Does online therapy have the same effectiveness as face-to-face therapy?
The answer is a resounding ‘YES’. Studies have shown that its effectiveness is just as great, and sometimes greater. Here are two sample studies.
- Patients in Ontario, Canada, were assigned either to face-to-face or video counseling. Both groups experienced the same level of improvement and patient satisfaction. The only difference was that the cost of providing the online service was 10% less per patient. (American Psychiatric Association, 2007.)
- A University of Zurich study divided a group of 62 patients in half, giving remote counseling to one group, and face-to-face counseling to the other. At the end of the study, it was found that depression was eased in 53% of those given remote counseling, compared to only 50% who had in-person counseling. Three months later, the results were even more dramatic. 57% of online patients showed no signs of depression compared with only 42% with in-person counseling. (Journal of Affective Disorders, 2013.)
My personal impression
I have worked as a therapist for many years, and worked online since 2009 with clients all over the world. My personal impression is that working online has all the benefits and effectiveness of face-to-face work. My relationships with clients are just as healing, just as real, and often have a remarkable intensity and intimacy that is very immediate for us both.
Find a perfect match
One of the great benefits of our Internet world is that finding expert help is now so easy. Online access means you can find the therapist with exactly the skills you need. It also means that your therapist’s particular skills are put to good use, so you get a therapist who has accumulated a lot of experience in the areas you’re seeking help with. This leads to better therapy for you, and greater depth, effectiveness and satisfaction for both you and your therapist.
Enjoy time and cost benefits
I offer very reasonable fees, since working from a home office keeps my overheads down, and I can pass on the benefits to you. And you have the comfort, relaxation and significant time savings of working from your own home. The commute is negligible, you don’t have to dress up, and you just have to turn on your computer. And magically, there I am with you, as though in the next room.
Confidentiality from my end
I absolutely guarantee confidentiality at my end. All sessions take place in a private office and all records are kept on a password protected computer. In addition I take my legal and ethical obligations for confidentiality very seriously, and never share the details of your sessions with anyone, including the fact that I am working with you.
Since I cannot take responsibility for confidentiality at your end, this is something that you need to do. You should make sure you are in a private place and that you will not be interrupted or overheard. If you should need to talk to me from a public place, we would keep the call as short as possible.
When you call me on Zoom, I am the only person who can let people into that meeting, and unless you have agreed to a particular other person being present, I will never let in anyone other than you. I add another layer of privacy by using a headset, which means that no-one at my end can hear what you say.
Please be aware that the Internet is a public domain, and I cannot guarantee that our email or Zoom communications are private when we use this public space. Some level of discretion may be wise, given that others, including government organizations, may be able to trace electronic communications.
Ethical and legal factors
My Australian Psychologist license allows me to work with clients anywhere in the world. However, I must meet the same legal and ethical obligations as any psychologist you might work with in person. Before your first session I send out a form with full disclosure of my legal and ethical responsibilities so that you know exactly what they are. In terms of the ethics of being a therapist, I aim to meet and exceed the generally accepted ethics of my profession.
Creating a space that is safe for you in every way is always my first concern. Therapy can only be truly effective, and you can only get all of its many benefits, when you feel safe in my presence.
Check my credentials
Since I will probably not be part of your immediate network, you may wish to check my credentials. You can check my psychology licensing here.