The COVID-19 pandemic shook the world. In March 2020, our daily routines and freedom of movement came to a halt in Ontario and all over the world. In order to continue services for clients, psychologists and other professionals switched to virtual/online practices and telephone services. This was the only way clients could continue their therapy or start therapy. E-therapy is the provision of psychotherapy by using technology such as video platforms, telephone, online self-help, or even text-messages. This was new for many practitioners and clients alike. But e-therapy has been around for years, there is a wide body or research demonstrating its benefits for clients, and it can be used to treat many problems, life difficulties, and mental disorders (Bibliography of Telehealth Research).
E-therapy is convenient. Sometimes it is just too expensive, stressful, or time-consuming to make it to a therapy appointment. What if you get stuck in traffic, the babysitter cancels, or you must stay late at work? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an appointment at home on your day off, after work in your office, or in your parked car? You could have an appointment while your kids play in the next room. You could even wear your pajamas! There are other conveniences too. With e-therapy, you can make payments online and download receipts. Many practitioners, like me, allow clients to book their own appointments so there is no need to play phone tag.
E-therapy makes psychotherapy accessible. Sometimes the person who needs help the most also has the most difficulty obtaining it. This can be the case for individuals who are isolated, living in remote areas, have mobility problems, lack transportation methods or funds, or difficulty leaving the home. With e-therapy, anyone experiencing these barriers can have therapy if they have access to the internet or a phone.
E-therapy is great for people who want privacy. It would be nice if the world were more accepting and understanding of psychological distress and experiences. But, due to the stigma surrounding mental health, many people are reluctant to seek treatment. One benefit of e-therapy is privacy. You will not need to visit an office and see people in the waiting room. You can have a session in your home, car, or any private place that allows you to use the internet or a phone.
But what about safety? The Internet is a big place and there are ways you can protect yourself. To ensure that a registered psychologist is treating you, check if they are listed with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. Your health information is private and practitioners who use e-therapy are careful to use technology that protects this information and follows the PHIPA (Personal Health Information Protection Act) and PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) guidelines. Examples of these precautions include encrypted video, password protection, using systems tailored to health care professionals, and conducting therapy in a private place. As a client, be sure to choose a private place for your session and it never hurts to have your own computer anti-virus program and firewall.
Articles about E-Therapy
What is Online Therapy?
The Pros and Cons of Online Therapy
Virtual Therapy: How to Find the Online Mental Health Care Provider that’s Right for you
A Growing Wave of Online Therapy
Advantages of E-Therapy over Conventional Therapy
Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels
Dr. Candice Bovell, Ph.D., C.Psych. is a Clinical Psychologist who treats adults with depression, anxiety, and stress online in Ontario, Canada.
Candice Bovell, Ph.D., C.Psych.
*How to Book Appointments with Dr. Candice Using Jane App
*How to Read Emails Sent Through Hushmail
*How to Join a Zoom for Healthcare Appointment
*How to Deal with Work Stress-5 Tips
*5 Types of Psychotherapy Homework
*5 Tips for CBT Success
*Interested in Trying E-Therapy?
*E-Therapy is Great for the Field of Psychology
*Psychologist Recommended Resources for Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic
*Activate Your Mood with Behavioural Activation
*Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or Psychotherapist...What's the Difference?
*Thinking About Using Thought Records
*Thank Goodness for Gratitude Journals!
Banner by James Wheeler (Pexels.com)