The impressive evolution of technology and the internet has made our lives easier in more ways than one. We can do everything online nowadays. We shop online, attend some classes online, work online, and so much more. We can also attend therapy sessions online. Office visits and online psychiatry have many similarities and differences, so we’re going to take a closer look at them below.
Similarities between office visits and online psychiatry
The most important similarities between office visits and online psychiatry are that they revolve around one on one sessions. Patient talks to the mental health provider in the privacy of the office (or online meeting) without anyone else involved. That way, it’s easier for a patient to open up and discuss their emotions, thoughts, problems they’re facing, and mental health condition they have. Both types of sessions last a certain period of time, usually 60 minutes for initial intake, during which the mental health provider focuses solely on the patient and discuss recommendations for lifestyle and/or pharmacological intervention. Follow-up visits involve monitoring response and side effects of pharmacological intervention.
Differences between office visits and online psychiatry
Now that we’ve established the biggest similarities between online psychiatry and traditional psychiatry, let’s talk about their differences. They include the following:
- Online psychiatry is possibly more effective – a study from the Journal of Affective Disorders found that online and traditional mental health services were equally effective for patients. For people busy lives and demands, online psychiatry is a solution to be able to access effective care to fit in their busy schedule. This creates less strain on people’s time and leads to keeping the follow-up appointments, and thus better outcome.
- Accessibility – there is a great need for more mental health providers, particularly in smaller cities and towns. Online psychiatry connects providers to residents in areas in great need.
- Convenient – traditional sessions involve visits to the provider’s office, but nowadays, when people have a hectic schedule, it can be difficult to organize your day and still have enough time to see the mental health provider. A major benefit of online counseling is that you can attend a session with your psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner from the comfort of your home, office, or wherever you are at that moment. Contacting a mental health provider has never been easier than it is today. Good for patients with social anxiety – if you have social anxiety spending too much time around people can become quite overwhelming. As you’re getting treated for your condition, online sessions can be incredibly helpful as they allow you to progress at your own pace
Online psychiatry and traditional psychiatry have a lot in common, but they also have many differences. Think about your goals and needs in order to decide which mode of psychiatry suits you best.