virtual therapy

It was widely expected, among mental health providers (therapists, coaches and counselors) that the necessity for using virtual sessions, introduced by COVID, would be significantly less effective than in-person sessions. As it has turned out, however, experience generally contradicted that expectation. Especially when, during COVID restrictions, in-person sessions required masking of both patient and coach.

Research generally dis-confirms that experience. Just a few examples: “Although it can feel like a significant adjustment, online coaching can be a valuable resource,” and “Research shows that virtual coaching provides the same quality of care as traditional coaching.” (1) “What we’ve seen is that telehealth is essentially just as effective as face-to-face coaching—and retention rates are higher,” (2) “Telecoaching is just as effective as in-person sessions for treating a wide range a wide range of relationship issues.” 

Most mental health providers and coaches have returned to offering in-person sessions again, as concerns for safety have decreased. But not all. Virtual sessions offer some significant secondary advantages, the most important of which is:

(1) the opportunity for people to access a larger population of providers(those located too far for in-person sessions). People can work with any coach in their country. 

virtual therapy

Another advantage of virtual sessions is their (2) convenience. They can be conducted from anyplace that has internet and provides the privacy necessary for confidentiality. People who are handicapped or otherwise restricted, or for whom travel is inconvenient, or have difficulty arranging childcare, etc., have this opportunity. 

(3) Scheduling sessions is generally easier, because travel time and location of the facility don’t have to be considered, allowing scheduling flexibility unattainable with in person sessions. 

(4) Another advantage is that people who find the prospect of coaching intimidating, or are generally shy, feel less anxious at the prospect of meeting their coach on-line.

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