In the 2010s, online therapy saw a steady rise. The ability to speak to a therapist online has been around since the Internet itself, and even before then, the concept of therapy remotely is nothing new. However, mental health services that cater to online therapy saw a true boom in 2020, when the pandemic made people stay at home.
In a time when people were needing a therapist more than ever, telehealth came through. There are some who may believe that online therapy will lower in popularity once everything goes back to normal, but we would not be so sure of that. Let’s talk about why.
The Pandemic is Not Over
While vaccines are being rolled out, the return to normal, if there is even such a thing as normal, is nowhere in sight yet. Because of this, many people are afraid to speak to a therapist face-to-face. Therapists may not want to take the risk, either, and may be looking to use online therapy more often.
Improved Speeds, Technology, and 5G
Another reason why we are expecting to see more people seek help through online services is that technology is simply getting better.
Faster Internet speeds mean very little latency in communicating to someone. You don’t have to worry as much about laggy or dropped calls.
Another reason is that computer and mobile technology keeps improving. The cameras in phones and webcams look even better, allowing people to communicate even better than ever.
Not to mention, there’s VR technology that makes the healthcare experience even more immersive.
Finally, as 5G continues to spread across the country, it’ll make communication even better.
It’s More Convenient for Many People
Another reason why we expect to see online therapy boom in popularity is because more people will find it convenient.
A traditional, face-to-fact conversation with a therapist still has its uses. However, many people are now realizing that it’s much easier to talk to someone online than to drive over to an office and commit to a strict schedule.
This especially applies to those who have difficulties leaving their house due to anxiety or due to other reasons.
It Tends to Be Cheaper
While some mental health facilities take insurance, not all of them do. Not only that, but the cost to commute to an office can add up.
Because everything is done remotely through technology that becomes cheaper by the day, online therapy’s costs can be a lot less.
Prices can vary depending on what services you have, and whether or not the service takes insurance. However, for someone who is watching their finances, online therapy may be an excellent solution.
It’s More Flexible
Even if people are staying at home more, their schedules tend to be busy. Not to mention, there are more people who are working more than ever due to the pandemic.
With a traditional therapist, you can find some who are lenient, but most of them have a stricter schedule. Good luck finding one who is available at odd hours of the night, or someone who can help you ASAP.
That’s why online therapy is a great alternative. You are able to find a therapist who is available on your schedule and then they can commit to you. Of course, therapists do have lives as well, but it does offer more flexibility if you need help now.
The Algorithms Work
With traditional therapy, how do you find a therapist that’s right for you? Do you look at the phone book? Do you ask for recommendations from your friends and family?
These ways can work, but they are flawed. People are different from their families, after all.
Online therapy can help by offering questionnaires and other methods to match you with a therapist who is a good fit for what you’re looking for.
There Are So Many Ways to Get Help Through Your Phone Already
Online therapy is not the only way to get help in the digital health age. There are apps that can help you meditate, journals that keep track of your daily activities, and everything in-between.
There’s an app for almost every need. When people are hooked to their phones already, apps that can help with depression, anxiety, or ironically, tech addiction can help.
We expect online therapy providers to go hand-in-hand with these apps as technology increases.
BetterHelp Can Help
If you’re looking for online therapy, or are curious about the process, one site to look at is BetterHelp. They offer various resources and ways to connect to a therapist who can help.
In 2021, we expect to see online therapy rise even further. While we can’t predict the future with full clarity, technology does march on, and we expect it to do so in 2021.