What is Online Therapy – and why is Telehealth increasing in Popularity in Australia?

It’s unfortunate but true – mental health issues right now are higher than ever before. The demand for accessible and effective mental health services has never been greater.

In Australia alone, it was found that as many as 1 in 5 people experienced a mental health disorder during the period prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Mental health is impacted by multiple factors, including a person’s access to services, living conditions, employment status, etc. Unfortunately, mental health issues have a detrimental effect not only the individual but also their families and carers.

Due in part to the global pandemic which has been affecting us all since early 2020, more people are struggling. Stress, anxiety, low mood, worry, isolation, a lack of exercise, a lack of human contact, binge drinking, and recreational drug use are all significant factors which have contributed towards our declining mental health, which is why something needs to change.

The promising news is mental health issues can be treated. And when it is done effectively, the person can significantly improve quality of life. Online therapy is proving to be a fantastic treatment option, which is what we’re going to look at today.

Here’s a look at everything you need to know about the benefits of online therapy in Australia.

 

What is Online Therapy?

Also known as telehealth counselling, online counselling, telehealth psychology – online therapy is basically psychotherapy, just like you would receive in person, but done online via the internet as opposed to in person in a therapist’s office.

With online therapy, you can speak to a psychologist live via a secure video conferencing platform (similar to Zoom). You can also use telephone calling. The therapy you receive from your online psychologist is equivalent to the therapy you would receive in person. The only real difference is that you communicate with one another online, rather than in person. Sessions take place live in real time anywhere in Australia.

 

What are the benefits of online therapy in Australia?

Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits associated with online psychology.

Lately, demand for online psychologists has increased sharply, but exactly why is that?

Comfort and confidence

Without a doubt, one of the biggest benefits associated with online therapy is the fact that it provides clients with comfort and confidence before, during, and after each session. Being able to take part in therapy sessions from the comfort of your home is a huge advantage. Your home is where you’ll feel safe, meaning you’ll likely be able to open up more.

People often find it easier to open up over the phone, remotely via video call, or in writing, rather than in person. With online therapy you can communicate with your psychologist in all of these ways. The bottom line is that online therapy may help you to feel safer and will give you more confidence to share.

Save money

Online therapy is usually cheaper than face to face sessions. As a result it will help you to save money! Online clinics usually cost less to run than physical clinics. This allows psychologists to offer sessions for a reduced rate.

As well as that, you’ll save money on travel expenses such as fuel, public transport, and parking costs. Combine these factors together, and the amount of money saved all adds up.

Convenience

When talking about the benefits of online therapy, you simply cannot overlook convenience. With online therapy you don’t need to leave your home for a session. In fact, you don’t even need to leave your bed if you have a physical illness. There’s no travel involved so you can fit your therapy session in around your schedule.

Not only that, but you can now take part in a session on your computer, laptop, phone, tablet, or various other smart devices with internet connectivity. In terms of convenience, it doesn’t get much more convenient than that.

Overcome your problems

There is strong evidence supported by research indicating that that psychological therapy, particularly Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), can be successfully delivered online to treat a range of mental health difficulties. For example, psychologists can effectively treat and provide counselling for people experiencing anxiety, stress, depression, adjustment issues, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), relationship problems, grief and loss, etc.

In addition, online therapy can help people to overcome past trauma. It can help them understand and deal with triggers, as well as certain disorders which may be affecting their mental health. Plus, it can simply lift your spirits – as it will provide you with an outlet for your problems and life’s difficulties. As the saying goes ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.

Become more resilient

Online therapy can be incredibly helpful, even if you feel that you have no mental health issues. It can help you become mentally stronger, more resilient, and even more courageous about life! You can learn more about yourself and how to master strategies that will lead to a more fulfilled and satisfied life.

Online therapy can be extremely beneficial when an experienced psychologist is able to design an individualised a therapy plan tailored to your individual needs, goals and unique circumstances with the aim to help you get to where you want to be as quickly as possible.

 

Who is online therapy not suitable for?

As you can see, online therapy can benefit people from all walks of life, for a whole host of different reasons. Different people may be suffering with different problems and issues, yet regardless of what these issues may be, therapy can help in most cases.

However, people suffering from severe mental health disorders who may require specialist medical treatment, medication, and observation will unfortunately be unsuitable for online therapy. These individuals would be much better off connecting with a multidisciplinary community mental health care team in their local area.

Individuals who are experiencing suicidal thoughts or who are in the midst of a crisis will require acute care in a multidisciplinary clinical environment.

 

Is online counselling by a psychologist covered by Medicare?

Yes, Online counselling from anywhere in Australia is covered by Medicare. With a referral from your GP or psychiatrist, you are able to claim Medicare rebates every time you attend an online psychology session.

It is possible to find relief from constant fear and anxiety and thoughts of doom and dread.  Online therapy will help you get through difficult times and give you the tools you need to get through your mental health struggles. You will not feel like this forever, psychologists at Online PsychCare are here to help you get through rough patches and transition smoothly. With the help of an online CBT psychologist, rest assured you will be feeling better in no time.

You can make an appointment here or call 1300 421 777 anytime without a referral. But if you would like to claim Medicare rebates, then you will need a referral from a GP. 

Remember, seeking help about your mental health issues is not a sign of weakness. Admitting that you need help is a sign of strength.

If you are feeling low or feel as if you do want or need help, do not suffer in silence. Speak out, and seek help and you will soon see the benefits of online therapy – and make positive steps for the future.

If you are in a crisis, if you are experiencing suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or somebody else is in danger call 000.

Sources: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/mental-health

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