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Benefits and Potential Risks of Online Therapy
As technology becomes more ingrained in our every day lives, we as a society are becoming more accustomed to using technology in both our professional and personal lives.
Pursuing good mental health is another reason people may use technology. At Purple Heart Behavioral Health LLC, we take advantage of technology to provide treatment to those who want the convenience, privacy, and time management that online therapy provides. That being said, some benefits to online therapy are:
Finding treatment providers who are extensively trained in trauma can be challenging for some when travel and time are taken into consideration. Those who have mobility limitations, have a new born child, or have no childcare support now have access to treatment.
Also those who have busy schedules or travel a lot, and those with more severe anxiety presentations can be reached with online therapy. Arizona has many small towns in which not all people have access to the treatment they desire. When services are online, anyone in Arizona can access them.
Participating in our Online Intensive Program remains private. You do not have to leave your home and walk into an office. Additionally, Purple Heart Behavioral Health, LLC uses all HIPAA compliant technology to transmit and store your protected information.
You are able to participate in treatment from anywhere in Arizona. If you are traveling or at work, you do not have to miss a session.
Research has found that online therapy is and can be as effective as face to face therapy when working with a therapist who is skilled and ethical.
POTENTIAL RISKS OF ONLINE THERAPY
There are potential risks that are unique to attending therapy online. Some of those risks are evident. Technology can fail. Internet connections can be disrupted, devices can lose power, cameras may not work, microphones may be muffled. Also, every person has a different proficiency in using technology, which must be taken into consideration. There are some risks that are not as evident, such as:
When in online therapy, the therapist is limited in seeing certain behavioral cues such as tapping of a foot, clenching hand, notable gestures, or other body language. The therapist is not able to witness how a person ambulates, or their gait when walking. The therapist does not see how a patient takes up space in the world such as height, weight, and posture. Finally, the therapist does not get to fully see or smell hygiene and grooming.
Should a crisis occur during therapy, in an online environment it is more difficult for the therapist to respond.
There are measures put in place such as the therapist knowing the location of the patient and the direct emergency number for that area as 911 will not work expeditiously if in another town.
ETHICS AND LEGALITY
Online therapy takes away geographical constraints, which means therapists can conceivably work with anyone in the world. Most states have different licensing requirements, guidelines, and laws. It is important to know the credentials of your treating provider and their ability to provide services to you in your state.