January 6, 2022

Are online therapies for you?

Are online therapies for you?

Are online therapies for you?

Today, an increasing number of people are turning to online therapies. How effective are they, and in what cases?

What's online therapy?

Online therapies make use of two main tools to ensure interaction between patient and therapist: instant messaging (or "Chat") and video calls. These can be made via a PC/Mac or via a tablet or smartphone. 

In general, the therapist and patient agree on a 'modus operandi', either beforehand or during a first consultation. Some prefer to have short but regular calls, a video session from time to time, or rather by message with calls when necessary. 

What about hybrid therapies?

As the name suggests, hybrid therapies can mix 'live' or traditional components with online elements (video calls or other).

When do these therapies apply?

These therapies are indicated for many, but not all, disorders or difficulties. For example, for profound disorders (such as psychotic disorders like schizophrenia or paranoia), these therapies are not indicated.

On the other hand, many people may turn to therapies for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addictions, following a trauma, etc.

Finally, it goes without saying that in an emergency, if there is a real risk of harming oneself or others, it is best to turn to emergency numbers (112 or 0800/ 32 123 for suicide prevention).

What are the benefits of such therapies?

The main advantages of these solutions are:

  • Ease of use: you do not have to travel, with the possible additional stress that this may involve, in addition to the loss of travel time.
  • Flexibility: you are less dependent on the classic 45-minute session format. You can, in agreement with the therapist, cut your interactions differently, with shorter sessions, more interaction per message, or less.
  • Effectiveness: through regular reminders, your therapist helps you to 'get into action'.

Is there scientific evidence of their effectiveness?

There are many studies on the effectiveness of online methods. Here are a few examples (mostly in English):

Are there any disadvantages to online therapy?

For the therapist, certain signs such as body language are not visible with online therapies, and they may miss certain things. Finally some therapies, such as pure body therapy, hypnosis, and others are difficult to achieve online. 

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