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November 14, 2019

The Growing Wave of E-therapy

It’s no secret that the internet has revolutionized just about every facet of modern society. Dating, gaming, travel, medical research, legal action, media distribution and streaming, social interaction on every level; there’s hardly anything in our lives, no matter what country we live in (with few exceptions) which haven’t been touched by the digital revolution. So, why not therapy?

Sites like JustAnswer, WebMD, MedicineNet, and others already give the average internet user access to medical information and other resources, why not mental health as well as physical?

The answers are springing up all over the internet and all over the world! Online platforms like the ones listed on eCounseling make better mental health immediately available to those in need no matter who or where they are, how much money they have, or what time of day or night they may need assistance.

All this is of exceptional value when you consider the principal drawbacks of in-office therapy; difficulty with scheduling, commuting, and budgeting makes traditional approaches out of reach for too many worthy and needy people all over the world.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is a significant problem in Europe, costing the EU an estimated €170 billion a year. Twenty-five percent of Europeans suffer from depression, twenty to twenty-five percent from neuropsychiatric disorders.

The good people of Prague in the Czech Republic may be especially hard hit. According to a recent article published in the Prague Daily Monitor, the number of psychiatric patients in Prague is on the rise. Roughly 650,000 of Prague’s 10 million residents see a psychiatrist, according to the article, and the number of people suffering from neurotic disorders has virtually doubled in the past 30 years.

Over 650,000 Czech patients received psychiatric surgery in 2015, eight percent more than the year before. Over 50,000 cases of schizophrenia were reported among Prague residents in 2015.

Luckily, e-therapy provides just what these people need when they need it.

E-therapy offers the benefits of simultaneous communication (in an instant message type of interchange) or time-delayed communication, which can serve the preference of the client. Some prefer the immediacy and urgency of the former, some like the distance and time to consider and digest. Both are there at the touch of a button (or two or three). And there’s the benefit of anonymity! Those who have confidentiality fears which may inhibit them when speaking in person are freed up to open up, and that can only help lead them to better and faster results.

And e-therapy can either serve all the needs of those in need of a certain amount of attention or be a supplement to a more rigorous in-office therapeutic regiment. So e-therapy offers greater flexibility and can be used in many different therapeutic purposes and emphases.

E-therapy is also internet-based, which means it integrates the total sum of all human knowledge at the click of a key (or two or three), something no mental health professional can do no matter how well educated or brilliant they may be.

Of course, there is more to therapy than e-therapy can provide, so in a lot of ways, it may better suit a lot of people as supplementary to their professional course of therapy. E-therapy doesn’t diagnose disorders or treat any diagnosed mental or any medical complications. But it can offer to coach that a lot of people need at just the vulnerable times when they need it. Late at night when a regular therapist isn’t available, in situations when a therapist may be otherwise detained if they’re between therapists and need a helping hand or a sympathetic ear.

It’s true that, without visual cues, a particular insight may be lost on the part of the professional. It is just another thing that recommends e-therapy as a supplement to anyone in therapy and as a service to those who are not in desperate need, where the subtleties of facial and body language aren’t as critical.

Furthermore, e-therapy is often free of charge, helping both groups of ready patients and finally breaking down the greatest obstacle to good mental health; expense.

The patterns of internet growth in every industrial sector of modern society tell us that the future of e-therapy is bright; it’s only going to grow and develop as internet use expands, and e-commerce continues to dominate the global marketplace. That means more options and more help for needy people all over the world, especially in the EU, Prague, perhaps even where you live!

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