Online therapy vs. in person therapy. Which one is right for you? As someone who advocates for mental wellness, I understand that seeking therapy can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to navigate the mental and emotional hurdles that come with therapy, but you also have to choose between online therapy and in-person therapy. In this article, we will compare the advantages and limitations of online therapy versus in-person therapy, so you can make an informed decision on which one is right for you.
Table of Contents
Advantages Of Online Therapy
Convenience And Flexibility Of Online Therapy
One of the biggest advantages of online therapy is the convenience and flexibility it offers. You can attend therapy sessions from anywhere, as long as you have a stable internet connection. This means you don’t have to worry about traveling to a therapist’s office, which can save you time and money. Additionally, online therapy sessions can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you, which makes it easier to fit therapy into your busy schedule.
Another advantage of online therapy is its affordability. Online therapy is typically less expensive than in-person therapy, which can make it more accessible to people who cannot afford traditional therapy. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about additional expenses such as travel or parking fees.
Increased Access To Therapy | Online Therapy Vs. In Person Therapy
Online therapy vs in person therapy gives increased access to therapy. Some people live in areas where there are limited mental health resources, making it difficult to find a therapist nearby. With online therapy, you have access to therapists from all over the world. Additionally, online therapy reduces the stigma associated with therapy, which may make it easier for some people to seek help.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that online therapy was just as effective as in-person therapy for treating depression and anxiety disorders. This study supports the idea that online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy, and may even have some advantages in terms of accessibility and convenience.
Limitations of Online Therapy
One of the limitations of online therapy is technical issues. Online therapy sessions depend on technology, and technical issues such as poor internet connection can interrupt sessions, which can be frustrating and disrupt the therapeutic process.
Lack of Face-to-Face Interaction
Another limitation of online therapy is the lack of face-to-face interaction. Building rapport with a therapist can be challenging in an online setting, as it can be difficult to read non-verbal cues. Additionally, limited non-verbal cues can make it difficult for therapists to assess your mental state accurately.
Limited Scope of Treatment
Online therapy also has a limited scope of treatment. It may not be suitable for severe mental health issues, and some therapeutic techniques may not be available in an online setting.
Advantages of In-Person Therapy
Stronger Therapeutic Relationship
One of the advantages of in-person therapy is the stronger therapeutic relationship that can be developed. Personal connections with the therapist can be established, which can enhance the therapeutic process. Additionally, the ability to read non-verbal cues can help therapists assess your mental state accurately.
More Comprehensive Treatment
In-person therapy also provides more comprehensive treatment. Therapists have access to a wider range of therapeutic techniques, which can be tailored to your specific needs. Additionally, in-person therapy is suitable for severe mental health issues that may not be suitable for online therapy.
Consistent Therapy Environment
In-person therapy provides a consistent therapy environment. A dedicated therapy space can be established, which can create a safe and supportive environment for therapy sessions. Additionally, there are no technical issues to worry about.
Limitations of In-Person Therapy
One of the biggest limitations of in-person therapy is scheduling conflicts. It can be difficult to find a therapist who has availability that fits into your schedule. Additionally, attending in-person therapy sessions can require significant time and travel, which can be a barrier for people with busy schedules or limited mobility. Finally, there may be concerns around privacy and confidentiality when attending in-person therapy sessions, as you may be seen by others entering or leaving the therapist’s office.
When it comes to choosing between online therapy and in-person therapy, you may have some questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and their answers:
How often should you go to therapy?
The frequency of therapy sessions depends on your individual needs and the severity of the issues you’re facing. In general, most people start with weekly sessions and then gradually decrease the frequency as they begin to make progress. However, some people may benefit from more frequent sessions, while others may only need therapy on an as-needed basis. It’s important to discuss your therapy schedule with your therapist to ensure you’re getting the support you need.
What are the side effects of therapy?
Therapy is generally considered safe and effective for treating a wide range of mental health conditions. However, some people may experience mild side effects such as emotional discomfort or fatigue after therapy sessions. These side effects usually go away within a few hours or days after the session. It’s important to communicate any concerns or discomfort with your therapist so that they can adjust your treatment as needed.
Is online therapy better than in-person therapy?
Both online therapy and in-person therapy have their own unique benefits and drawbacks. Online therapy is convenient and accessible, allowing you to receive treatment from the comfort of your own home. It’s also often more affordable than in-person therapy. However, some people may feel that online therapy lacks the personal connection and intimacy of in-person therapy. In-person therapy, on the other hand, allows for face-to-face interaction with your therapist, which can be more effective for some people. Ultimately, the choice between online and in-person therapy depends on your individual preferences and needs. It’s important to discuss your options with your therapist and choose the type of therapy that works best for you.
For more check out my post on the things I learned in therapy and how it has helped me over the years.
Or check out my post on Adult ADHD and other emotional disorder with Dr. Dara here.
And if you need more help –
As you know I’m a huge proponent of Mental wellness and ensuring we all get the help we need when we need it. And of course, I don’t want you just to get any help I want you to get the right help so I am now sponsored by BetterHelp.
BetterHelp is the world’s largest therapy service, and it’s 100% online.
BetterHelp offers a network of over 25,000 licensed and experienced therapists who can help you with a wide range of issues.
Just click on the link below, answer a few questions and get matched with a therapist from the network.
One of the most amazing features of BetterHelp, if you don’t jive with your therapist you can switch to a new one that’s a better fit for you any time free of charge.
With BetterHelp, you get the same professionalism and quality you expect from in-office therapy, but with a therapist who is custom-picked for you, more scheduling flexibility, and at a more affordable price.
Be sure to check out this in depth guide you are stuck and struggling and not sure what kind of therapist you need.