IS ONLINE THERAPY AS GOOD AS FACE-TO-FACE THERAPY?
I am currently delivering therapy sessions online via Zoom. I find that online therapy is often just as effective, and possibly more effective in some cases, than seeing people face to face.
There are a number of advantages to online therapy:
1. Clients report that they feel more comfortable sitting at home (or in their chosen location), compared to coming to a therapy department.
2. Clients tell me that it is easier to fit therapy in around their other commitments because they don't have to allow travel time, arrange transport or organise childcare.
3. When working with trauma, I think it is easier for the person to remain focused in the present, rather than drifting back into the trauma memory, due to being focused on the screen in front of them.
4. I am able to offer a broader range of appointment times, as I am not confined to room availability. This is likely to make it easier for us to find a convenient time for your therapy sessions.
How does online therapy work?
Online therapy works in much the same way as a video call you might have with a friend or work colleague. Once we have arranged an appointment, I will send you a meeting invite for our session, together with a password. At the time of the appointment, you simply log on to the online Zoom meeting.
What is the evidence for online therapy?
Researchers have compared the effectiveness of online therapy to face to face therapy and have investigated whether clients have been able to form a good therapeutic relationship when working over the internet. A number of studies suggest that online therapy is as effective as face to face therapy.
A recent research publication which compared a variety of studies investigating online therapy delivery concluded that there were "few meaningful differences in intervention or assessment outcomes across remote and in-person deliveries".
Reference: Batastini et al., 2001. Are videoconferenced mental and behavioral health services just as good as in-person? A meta-analysis of a fast-growing practice. Clinical Psychology Review, 82.
What is the evidence for online EMDR?
A recent study, published in November 2021, found that online EMDR resulted in clinically significant reductions in depression, anxiety and trauma symptoms.