Generally speaking, the stigma of therapy still exists in some countries. People who go to a psychologist are often perceived as being weak simply because they need another person’s help to deal with the challenges they face. They don’t believe that counseling is necessary or even effective, and this is even a bigger issue when talking about online therapy.
Even though we use the Internet daily, people still tend not to believe everything they see online. This is not a problem in most cases. However, it becomes a significant one when it comes to online psychologists. In this article, we will discuss some of the most popular misconceptions people have.
1. Online therapists aren’t really good
The most common misconception is that people who conduct their work via the Internet aren’t really good at their job. This happens because people want to see the product they are buying first hand or meet a person who provides them with a service face-to-face. They believe that they can be tricked if they don’t do this.
Nevertheless, due to coronavirus, many people are forced to work from home. You may even be one of them. So, would you say that you aren’t as productive and efficient as you used to be simply because you conduct your business from your living room? You wouldn’t, right? So, why would you assume this when it comes to online psychologists?
2. Online therapists aren’t experts
Another misconception that is a direct consequence of the “don’t believe anything you read on the Internet” teaching. Surely you are aware of the fact that people tend to make their lives seem a bit more exciting and adventurous than it really is. Plus, someone has probably told you – “you can be whether you want on the web.” Okay, this is true, but only when it comes to social media platforms.
Even if someone tried to act as a psychologist or any other professional for that matter, they wouldn’t be able to carry out the role for a long time. Remember, checking one’s credentials has never been easier. Plus, you definitely wouldn’t hire the first therapist you find on the Internet. You would do research, check out drmental.org to see the list of the best of the best, and choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
3. Online therapy isn’t effective
It is a fact that therapy isn’t equally effective for everyone. Some people find it regenerative, while others believe that it is a waste of time. Nevertheless, you have to understand that the fact that counseling is conducted via the web isn’t the culprit. The relationship with the counselor is.
This is why oftentimes is not enough to go and hire a therapist who looks good on paper. Surely, they may have enough experience, other people praise them for their work and competence, and you can afford their hourly fee. However, you can never really know if they are the right fit for you until you talk with them. It doesn’t matter if you’ll do this via a webcam or go to their office because the only thing that is vital is that you feel comfortable enough to speak about your problems. You surely agree with us that this is something you will realize immediately, regardless of the means of communication you use.
4. One should never mix online and in-office therapy
For some reason, a lot of people would argue that these two approaches cannot go hand in hand with each other. However, many studies have shown that they complement each other perfectly. Plus, the Internet approach can be very beneficial for both of you. Naturally, you should speak with the same person. Maybe your psychologist relocated, or you got a glowing recommendation for a professional that lives miles away from you, or maybe you just often travel for work. Whatever the case is, you shouldn’t feel anxious about continuing your sessions online because nothing will really change. A psychologist will still be the same person, implementing the same approach and tools to help you deal with your issues.
5. Online therapists aren’t discreet
This is yet another misconception people have because they know how the Internet works. You probably agree with the saying that you cannot expect anything your post online to be private. Once again, this is true when it comes to photos on social media platforms and comments on blogs and forums, but it is definitely inaccurate when it comes to online psychologists.
They are professionals, they understand how significant discretion is to their clients, and they still honor the doctor-patient confidentially concept. It means that all your video chats and phone calls are safely stored and encrypted in their computers. No, no one can access these, so you don’t have to worry whether they will be available on the web for everyone to see.
6. Online therapist can’t help you in crises
We aren’t quite sure why this myth exists. It probably has something to do with the fact that a psychologist cannot observe your overall behavior when you communicate via a telephone or a video chat. Yes, this is true, but still, you have to remember something.
These people are professionals. They don’t only observe your gestures, but also the tone of your voice and the movement of your eyes. These telltale signs may not appear big and significant to you, but to an expert, they tell the whole story. They are trained to notice even the slightest change in your behavior, thoughts, and even the way you speak. Even if you aren’t ready to tell them what’s bothering you, they will surely notice that something has changed. Believe us – no camera can prevent them from doing that.
To sum up, these are the six most common misconceptions regarding online therapy and psychologists that exist. As you can surely assume, there are many more simply because this approach is still fairly new. However, this doesn’t mean that you should give up on counseling because you cannot have a live interaction with the professional. Regardless of how unappealing it may seem to you, you should definitely seek out help if you believe you need it. On the other note, if you have been collaborating with a therapist for quite some time now, the fact that they conduct their business via the Internet now really isn’t a reason for you to stop seeing them.