How Therapy Sessions Are Moving From Couches To Skype Sessions

How web culture has changed the status of mental healthcare.

The future of therapy sessions may mean you can receive the one-on-one help you need without leaving your room. Through web chat resources such as Skype, people can carve out time in their busy schedules to spend some time with their therapist.

What comedian Lisa Kudrow imagines in her online-broadcast show Web Therapy is now made reality by companies such as Pretty Padded Room, which connects mental health professionals with people in need. Users can read the bios and watch personal videos of the featured therapists and decide who best fits their needs or personalities. The site also features a two-way digital diary or journal that allows an ongoing conversation and reflection between patient and therapist.

According to a research roundup on telepsychology, online therapy is just as effective as in-person sessions, providing that the right security precautions are taken by both therapist and patient. This is a trend we explored in the PSFK Future of Health report with social support communities: when people with a common affliction gather online to share experiences, they have been shown to have a positive mental and psychological impact on each other through feelings of community and camaraderie.

Pretty Padded Room and other online therapy sites use a scaled-down version of this, and the fact remains that just having someone to talk to, no matter the medium, can be of tremendous help to people.

Read more about online therapy sessions over on WNYC.

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