Online therapy can be an effective and convenient way to access mental health services. But that doesn't mean it's right for everyone. Whether online therapy is right for you depends on your condition and the severity of your symptoms. Online counseling works well for people seeking mental health support.
People can access virtual therapy from anywhere via text message, email, video, or phone call. Yes, online therapy, specifically connecting with a therapist via video conference or even over the phone, can be appropriate and effective in many cases. There is no difference in patient satisfaction depending on whether the therapy is done online or in person, and for any of the methods of receiving therapy, the results are better the more sessions a person attends. Because of social distancing requirements, most therapies are now conducted through online video chat programs, rather than a traditional in-person meeting.
Online and in-person therapy options allow more people to access mental health care than ever before. Seeing an online therapist from the comfort and safety of your home can often help you to open up, be more vulnerable and better cope with difficult emotions that may arise during a therapy session. If you have reliable access to the Internet, online therapy gives you relatively quick and easy access to treatment that otherwise wouldn't have been available to you. Online therapy also allows you to communicate with a qualified specialist from anywhere in the world, while avoiding the expense, travel time, and hassle of having to meet in person.
Any of these methods can help reduce the cost of online therapy and make it as affordable as it is convenient. Online therapy may require you to research the privacy policies of video and messaging platforms to protect your information. Hosted by editor-in-chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares the pros and cons of online therapy. Some online therapy services even offer free tests so you can test your interaction with a therapist to determine if it's right for you.
Some therapists offer online therapy through their own private offices, while others use third-party websites or directories to connect with patients. You don't need to have a clinically diagnosed condition to benefit from talking to a professional, and online therapy can be an easy way to start. In addition to the importance of face-to-face interaction, there are other aspects to consider when comparing online and face-to-face therapy. If you're ready to discuss your online therapy options, here are some tips to help you determine in advance if a provider or platform is safe and qualified to meet your mental health needs.