Family Therapy Online: Is It Right For You And Your Loved Ones?
Updated July 14, 2020
In a 2018 study of online therapy, 35% of participants reported they would choose online over face-to-face counseling. Previous studies looked into the effectiveness of online therapy, finding cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and counseling for depression and anxiety to be most effective.
These results hint at one of the most significant benefits of online therapy. For those who can’t or don’t like to attend in-person therapy, online counseling is an effective alternative. Yet, experts now know that the benefits of online therapy can extend to couples and families.
If you and your loved ones are curious about family therapy online, you may need help deciding if it’s right for you. That’s why we created this guide to the pros and cons of online therapy.
Do you need help choosing between online and traditional therapy? Then make sure to read over this guide before you make your final decision. Plus, stick around to the end of this article to learn about our therapy professionals at ReGain.
The Advantages Of Family Therapy Online
With the advent of telehealth, the possibility of offering effective, reliable mental health care from a distance became a reality. Today, hundreds of individuals, couples, and families take advantage of the many benefits of getting counseling online.
Want to know what they are? Then keep reading for our top six advantages of online family counseling.
With online therapy sessions, your family can choose a time that suits everyone’s busy schedule. There are thousands of counselors available, which means you don’t have to worry about competing for spots or making compromises.
Plus, many online therapists offer text and email therapy. That means your family doesn’t even have to live in the same area to all get the help you need.
Keep in mind that some states require you to live in the same location as your certified therapist, so limitations do apply when it comes to families located across states.
It doesn’t matter how near or far away your closest therapist is when your family needs counseling.
You can get the help you need without having to leave your home. Plus, if you or one of your loved ones is disabled, you’ll appreciate not having to make a big ordeal of every trip to therapy.
You’ll save countless hours without having to commute to your therapy sessions, and if there are no therapists with the expertise you need in your area, no problem. You can access a marriage and family therapist and more online.
Did you know online therapists tend to be cheaper than traditional ones? Traditional therapists have to pay for an office or building to host therapy sessions.
With the lower operational costs of being an online-only therapist, they can charge less to practice. Those savings transfer over to you, meaning you won’t ever have to shell out an arm and a leg for family therapy online.
Sadly, there tends to be a stigma on people who go to therapy. If you need help, you may avoid seeing a therapist in-person for fear of someone finding out. Or maybe the waiting room experience is just too awkward for you, as it is for many people.
The good news is you don’t have to go through that when you choose a therapist online. Only your therapist will see your face or, if you prefer, you can keep sessions to text or email. That way, you can remain completely anonymous (however, you will have to provide emergency contact information in the event of an emergency).
For example, when you seek family therapy online from the professionals at ReGain, we don’t even want your full name. Your therapist will only know your first name. Or you can choose a username to keep your identity completely secure.
Traditional therapists often have long waiting lists, which means you might have to wait for care. That’s not how online counseling works. You can start immediately or wait for a time that better suits your schedule.
Most online counselors offer multiple ways to communicate. You can find therapists who will hold sessions over text or email. If you prefer, you can also find marriage and family therapists who do sessions over the phone or via video chat platforms like Zoom or Doxy.me.
When you take advantage of a marriage and family therapist online, you don’t have to leave your home. Many people feel more comfortable at home. That level of comfort influences how safe you and your family feel being vulnerable, which is vital for true healing.
Many people also appreciate that they can stick with the same counselor, regardless of whether they move or go out of town. You don’t have to worry about getting comfortable with your online marriage and family therapist only to have to start all over again when you relocate.
Why Online Therapy May Not Be Right For Your Family
Despite all it’s incredible benefits, online therapy can have some cons. We’ll talk about some of them below, so check it out.
Unfortunately, with the relative newness of online therapy, many insurers won’t cover the cost of online sessions.
The good news is, as we’ve mentioned, online marriage and family therapy can be considerably less expensive than traditional counseling. Though insurance doesn’t chip in, you may not find yourself paying much for a session out of pocket.
Depending on the severity of your needs, an online therapist may not be able to treat you. For example, an online family therapist cannot diagnose mental health conditions or prescribe medication. The platform is also not suitable for those with chronic suicidal ideation or self-harm as it is unable to provide crisis support.
For those needs, you’ll want to find a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or other medical health professional.
Also, if you need to see a therapist based on a court order, an online therapist may not be the right counseling professional for you.
Today, one of the biggest worries about online therapy is what happens when there’s a data breach. Data breaches are common in the health care industry today. More than 3000 healthcare data breaches have occurred since 2009.
With ReGain family therapy online, though, you can feel peace of mind. That’s because we use multiple measures of safety to keep you from having to worry about unwanted eyes on your personal information. Here are a few ways we do it:
- All communications between you, your family, and your therapist are completely protected by strict state and federal laws
- We don’t exchange information with insurers, meaning your information never leaves our platform
- Each message you send to your therapist includes a “shred” button that allows you to remove the message from our platform permanently
- We use bank-grade 256-bit encryption and an SSL browsing encryption system
- We house our servers in a Grade A facility
If our databases are ever compromised, the information is so well-encrypted that hackers can’t recover your data.
As long as you choose an online marriage and family therapist with these security measures in mind, you can feel assured that you’ll choose a counseling professional who’s right for you and your family.
4. Limitations Of The Medium
Lastly, there are some limitations to the online therapy medium. Unlike in-person therapy, your counselor won’t be able to pick up body language or facial expressions over the phone. They won’t be able to hear vocal inflections or hesitations during email or text sessions, either.
Luckily, family therapy online provided by companies like ReGain offers video and audio sessions to reduce some of these limitations.
Plus, if you’re like many of our clients, you prefer a little distance. Many of our clients say the distance created by marriage and family therapy online makes them feel more comfortable than with in-person therapy.
Another limitation of the online medium is that glitches do happen. Calls may echo, videos may have low resolutions, and calls might drop or freeze, especially if you live rurally. Yet, the advantages you get from doing therapy sessions online may make these problems seem like a cup of tea.
Other Needs Online Therapy Isn’t Right For
If you want animal-assisted therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), music therapy, or play therapy, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Online therapy also isn’t right for you if:
- You’re experiencing thoughts of harming yourself
- You’re experiencing thoughts of harming others
- You’re experiencing physical or mental abuse
- You’re a minor
- You need emergency care
- You need therapy for a severe mental health condition
- You’re concerned about your safety at home
Where To Find Family Therapy Online
What’s the bottom line about online therapy? As long as you choose a reputable counselor or online platform, you’re set up to find the help you need.
We hope our list of pros and cons will help you decide whether family therapy online is right for you and your loved ones. Now, are you ready to find an accredited online counselor you can trust?
The therapy professionals at ReGain are waiting to connect with you. Get started with ReGain today to find the relief your family has been searching for.
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