what you and me need to do:
- You must have Webex installed on your laptop / computer or phone. The meetings will take place on Webex.
- We set an appointment for one day and hour that is suitable for both of us.
- The sessions are paid in advance by bank transfer in the account that I will make available to you if you decide to work together.
- You send me a payment confirmation and I release your invoice. I will send the invoice to your email address.
- I will need you to fill out an agreement for processing your data (GDPR), and you send it back to me signed, by e-mail.
- The last step is to be present on Webex at the scheduled time to honor the appointment.
These are usually the steps for setting an appointment for an online psychotherapy or personal development session.
You forgot the appointment date or you can no longer participate in the online session. What happens now?
If you wish to cancel an appointment, please let me know at least 24 hours before the appointment hour. Cancellations of appointments that are made on the same day or less than 24 hours are paid and invoiced as a normal session.
If the cancellation of the online session is done more than 24 hours before, we can reschedule the meeting already paid for another day and time that is convenient to both of us, so no further payment is required. The payment for the meeting made in advance is not reimbursable.
In this post you learned:
- The fact that online psychotherapy is as effective as in-person therapy, although for some people and problems it is recommended therapy in the office.
- Anyone in need of emotional support or psychological treatment can attend online therapy sessions.
- The online sessions take place on the Webex and you can contact me at any time for an appointment (the id is [email protected]).
- Other important information about this service: what you need for the sessions, payment details and the cancellation policy.