Many doubt that the effect is as good as meeting face-to-face. However, research shows that so-called video therapy, meeting the psychologist via screen, has as good an effect as meeting in an office.

Photo: by Sam McGhee on Unsplash


This is something that Kaja Asbjørnsen Betin (chairman of the board, DigPsyk Psykologenes forening for digital health) and Svein Øverland (board member, DigPsyk Psykologenes forening for digital health) wrote in a case on Aftenposten.no.

The context for the post was that the corona crisis in Norway was in an early phase (the post is dated March 29), and the ordinary contact with the support staff at, for example, the psychologist offices was closed. This context is not quite as relevant today, as we have seen a gradual reopening of society, but the content is still very relevant. 

 

- Video therapy has a good effect

They write:

Many doubt that the effect is as good as meeting face-to-face. However, research shows that so-called video therapy, meeting the psychologist via screen, has as good an effect as meeting in an office.

Similarly, there are apps and online treatment programs that can be of great help to people in crisis. In addition, there are also text-based solutions, such as chat and encrypted email.

Now these solutions are more important than ever.

 

Some dangers

Asbjørnsen Betin and Øverland write that there are also dangers in quickly embracing the new, digital psychology. Here they mention the possibilities that digital solutions are not secure enough, when it comes to privacy and confidentiality.

The enormous need for psychological help can tempt both psychologists and patients to use solutions that do not meet the necessary requirements.

The interest association for digital health has therefore made an overview of solutions that meet the minimum criteria in the so-called «Norm for Information Security

 

Has been met with skepticism

Psychologists write:

In the Norwegian Psychological Association's interest association for digital health, DigPsyk, we have long tried to motivate psychologists and patients to use the opportunities that digital psychology provides. We have met a lot of skepticism.

Perhaps the corona crisis can provide fertile ground for greater openness about digital solutions for mental health care? Kaja Asbjørnsen Betin and Svein Øverland write:  

There is now a national charity in many areas. We believe that the same must happen in psychological help and treatment.

We therefore encourage all psychologists to try new ways to help. We believe that after the crisis we will discover that many of the solutions the crisis has made us try out are as good or even better than those we used before the crisis.

 

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Written by

ove heradstveit

Ove Heradstveit

Psychologist, specialist in clinical community psychology. PhD.
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