Given E-Therapy is an effective form of treatment for many psychological disorders, a second question concerns potential benefits of E-Therapy over conventional face-to-face therapy. Psychologists and others have studied whether clients see any benefits to E-therapy. Below are brief summaries of some relevant studies, with links to further information where available.
One important benefit of E-therapy is that it could help to improve access to psychological services. Much research has demonstrated that many people experiencing psychological distress never see a trained therapist and, in some cases, receive no treatment at all. E-Therapy promises to facilitate effective therapy, especially as people become more familiar and comfortable with Skype, FaceTime, and other means of virtual communication.
Another benefit is that E-Therapy can allow for continuous contact with therapists, even when clients or therapists are travelling or otherwise not physically available to meet.
Rural or house-bound clients may be especially helped by E-Therapy. They are able to enjoy natural interactions with a therapist.
In a study of treatment for addiction, clients reported several benefits of E-Therapy, including convenience (easier to schedule, avoiding need to travel) and increased confidentiality. For more information, click here.
Griffiths and Christensen (2007) noted the benefits of E-Therapy for Australian clients in rural settings, who otherwise might lack access to psychological services. For more information, click here.
A final advantage of E-Therapy is cost, both for the Therapist and the Client. Because of savings in office overhead and travel, therapists may be able to pass on savings to clients in need.