Online self-therapy and virtual counseling are becoming increasingly dominant markets. With COVID-19 triggering greater awareness surrounding mental health, more people are searching for emotional relief and support.
Recently, I had the chance to sit down with Alex Vitchenko, founder and CEO of Calmerry, to better understand the online therapy space and gain some insight into how these in-home counseling sessions work.
Vitchenko has started Calmerry with a mission to make mental health care easily accessible for people who need it. With a network of professional therapists, the company covers a wide range of specialties to meet each patient’s unique needs. With companies like Calmerry on the rise, people can connect with certified professionals to get quality care online.
Self-Care Specialties at Calmerry
In years past, mental health services were restricted to expensive in-office consultations. Now, the usage of telehealth is skyrocketing, and over a dozen new self-therapy companies have launched in the last several years.
Among them, Calmerry is offering personalized care and coverage for a host of mental health concerns. Fully licensed and experienced therapists can conduct flexible scheduling of live video and chat sessions with clients. The on-call nature of the program has enabled it to become one of the most reliable online therapy platforms for personalized mental health care.
Furthermore, counselors create personalized therapy plans for each client to consistently move towards their goals. Also, clients can utilize helpful mood tracking and journaling tools to grow their self-awareness and mental skills.
“With everything going on in the world right now, many people are seeking therapy for the first time in their lives. The ease and convenience of scheduling therapy sessions online are becoming a huge draw for those new consumers, as it allows them to seek help from wherever they are located, at any time that fits their schedule,” says Vitchenko.
In addition to Calmerry’s wide variety of mental health specialties that they offer, the platform also lets clients use free tools to work through their issues. From mood-tracking bot Coa, to virtual tests, webinars, and self-assessments, the company provides its customers with plenty of self-care options according to their needs.
COVID-19’s Affect on the Self-Therapy Space
Though telehealth services have been around since the 1990s, the technology and infrastructure for the self-therapy space have become more advanced since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. In truth, how Americans obtain mental health care has never changed quite as drastically as it did in 2020.
“Just as the pandemic and ensuing lockdown forced many out of the office and into their homes, mental health professionals took their services online, as well,” Vitchenko points out. “But what started as a forced transition to provide psychotherapy remotely has completely taken off, and it looks like there’s no going back.”
Today, nearly 40% of mental health outpatient visits at clinics and hospitals are offered remotely, compared to just 1% in 2019. And though there’s been some speculation as to the effectiveness of online therapy, several studies indicate that virtual therapy sessions are just as, if not more so, effective compared to in-office consultations.
A review of 17 studies found that online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression may be more effective than face-to-face counseling. Similar studies were conducted for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders, panic disorders, and specific phobia.
An additional literature study of 14 reviews found that online CBT has led to a 50% decrease in symptoms of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and compulsive gambling disorder — many of which Calmerry’s services cover.
Answering the Growing Demand for Anxiety Therapy
As the mental health impacts of the pandemic continue, the overwhelming majority of psychologists who treat anxiety disorders have noticed an increase in demand for anxiety therapy since the onset of COVID-19.
Additionally, a recent survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) reports that many psychologists have received increased workloads and longer waitlists of people specifically seeking treatment for anxiety-related disorders.
“The pandemic has taken its toll on the mental health of people worldwide. However, the fact that anxiety is among the fastest growing mental health problems is particularly alarming,” states Vitchenko.
An estimated 275 million people suffer from anxiety disorders — around 4% of the global population. Since the pandemic, there’s been a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety worldwide. Demand for treatment is also up, with 72% of psychologists who treat depressive disorders saying they have seen an increase in anxiety therapy requests, compared with 60% in 2020.
These concerns about increases in such mental health conditions have prompted 90% of countries surveyed to include mental health and psychosocial support — namely anxiety therapy — in their COVID-19 response plans, but gaps still remain.
Fortunately, that’s where companies like Calmerry come in, many of which are taking matters into their own hands to help solve this global mental health crisis. “This should be a wake-up call for nations to pay more attention to their mental health response, and at Calmerry, we’re doing our part to offer convenient and accessible anxiety therapy for all who need it.”
Online Self-Therapy Is Here to Stay
“It’s a pivotal time for mental health professionals–being able to provide quality care from anywhere, where therapists and clients acquire new-reality therapy experience,” says Vitchenko.
Truer words have never been spoken. While countries can do a better job of supporting their populations’ mental health, existing companies like Calmerry are already making strides to provide more effective and accessible mental health care at a time when it’s needed most.
For those who have looked into the online self-therapy space, you know just how difficult it can be to find the right platform to help you enact meaningful personal change. Companies like Calmerry are going above and beyond to find a sense of connection with their clients, and subsequently, build a life with greater meaning and less worry.