Even just a couple of decades ago, you had to go to a therapist’s office if you wanted to get help for a mental health problem. Barring that, you could go to a library and try to educate yourself on mental health problems so that you could work through them on your own.
Now, people don’t need to do this. Granted, these are still perfectly viable options for anyone hoping to work through their mental health problems. However, technology has allowed for the development of a new and effective form of mental health treatment: therapy apps.
Therapy apps are becoming increasingly popular. Over 2 million Americans experiment using therapy apps each year, with many of them preferring these apps to seeking traditional counseling. In this article we’ll explain how these valuable therapy apps are changing the mental health scene and explain how they can benefit you.
What Are Therapy Apps?
Therapy apps started coming into the scene about a decade ago, and have since had a huge influence on the entire mental health scene. The millions of people using them nowadays are a testament to how well they work. There are already four large telehealth companies who operate a therapy app – two of which are publicly traded companies (Teledoc and MDLive).
But what exactly are they?
Therapy apps can be loaded onto smartphones, tablets, and computers. These apps are platforms that allow people to connect with counselors and therapists around the world. From here, they can seek treatment for various mental health problems wherever they have internet access.
This convenience offers a lot of opportunities that one might not be able to experience should they choose to remain with a traditional counselor. Some of these benefits include:
- Extreme convenience. Instead of having to drive or take a bus to a therapist’s office, you can now connect with therapists from the convenience of your home or even while you’re on a break at work.
- More affordable prices. Not only are online therapy apps generally cheaper than seeing a traditional counselor, they are more likely to accept insurance for their services. Therapists in America are notoriously unwilling to accept insurance, so this brings therapy to a wider audience.
- More comfort. Many people are hesitant to seek out a therapist because they believe that they will be judged. Seeing a therapist from home by using a therapy app eliminates the chances of feeling stigmatized: if you don’t want to tell anyone, you don’t have to.
Therapy apps can be very versatile, but they generally operate through similar principles. They allow you to communicate with a therapist via video chat or voice call. Some of them allow you to connect with a therapist immediately through text messages, and some offer email service.
All of your therapy sessions will be organized on the platform, and many therapy apps allow you to choose from a number of therapists who specialize in the problems that you are trying to treat. There are very large numbers of therapists on these platforms, who are qualified to treat anything ranging from mild depression to serious issues like PTSD.
Many people question whether or not online therapy can be as effective as traditional counseling. Studies from as early as 2014, such as this one published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, have reported that online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face counseling
Of course, some people may prefer the emotional intimacy of face-to-face counseling. However, the huge number of benefits will likely outweigh this in the majority of cases.
Mental health apps are changing the face of the therapy world. Therapy apps offer a huge number of benefits that you can’t really get from seeing a traditional counselor. If you think that you need therapy, consider trying out an online therapy app.