No matter what your relationship to therapy, a common question for many people seeking mental health services is about the differences between online therapy vs in-person therapy. Especially in the era of COVID-19, it makes sense to explore whether you’ll get the same treatment outcomes if you go to your counsellor’s office, have sessions over video or email, or talk to them over the phone.
Depending on your circumstances, online therapy might be just as effective, or more effective, as in-person therapy for a few different reasons:
For folks who experience health concerns that prevent them from leaving home to access face-to-face therapy, or who face accessibility barriers in commuting to their counsellor’s office, online therapy can be a welcome alternative.
With online therapy, you’re able to receive the same level of care as you would in person, with the added peace of mind of using a preferred communication method. This can be often personalized between you and your therapist based on your individual needs and preferences.
Comfort and familiarity
Online therapy is a great option for people who prefer to access mental health support from their own space. This can allow for more flexibility in everything from clothing to food and drink, comfort items, ambiance, and beyond.
Scheduling and commuting
Sometimes the most challenging logistical challenge of in-person therapy is making time and getting there. With online therapy, you’re able to schedule and attend sessions that fit with your life. Plus, without the added time constraints of commuting, you end up taking less time away from your busy schedule. Some online therapy practitioners often offer online therapy with this in mind and may have extended working hours to accommodate clients’ lifestyles.
Privacy is a fundamental part of any mental health practitioner’s work, and you might even think about the role of privacy for yourself. Some people who are seeing a therapist in person worry about being recognized in the waiting area, while others would rather not field questions about why they’re leaving work early. By using online therapy, you can protect your privacy and quell some of those worries about unintended disclosure.
That being said, online therapy comes with its own set of considerations around privacy. To the best of your ability, make sure you have your session in a place that’s private, comfortable, and where you won’t be interrupted. You should feel just as empowered in your communication there as you would be in your counselling office.
Do note that online therapy isn’t suitable for every person and every issue that arises. To talk more about what online therapy might look like for you, please reach out using the contact form below for a free consultation.
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If I had to wager a guess, you’re here to figure out whether I am a good fit to be your therapist. The fastest way to do that is to schedule a free consultation, and go from there!