Owing to steps to isolate people from the pandemic of Covid 19, many patients who previously undergone speech therapy will no longer afford to attend their counselors. As health care priorities change only for those living with critical conditions, or COVID-19, how do medical systems and providers deal with the potentially growing number of people who are struggling with mental health problems? The answer lies in the form of virtual therapy. The virtual therapy alternative helps patients, without needing to see a doctor in person, to receive care safely in their own home.
Some of the examples of virtual therapy include:
- Talk via video conference software to a practitioner
- Use an access therapy application
- Telephone and computer-related therapies, for instance, when a physical trainer recommends such activities by email
- sing online devices to remotely assess clients or patients, for example by using online voice therapists to measure progress
Research suggests that both traditional face-to-face therapy and online therapy work just the same. Studies involving the results of the clients and how they deal with therapists have demonstrated that they are identical for telehealth and personal conditions.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Virtual therapy is fairly recent and not every kind of treatment has been adequately checked. Preliminary testing, however, indicates it may be successful.
In a 2020 study of virtual physical therapy, after knee surgery, virtual therapy has shown a similar benefit to personal therapy.
The authors of a systematic review in 2017 also suggested that the quality of care services and results are similar to those provided in traditional mental health.
Some of the benefits are:
- Enhanced care: people living with physical disabilities can seek services with alternative choices, are physically disconnected or have little room for counseling
- More confidentiality: Properly handled immersive therapy technology ensures a person can take care of his own privacy without having to stay in a waiting room or communicate with other customers
- Cost savings: The prices can be smaller with simulated therapy. In particular, if the therapist switches to an exclusively online model of care, the overheads can be lower
· Customer satisfaction: Most research into virtual therapy satisfaction suggests that customers are at least as satisfied as with the traditional treatment.
Some drawbacks of virtual therapy include:
- Data issues: a third party might infringe on client privacy if a therapist chooses the wrong platform or does not encrypt the treatment sessions. If a customer seeks care on a public network or leaves their computer unlocked, their co-workers can view their meetings.
- Relation concerns: It can be difficult to build a trusted relationship with the therapist, depending on the modality chosen by the client. Email Counseling, for example, eliminates body language and speech cues, which can exacerbate communication issues
- Limitations of technology: Sluggish networks, bad quality images, and chat delays will hinder therapy
However, with slight care, these disadvantages can be handled easily. Let’s see how patients can make the most out of their therapy sessions.
Finding the right place
This is important to try to find a safe place for this and wherever you are less likely to have trouble because you have access to online therapy from home. Remember that online therapy sessions can be completely flexible so that you can make sure you plan your time and conditions at the evenings and weekends.
Also, remember to keep all your distractions at bay from digital services during the session. You are more able to draw the best out of the sessions and take measures for better mental health by reducing noise and disturbances.
Treating the Session as Face to Face Conversation
Speaking to an online therapist at the very beginning can feel strange. However, it may help you to adjust quickly and really get into the swing by treating your online therapy sessions as usual, face to face appointments. By following your daily routine in general terms, you can make the condition more comfortable and make you feel as you should normally do during the procedure.
Not to mention, just don’t hold back during your online sessions. Make sure that during a face-to-face conversation you get things out of your head just as you should. This will help you to get rid of all the initial strangeness that you experience and make the most of the appointment by getting fully absorbed in the session.
If you take a while to transition to the idea of online therapy, it will be entirely understood, but note, your therapist will be there to support and assist you through this period.
Use Your Time Constructively
While the internet can be a very good place in this period, we can actually feel worse with certain kinds of internet consumption. It is a good idea for you to restrict your current exposure to news and social media. Set yourself the goal of waking up to the news once or twice a day and find unhelpful social media pages or even briefly being published by social media.
You will be able to ensure your well being in such a tougher time by committing yourself to only spending time online for good reasons including access to therapy, doing an online exercise or keeping in touch with loved ones.
Virtual therapy is a great option when a person does not want to leave home or cannot or should not, as in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As with any other treatment, it is important to check the credentials of the provider, establish clear goals, provide feedback about whether it is working, and switch providers if the treatment is ineffective.
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