The pandemic has crippled the economy, leaving many unemployed and forcing people to stay locked in their homes in difficult family conditions. Once again, it alienates us from our connections and our daily lives. Everyone is increasingly worried about their own health and that of their loved ones. So emotional difficulties are the flip side of this crisis. As a result of the pandemic, stress, anxiety and cases of depression have increased. Psychological support is more important than ever: seeking help, also online, can improve our lives, give us a better understanding of ourselves, our behaviour, our relationships. As well as increasing the need for support, the pandemic changed the way psychologists and psychoterapists work. Now, most of them, have ‘moved’ online with a new approach.
Advantages of online psychotherapy
- Shortens distances
- It allows us to get closer to adolescents and young people
- It offers continuity
- It has no physical barriers
People suffering from mental health problems wait on average up to two years to seek help, and many still do not do so. This may be for personal reasons, because they find it difficult to admit to themselves that they need help, cultural reasons, such as stigma, and finally practical reasons, because they do not know where and how to start or how to schedule appointments due to their daily commitments. The benefits of online psychotherapy, linked to the availability of the service and its ease of use, could lead to many more people seeking support. In a process where collaboration is crucial, even simple logistical advantages should not be underestimated.
In which cases it is better to choose studio sessions
A fundamental aspect of psychotherapy or psychological interviewing is the creation of the so-called setting: a physical and cognitive environment within which the encounter takes place. This environment serves both the patient and the professional to be aware of the rules that their encounter imposes and the norms of behaviour. The setting has the function for the practitioner to enter the therapeutic context and helps the patient to detach from his usual modes of behaviour. The possible lack of a well-defined physical setting can be a difficulty and is the main difference between an online and an in-person visit.
Online therapy is therefore not a universal solution, in some cases it might be better to continue with the traditional approach. This has to be decided on the basis of the individual practitioner and the individual patient. It is particularly difficult to manage an online relationship with patients suffering from complex and problematic conditions, in which case an in-person intervention is more effective. Finally, while limits may be imposed by the patient’s environment, if the atmosphere of trust, security and tranquillity required for practices to work is not created, results will be poor.
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