Online Anxiety Treatment

Traditional in-person therapy sessions help millions of people with anxiety issues. The new frontier of online therapy, however, has already proven itself a valid method for anxiety treatment that delivers results comparable to other methods.

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This course has made clear that a person struggling with the symptoms and stresses of anxiety disorders has a wide range of treatment options to pursue. People seeking help for anxiety disorders may be curious about the versatility and flexibility of online therapy and treatment options.

This course has made clear that a person struggling with the symptoms and stresses of anxiety disorders has a wide range of treatment options to pursue. People seeking help for anxiety disorders may be curious about the versatility and flexibility of online therapy and treatment options.

Research (see below) has now demonstrated that, for certain disorders, online anxiety treatment matches or rivals the results of traditional methods. It is a vehicle for the same cognitive and behavioral principles taught during face-to-face sessions, and its record of long-term symptom reduction is impressive. As a standalone treatment or a supplement to other treatments, online anxiety therapy is as credible and viable an option as the others.

The convenience and ease of access online anxiety treatments offer make them an attractive option for a wide swath of people. This section introduces you to the basic structure of online anxiety treatment, what research says about its effectiveness, and ideas for choosing a website or option that will work for you.

What Is Online Anxiety Therapy?
Online anxiety therapy is an offshoot of online counseling, itself the method of delivering professional counselling services online. Online therapy goes by many names, including e-counseling, e-therapy, and tele-counselling.

A typical online session lasts as long as traditional face-to-face counseling, between 30 minutes to an hour. The counselor and patient may communicate through various methods including chat logs, video or Skype calls, forum posts, or telephone calls. As with in-person counseling, professionals are free to choose their own rates and platforms. It's also important to consider the benefits of online anxiety counseling (convenience, anonymity, versatility) with its potential downsides (hardware issues, security, credentials).

What Does the Research Say?

Credibility online is an issue, and thus far online counselors are not accurately able to make complete diagnoses in the absence of visual and body cues/behaviors. It's also worth remembering that online counseling has other limitations (it cannot yet benefit severe cases of mental disorders).

Nevertheless, for people who have been professionally diagnosed with moderate cases of anxiety disorders, following through with online counseling and treatment can produce wonderful benefits alone or in conjunction with offline treatment. Preliminary and ongoing research has begun to narrow down its positive outcomes, including:

  • Several recent studies demonstrate that online Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) interventions can be equally effective as in-person sessions

  • Meta-analyses—studies which pool and assess the results of many studies—also show online therapy treatments for mild cases of depression and anxiety to be effective. More research is needed to confidently confirm the scope and longevity of online mental health interventions, but results are promising. One study in Zurich found that 57% of people in their study who took online CBT therapy showed continued improvement after three months compared to 42% of face-to-face CBT subjects

  • Mindfulness practices delivered online also lead to a reduction of clinical stress and anxiety symptoms

  • Phone therapy (tele-therapy) has also been shown as effective as in-person therapy for helping mild cases of depression and anxiety. The majority of 39,000 British adults surveyed in one recent study reported less severe symptoms, and the cost was much less expensive than traditional methods.

Online therapy has seen tremendous growth in popularity as well as scientific credibility. Current science says it is an effective complementary treatment option for people with mild cases of anxiety and depression and a great direction to take for people in financial difficulty.

(A reminder on expenses: Many companies and insurance policies cover the cost of therapy sessions or supplement the cost of medication. A majority of private therapists also adopt sliding scale payment plans to help people get the help they need, and colleges and universities often provide a limited free number of sessions to their students, faculty, and community members. Payment options likewise vary for online therapies and programs.)

How Do I Choose a Quality Online Program?
In most ways, the best practices for choosing an online program or counselor is to adhere to the same criteria you would when choosing an offline therapist. Credentials, years of experience, and methodological schools they use (psychoanalytic, CBT) should be vetted with the same attention to detail.

To make this easier, many online counseling centers employ a roster of working mental health professionals with profile descriptions and testimonials from previous clients. Just as important as credentials are how well the two of you will connect. Therapy is a relationship; trust and comfort must be present in an online exchange for benefits to manifest themselves. It is normal and acceptable to try working with any number of online therapists as needed until you feel safe and secure enough to invest in the therapeutic process.

There are other treatment options besides counseling. Certain universities and organizations operate free to cheap online courses which teach the basics of therapeutic techniques to treat anxiety. While less personalized, the best of these courses are made widely available to people and are spearheaded by mental health experts. Check university and mental health organization websites to find these sources and know that, should you encounter a single person's "anxiety cure" method, you are pursuing them at your own peril.

MoodGym is a wonderful example of an accredited and proven online course. It is an Australian-based operation which covers Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy techniques, exercises, and misconception reversal. Here is a brief list of quality cheap to free online anxiety counseling services and courses available right now:

Don't forget to check out these lists of great online anxiety resources and take the time to see if Anxiety Social Net, an online anxiety community, might be a welcome addition to your recovery program.

The bottom line: There are many online paths to take to receive quality anxiety treatment which fit your budget and lifestyle.

Full reference: 

(Jun 26, 2015). Online Anxiety Treatment. Retrieved Dec 19, 2018 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/online-anxiety-treatment

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