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How does online therapy work & can you learn it?

Online therapy is a way to help patients and counsellors get in contact to work through personal and emotional issues. This type of therapy is also called “teletherapy”.

There may be times when patients do not want to see a therapist face to face, especially in light of the recent pandemic. This is why it is useful to have an online option for patients to utilise.

Online therapy is still quite a new medium; therefore, it comes with its challenges. However, it is possible to learn it and use it to speak to new patients and ensure that they are able to get help.

Here are some ideas to consider if you are interested in online therapy, including if you would like to provide this service to your own clients.  

How can you use online therapy?

In most cases, you will find that online therapy is very similar to traditional therapy. The best online therapy training in the UK will show you the main difference is that instead of undertaking the therapy in an office, it can occur online. This is usually through a video call or phone call.

The patient and therapist will decide when the session should take place, and the length of time of the session. If the patient needs to get in contact with the therapist, perhaps because of a crisis or constant feelings of guilt, shame or anxiety, they can message the therapist via text or through email. However, for other issues, they may need to wait for their next session.

What other types of online therapy are there?

‘Online therapy’ is quite a broad term, so can conceivably refer to various possible delivery models taking place over the Internet via connected devices such as laptops and smartphones.

Therapy may be delivered, for instance, through:

One of the best things about these categories of online therapies from the standpoint of the professional mental health practitioner, is that they can help you showcase your skills as a therapist and make you more accessible to patients.

Not only can these types of apps and services offer therapy on a 24/7 basis, but they can advertise your skills and help you match with patients that need your help.

How do I learn online therapy?

What is useful about online therapy is that if you are a trained therapist, you will already have the skillset needed to provide therapy to your patients.

Well, there is one new set of skills that you might particularly need to gain if you are to provide online therapy services: Internet skills. You can sign up to therapy platforms that can provide you with the skills needed to feel confident with speaking to your patients online.

If you specialise in a specific form of therapy, you could try to split up the process into different sessions. Just like an in-person session, you may find that the session moves away from a certain goal/idea and more into the feelings of your patients. Retain this, as it will make your patients feel more comfortable.

The final thing you will want to do is find a good platform to undertake your therapy on. BetterHelp and Talkspace provide platforms that can help match you with clients, however you may want to advertise your skills on psychology platforms that will allow you to speak to your clients through a video/phone call.

As for the training that you could need in order to be a more effective therapist, here at nscience, we take pride in making available the video courses, webinars, seminars and other forms of training that could make a significant difference to your career as a mental health professional.

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