Today, more and more people need some form of therapy. Whether that is because of the corona crisis, because of loneliness, or due to other circumstances… Due to the current measures, it is not always possible to get a physical appointment with a psychologist. That is why the GGZ has drawn up an online care module to be able to serve patients.
After all, psychological care is an important part of human health; especially when there are great times of uncertainty. It is, therefore, crucial to be able to offer appropriate help. Online therapy is not a new phenomenon, but it is increasingly used. It has been very successful so far. But where does that success come from?
Better appropriate help
Niek Rosens, director of Psychologist on Distance, indicates that online therapy has a major advantage: The client can receive more appropriate help. When you are looking for a therapist, you are often assigned a random person and then you have to wait and see if it clicks.
In online therapy, the needs of the client are looked at and a therapist is selected based on that. This makes the process a lot more accessible for many people. In addition, there is nothing to indicate that online help is less effective than face-to-face conversations, Rosens says.
Less long waiting times
Another great advantage of online therapy is that waiting times are shorter. Due to the increasing demand for mental care, there are very long waiting times at psychologists and institutions. Since you do not have to travel a distance to see a psychologist, you can also have contact with someone from a completely different area of the Netherlands.
Where psychologists in Amsterdam are very full, it is much easier to contact someone from Friesland or Zeeland. They have the same qualifications and can treat you just as well as someone from your area. This way people can almost always immediately start a session.
The future of online therapy
While this pandemic will eventually come to an end, many healthcare providers are choosing to keep the online conversations in their offerings. However, it is important to find a good balance.
Not everyone benefits equally from these online conversations. That is why the client, in consultation with the care provider, must be able to decide for himself whether he or she prefers to have online treatment or a face-to-face conversation. In addition, some complaints are better to treat directly than via a computer screen. Especially when a client has multiple problems.
Currently, many online platforms care providers use when giving assignments to their clients. When these platforms are linked to a form of online therapy, this can bring more benefits. In addition, caregivers can look at the assignments in real-time with the client to help them on their way.
A 2018 study also found that online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face treatments for people with anxiety, panic disorders, and depression.
What the future will bring is still unclear, but one thing is certain: Online therapy does have an effect. It also makes a big difference to many people.