Last year, just when more people than ever needed the help of a therapist, stay-at-home restrictions made it difficult or impossible to get face-to-face counseling. Moreover, most therapists were completely booked and couldn’t accept new patients. As a result, people increasingly turned to online therapy, either with apps, online support groups or one on one. How well does online therapy work?
When therapists have to turn down clients who are in distress, everyone ends up more stressed. Being able to refer people to appropriate online options can make a big difference.
Conditions like depression and anxiety can be treated through online sessions. People with social anxiety will need to take their therapy “homework” seriously so that they can re-integrate themselves back into society after a year or more of isolation. However, online therapy can help with this project.
This year has been very difficult for many children who have had to struggle with technology simply in order to get their school work done. Not being able to hang out with friends can delay important social and emotional learning. We asked Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Strong Kids Do to offer some ideas about supporting children as they too emerge from pandemic conditions and re-adjust to life in society. Online therapy that can be helpful for adolescents is probably less appropriate for younger children.
Being able to access therapy through an app or Zoom call, just like everything else in life this year, may help remove some of the stigma that is still associated with mental illness. That would certainly be a desirable outcome. Some of the apps Amy Morin mentioned are Talk Space, Better Help and 7cups.com.
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker, a psychotherapist, and the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind.
She gave one of the most popular TEDx talks of all time, The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong, which has over 16 million views. She is also the host of The Verywell Mind podcast:
Amy is the author of several best-selling books, including her latest, 13 Things Strong Kids Do: Think Big, Feel Good, Act Brave (Apr 6, 2021). YOu can find more of her books at this Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Amy-Morin/e/B00LNL5Q18%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share