Research suggests online therapy is just as effective as traditional in-person therapy. Sometimes referred to as telehealth or telemedicine;
“Tele” is a Greek word meaning “distance “and “mederi” is a Latin word meaning “to heal”.
Time magazine called telemedicine “healing by wire”.
Etherapy, telehealth, telemental health, telecounselling, eCounselling, distance counselling, distance therapy, internet therapy, online therapy, telepsychology, telemedicine, web therapy, web-based counselling.
Whatever you like to call it, therapy has shifted from the familiar face to face format to an experience of support from wherever and whenever you choose.
Online therapy is defined as the interaction between a consumer and a therapist via the Internet.
Online therapy, also known as telemental health or distance therapy, is the use of technology to meet therapeutic needs of clients in a location different from the mental health professional either synchronously or asynchronously.
Contrary to popular belief, research shows that online therapy or web-based therapy is as effective as traditional in person talk therapy.
Assessing the effectiveness of online therapy:
We recommend you read some articles so you feel confident about taking the next step.
Andersson, G., & Cuijpers, P. (2009). Internet-based and other computerized psychological treatments for adult depression: A meta-analysis. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 38(4), 196-205. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20183695
Barak, Azy, et al. (2008). A comprehensive review and a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of internet-based psychotherapeutic interventions. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 26.2-4: 109-160. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15228830802094429#.VI8vaCvF_hs
Nagel, D. (2011). The future of online therapy. Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, Washington, D.C. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/e561872012-001
Neimark, G. Patients and text messaging: A boundary issue. (2009). The American Journal of Psychiatry. 166(11), 1298-1299. http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09071012
Wantland, D. J., Portillo, C. J., Holzemer, W. L., Slaughter, R., & McGhee, E. M. (2004). The effectiveness of Web-based vs. non-Web-based interventions: a meta-analysis of behavioral change outcomes. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 6(4). http://www.jmir.org/2004/4/e40/
By Leigh Matthews, Registered Australian Psychologist