Why I Do Online Psychotherapy (As Both a Therapist and Client) and Love it!

What do you think of when you hear about online psychotherapy?

In the past, I didn’t know what to think and didn’t even pay attention. As a New Yorker, I’m spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a therapist. However, my views have changed dramatically over the last few years. I’ve found that online psychotherapy can be just as powerful and transformative as the traditional face to face model we’re used to.

Let me tell you about how I became such a proponent for online therapy. I love it for personal and professional reasons. I started dabbling in online therapy as an adjunct to my regular in-person sessions. Sometimes clients couldn’t leave the office because of a tight schedule, they had to travel, were home with the flu, or didn’t want to brave the subway on a stormy day.

Is Online Psychotherapy Private?

When I did online therapy sessions I found that I felt as connected to my clients as if they were in the room with me. Our practice uses a HIPAA secure video platform called Doxy.me, which not only ensures privacy but also has amazing video and is easy to use. I practice what I preach and I started seeing my own therapist online more often than not. Even though she’s in the West Village and I was in Brooklyn, it felt far at times and it could be hard to find time between sessions to leave the office.

This past winter, after 10 years of living in New York City, I decided to make a change and move to the country. Now I almost exclusively see my clients online and I’m so happy that I can have the lifestyle I want while still being able to see my clients. One advantage of online therapy is the continuity of care. I’ve been seeing many of my clients for over three years and the thought of ending our work together saddened me. I was surprised that the majority of my clients decided to stay and go the online route. It’s can be hard to find a therapist you connect with, so I also decided to continue to see my therapist online instead of starting all over.

Accessing Therapy Online

Access is another wonderful benefit of online therapy. What if you live in a small town in Upstate New York and the closest therapist with the specialty you’re seeking is 50 miles away? Online therapy can help with that. Online therapy allows my practice to bring great mental health care to all corners of New York, not just to those of us who are lucky enough to live in NYC.

Even if you’re living in NYC, it can be tough and frustrating to get an appointment with the therapist you want, when you want it. Many of my clients can’t leave work in the middle of the day but I can’t see them in the evening. The answer? Online therapy! Many of my clients see me during the day while they’re at work. They just sneak into a conference room and we connect. So instead of calling and calling to see if your fifth choice therapist has an appointment after 6 pm,  consider going with your first choice and seeing them online during lunch.

A few caveats about online therapy.

  1. It’s not for everyone – online therapy is not recommended for people who are actively suicidal, experiencing psychosis, in an active eating disorder, or dealing with severe trauma. Online therapy is best for those who are psychiatrically stable but looking for guidance and support surrounding their lives.
  2. Not all online therapists are the same – when looking for an online therapist be sure to check that they’re trained in telemental health (TMH). There are important nuances to online therapy and it’s important that your therapist understands the legal, ethical, and clinical aspects of practicing online. At Cobb Psychotherapy, all of our therapists are trained in TMH and we are recognized as an accredited TMH practice.
  3. If you’re hesitant about online therapy, just try it! Feel free to ask for a video consult before you schedule to a session with a therapist.

Call us today and schedule your online psychotherapy session 

COBB PSYCHOTHERAPY LCSW
4 convenient locations in Manhattan & Brooklyn

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