Cande Díaz: "Many patients find it easier to express themselves through online therapy".
Psychologist Cande Díaz explains why online therapy has a lot of potential.
In a short time, online psychotherapy has become massively popular due to the advantages it offers in terms of psychological assistance services. People with little experience using computers have begun to take advantage of this format of psychological therapy as patients, given its ease of use.
But... But what exactly is the reason for the potential of online therapy to become popular in just a few years? The psychologist Cande Díaz, with years of experience attending people through the video-call format, gives us some of the keys to understand it..
Interview with Cande Díaz: online therapy, from the point of view of psychologists
Cande Díaz is a psychologist, coach and mentor based in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, although thanks to online therapy the people they help are spread out over much more of the Canary Islands. Here she talks about her experience working with this distance format.
From the point of view of clients and patients, what do you think are the main advantages of online therapy?
Making the decision to go to a psychologist is very important and still, to this day, is full of "resistance". However, online therapy offers a number of advantages that help to make that decision and to redirect our life, with fewer difficulties than traditional face-to-face therapy. I would highlight the following advantages.
On the one hand, it is ideal for people with little time and who live far from the psychologist they want to see. With this service, the need to travel disappears and the time invested in it is reduced.
On the other hand, there is complete accessibility for people with reduced mobility, since it is not necessary for them to leave their homes. Physical barriers disappear.
There is also the time flexibility factor: since it is not subject to the schedules of a center, it can be better adapted to the time needs of the patient.
In addition, it is very easy to execute at a technological level, since with simple Apps for mobile, Tablet or PC, completely free of charge for the patient, the sessions can be carried out. Practically everyone has a cell phone. Simply with it, it can be carried out.
To this we must add a cost reduction, since an online session can cost up to 50% less than the traditional one.
It also offers a high level of privacy: for many people it is very important their privacy, and that the assistance to a psychologist is a completely intimate process, without the need to go to a consultation where someone known to them can see it.
Online therapy is suitable for people who study outside Spain or who are traveling for work or any other reason: facilitating connectivity in the same language, in any territory (national or international), even chat therapy if it is an option chosen.
The session via video call also provides the option of innovation, introducing more resources that will help the effectiveness of the therapy for those who enjoy new technologies, also allowing the sending of links, recordings, images, etc.
Finally, it has the advantage of the extra in safety and health: given the special moment in which we live, from the safety of our home, and without exposure to COVID-19, we can have our session in complete peace of mind.
Do you consider that this format of support to people is flexible enough in terms of the types of problems to be solved in which it can be applied?
Of course, online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face therapy and provides at least the same resources. In my opinion, it provides even more flexibility.
Is it easy for people with no experience in using the Internet to start having psychological support via video call?
This is one of the main impediments that some people have to this type of session. However, when you explain to them how easy it is to carry out the sessions, and they try it, 100% have repeated.
As simple as doing it from a cell phone where we have installed WhatsApp we can make a video call. Also with other applications such as Skype. And for those who do not want to use Apps, just connect to the internet and access a link that I provide completely free for them, and where we access a space where we see and hear each other, where I can share documents, videos, images, audios ... completely confidential and private.
In the same way, there is also the online modality of chat therapy. A resource that more and more people are opting for because of its convenience and daily access.
From what you have seen so far, why has online psychotherapy become so popular in recent years, and not before, with the emergence of video call services?
More and more people appreciate their time and convenience. Increasingly, we resort to new technologies as a means of communication for absolutely everything.
The video call, in addition, gives you the security of seeing and hearing your psychologist with complete peace of mind, wherever you want to be, with practically no physical or temporal limitations. You don't have to miss your long-awaited session due to traffic mishaps, travel, etc.
What are psychologists who have not yet adapted to the online medium missing out on when it comes to offering their services to patients?
From my point of view, they are missing out on the option of using a magnificent medium that eliminates borders and provides accessibility to everyone. The seriousness, affection, trust, tranquility and effectiveness that I bring to my patients are exactly the same.
Moreover, for many patients it is easier to express their feelings and concerns through online therapy than in person. They are less inhibited. At least, from my experience, the connection I have with all the people who have trusted me is wonderful. I couldn't be more grateful.
Do you think that in the coming years online psychology services will continue to expand, or are they already close to reaching their ceiling in terms of potential users?
Online psychology is "in its infancy". It is still a little baby that is just starting to take its first steps. In the last few months, requests have increased a lot. People have started to use this option and have begun to see its usefulness and all its advantages.
In short, we are at the beginning of a path that is being forged thanks to many brave men and women who want to change their lives, make it bigger, overcome obstacles, be happy, in short. And who choose this fast, efficient, flexible, comfortable and, above all, highly private option.
However, for those who like or need physical presence, a combination of both modalities can be chosen, offering a mixed therapy, where psychotherapy sessions can be offered with a high experiential enrichment.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)