What is Online Therapy?
Online therapy involves virtual therapy sessions as well as virtual assessment sessions. A variety of mental health issues are treated using virtual care, which is more commonly referred to by people as online counselling, including obsessive compulsive disorder, skin picking and hair pulling disorders as well as anxiety disorders, trauma and depression. In fact, there are rarely concerns that cannot be treated using virtual therapy sessions by experienced counsellors online.
These mental healthcare counselling sessions are conducted online through a secure video conferencing platform. You will meet with an online therapist and engage in online counselling in the comfort of your own home environment. This can be extremely beneficial as it allows you to access helpful online therapy sessions from our team at FTPS no matter where you are located within both Ontario and British Columbia.
In fact, online therapy affords many other benefits as well, including:
- flexibility of scheduling therapists online
- accessibility of services from wherever you live – no commute needed; no transportation issues
- benefits of working with a therapist right in your own home
- working with a counsellor online in your home environment
- opportunities for coached exposure sessions within your home environment, where triggers might exist
Is Virtual Therapy Effective?
Online therapy sessions have been shown to be effective for OCD as well as other mental health concerns. This provides us with great comfort in providing it to individuals as we are confident that it will be helpful.
Online therapy can be used for a variety of different mental health concerns, including:
Virtual therapy sessions can also allow family members to be involved. They can easily join at the end of a session and learn about important skills taught to their loved ones. They can also join at the beginning of a session to provide important updates prior to the online counselling session. This can help parents or other family members support their teen or loved one at home. If your loved one is receiving virtual therapy for OCD or anxiety disorders, you can observe online therapy sessions in which coached exposure and response prevention (ERP) is taking place. This can help you to then engage in coaching with your loved ones outside of the online counseling sessions. Joining virtual therapy with an online psychologist or therapist is very easy! Just log on securely and engage in the session!
When you are doing online therapy sessions with an online psychologist or therapist, your treatment has no limits! Your therapist can join you in any environment that would be beneficial to treatment – your home, a store, a crowded neighbourhood or public transportation. During online therapy sessions, you can go places that far surpass the limits of a therapist’s office.
Is Virtual Therapy Confidential?
Is it confidential to meet with a therapist online? Rest assured that it is extremely confidential to engage in online therapy sessions. Many safeguards have been developed so you can feel comfortable when participating in virtual therapy or virtual assessments.
The online therapy platform, Owl practice, used at FTPS is compliant with privacy regulations in both Ontario and BC. It is also compliant with College regulations to ensure you are engaging in a safe and secure experience. All information collected within Owl is stored in a secure encrypted online platform that resides within Canada.
During the actual online therapy session, there are also steps you can take to feel secure within your home. Wearing a comfortable headset or pair of earbuds can allow for the conversation between the psychologist online and you can help you feel secure. Some individuals even like to run a white noise soundtrack from their phone during the session. This can be placed comfortably outside of one’s door and adds another layer of confidentiality. We encourage you to speak to your online therapist about all the different options you have available to you in order to enhance your security and comfort!
What if I want in-person sessions?
There are times that in-person sessions are meaningful and important for your treatment and recovery. Your online therapist at FTPS will be mindful of this and discuss it with you. There are many ways that in-person sessions can be built into your therapy work.
In-person sessions in Toronto, Ontario can be conducted as needed. At FTPS we do this in a variety of ways. When we work with individuals undergoing treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety, we might arrange for community exposure opportunities. These would be conducted as an in-person session in Toronto, Ontario. Individuals often find this very effective and also enjoy connecting with their online therapist in person. In this way, online counseling services can then become a mix of both in-person work as well as continued virtual therapy sessions. For individuals with severe symptoms of OCD, conducting in-home in-person visits are also beneficial. This allows for you to connect with your online therapist or online psychologist in your own home. During this type of in-person session, you will be coached directly to engage with triggers that you typically avoid. Your family can also benefit from observing this type of a coached exposure and response prevention session. In-home in-person visits are often combined with online therapy sessions. This has been found to be very effective.
Can anyone access online counselling?
At FTPS, we work with youth and teens, adults, couples, families and offer parent coaching throughout all of Ontario and BC. This allows for many different locations that you can access our online counseling services! You might be wondering, how can I find an online psychologist near me? If you reach out to the intake team at FTPS, we can tell you all about our therapy offerings and get you started with a best match therapist. We look forward to working with you – for individual psychotherapy as well as for group therapy sessions! Read all about the therapy offerings at FTPS in both Ontario and BC!