Pros & Cons of Online Therapy
Just like anything else, there are pros and cons to online therapy. Evaluating both sides can help you better determine if online therapy service is something you want to pursue. It’ll help you answer the question: is online therapy effective for my needs?
“One unique benefit of online therapy that I see is that you can see your therapist from the comfort and convenience of your home. You don’t have to take time out of your very busy day to commute to a therapy session; instead, online therapy fits into your life. And it’s often much more affordable than in-person therapy”
Talkspace therapist Kate Rosenblatt, MA, LPC, LMHC
Of the many pros that online therapy has to offer, perhaps one of the biggest is convenience. Online therapy means the distance to a therapist is no longer a factor in receiving care. Other pros include:
- If privacy is a concern, many online sites allow you to use a nickname.
- Even those in rural areas can have easier access to therapy.
- Transportation issues are no longer a concern.
- No commute or traffic concerns with a video session.
- Cost may be much cheaper than when compared to in-person treatment.
- Convenient and flexible scheduling options, so you can book an online session when you need one.
- No need to worry about others seeing you at the appointment.
- If you’re embarrassed about what you’re seeking therapy for, there may be some comfort in not having to be face-to-face with a therapist.
- Especially for those with social anxiety, online options can be extremely helpful.
“For people struggling with anxiety, online therapy can help us learn some crucial skills to both manage and decrease their anxiety symptoms. Imagine having a better handle on symptoms like rumination, or trouble sleeping? It can make a world of a difference.”
Talkspace therapist Kate Rosenblatt, MA, LPC, LMHC.
Of course, there are drawbacks to most things, and online therapy is no different. For example, online therapy may not be suitable for those with extreme mental health conditions like suicidal thoughts, self-harm practices, or psychosis. Other times that online counseling may not be as effective include:
- Lack of body language and cues might make diagnoses difficult for some therapists.
- Unfortunately, someone who’s not fully accredited to offer therapy might pose as a licensed therapist — which is one reason it’s so essential to use a trusted, reputable online site or provider.
- Technological issues can be problematic, including Internet issues, dropped calls, or frozen screens that can interrupt a video session.
- Therapists who aren’t as tech-savvy may have issues conducting productive sessions.
- Some people may find it difficult to bond and connect with their therapist when meeting virtually.
- Potential for sessions to be interrupted by children, pets, visitors, or other at-home distractions.
- May not be as engaging for younger children or adolescents.
- In the event of an extreme crisis, it may be more difficult for a therapist to intervene.
So, does online therapy work? At the end of the day, it really just depends on your needs, your goals, and your comfort zone. Online therapy can be an amazing way to comfortably confront your mental health challenges and work on yourself. For many people, it’s exactly what they’ve been looking for to become a happier, healthier version of themselves.
Online therapy can help with some of the following conditions:
Mental health care is important and there are many options to finding a virtual therapist or counselor for the best treatment.