Online therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people seeking mental health support from the comfort of their homes. In Singapore, online therapy is also becoming more widely available, offering individuals a range of benefits when it comes to accessing mental health services.
There still is a lot of stigma attached to mental health symptoms, and with about one in three youth in Singapore experiencing issues such as sadness, anxiety, and loneliness, being able to access online therapy without having to worry about what others might think is crucial.
However, with the plethora of psychology apps and telehealth services now available, how does it compare to working with an independent therapist? And what are the actual benefits of online therapy versus in-person?
Let’s answer these questions, by starting by getting a better understanding of what online therapy is.
What is online therapy?
Online therapy, or online counseling, is a form of mental health treatment that takes place over the internet. It involves meeting with a licensed mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychotherapist, via video conferencing.
Online therapy can be a good option for a wide range of people and has been proven to offer the same level of therapeutic benefits as in-person sessions.
Who is online therapy for?
Online therapy offers a secure and confidential environment to explore various topics that may include depression, anxiety, stress, anger management, insomnia, panic attacks, eating disorders, trauma, relationship problems, adjusting to life changes, coping with loss, and other mental health concerns.
No matter the therapy format, it is important that the patient is fully involved and active in the process for improvements and positive changes to take place.
Should you work with an independent therapist or a telehealth service?
While telehealth services, such as BetterHelp or Talkspace, can offer convenience and access to a range of mental health professionals, there is a level of care and expertise you can only get with an established independent therapist. One of the main benefits of therapy with an independent practitioner is the personalized support and tailored treatment that you can receive. Working with a specific therapist allows you to build a trusting relationship and work together to address your unique mental health needs.
In addition, working with an independent therapist also allows for more focused and in-depth treatment. Because you are working one-on-one with a therapist, you can delve deeper into the root causes of your mental health concerns and work through them in a more comprehensive way. This level of depth is often not possible in telehealth services, which may have more limited session times, a more general focus, or even only include generic phone support.
Another advantage of therapy with an independent clinician is the consistency and continuity of care that it provides. By working with the same therapist over time, you can develop a consistent treatment plan and build on the progress you make in each session. In telehealth services, on the other hand, you may be connected with a different therapist each session, which can make it more difficult to establish a consistent and effective treatment plan.
Finally, telehealth services might sometimes seem cheaper, but there are no guarantees for the level of care and treatment. Plus, they often try to lock in patients with annual membership plans, giving them less flexibility with their treatment.
Some benefits of online therapy in Singapore
Accessibility is one of the key advantages of online therapy in Singapore. This might be a small country, but people have very busy schedules and are often traveling. Online therapy eliminates any difficulty to attend regular sessions, allowing anyone with an internet connection to access mental health support from anywhere in the country or from abroad.
Affordability is another important factor to consider when it comes to accessing mental health support in Singapore. In-person therapy sessions can be costly, and for many individuals, the cost of therapy may be a barrier to accessing the support they need.
With online therapy, there’s no need for fancy offices and waiting rooms, which decreases the therapist’s costs. At Psychology Experts, our fees are very competitive for this quality of care and level of expertise, because the savings we make directly impact our prices.
Another valuable advantage of online therapy in Singapore is convenience. Traditional therapy requires clients to set aside time to travel to an office or clinic, which can be time-consuming and may interfere with work or other obligations. With online therapy, clients can connect with their therapist from the comfort of their own home or office, eliminating travel time and expenses, and allowing for more flexibility in scheduling.
4. Increased comfort
Many patients value the additional comfort that online therapy gives them. Some people may feel anxious or self-conscious about attending therapy in person, which can make it difficult to open up and communicate with their therapist. Online therapy offers a more relaxed and comfortable environment, which can help to facilitate more open and honest communication between the client and therapist.
5. Greater anonymity & discretion
Greater anonymity is also a benefit of online therapy in Singapore. Some individuals may feel embarrassed or self-conscious about seeking mental health support and may not want to be seen entering a therapist’s office or sitting in the waiting room. Online therapy removes this concern, allowing individuals to access support discreetly from their own surroundings.
6. More scheduling flexibility
With the hectic life of Singaporeans, many enjoy the flexibility that online therapy gives them. Instead of having to check with a receptionist for an in-person appointment, you can directly book the time that is convenient for you, and even set your sessions to a weekly schedule.
At Psychology Experts, Dr. Elefant-Yanni decided to adapt her hours to her patients’ working days. That’s why she’s offering sessions on weekdays and Saturdays from 4 pm to 10 pm in Singapore.
7. Consistent access
Finally, online therapy in Singapore provides consistent access to mental health support. For individuals who may face challenges attending in-person therapy sessions due to work or other commitments, online therapy can offer a more flexible and accessible option. This can be especially important for individuals who require ongoing support and may need to connect with their therapist on a regular basis.
Benefits of online therapy in Singapore – Takeaways
In conclusion, online therapy is a valuable option for individuals seeking mental health support in Singapore. It offers accessibility, affordability, convenience, increased comfort, greater anonymity, more scheduling flexibility, and consistent access to mental health support.
However, it’s important to note that therapy with an independent practitioner can offer personalized support, tailored treatment, and a level of expertise that may not be available through telehealth services. Therefore, it’s essential to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of both options before deciding which one is best for you. Regardless of the choice, the most important thing is to prioritize your mental health and seek the help you need.