Is online therapy right for you? Here are the pros and cons

Online therapy is a great way to access a licensed therapist from the comfort of your home, but it’s not for everyone. Here’s a short list of the pros and cons of online therapy to see if it’s right for you!

Pros

1. Online therapy can be more accessible

Online therapy offers access to mental health treatment for those that live in areas with few or no mental health practices.  Additionally, driving to the brick-and-mortar location takes time, and some people may not be able to take time off from work to go to the physical location and sit for an hour at an appointment. Some people even attend their online therapy sessions in their car.

2. A larger selection of therapists

Clients aren’t limited to therapists in close proximity. Instead, through the descriptions provided online, clients can find a therapist that specializes in areas best suited for them without having to drive hours away to get the help they need.

3. You may feel more comfortable sharing information

In-office therapy can heighten anxiety – sitting in the waiting room, filling out paperwork, seeing who else is waiting to go into their therapy session. Therapy sessions from home can alleviate some of that anxiety because you can “go” to therapy in your sweatpants. Also, if you get emotional in your session, you don’t have to worry about walking back through the waiting room with teary eyes and seeing other clients.

Cons

1. Difficulty connecting with your therapist

It’s safe to say that, as magical as technology can be, it does create a barrier when picking up on nonverbal cues like eye contact or body language. Some people feel that in-office therapy is more beneficial because the therapist can get a clearer picture of their feelings, thoughts and behaviors based on these non verbal cues.

2. Technical issues

As previously stated, technology is amazing, but it has its flaws. It’s possible that in the middle of a therapy session, the internet can fail, the wifi goes out, or there’s a glitch in the system being used by the therapist’s office. It happens but can be frustrating. 

3. Delayed response to crisis situations

Since online therapists are not with the client, it can be difficult to respond quickly, should the patient need direct assistance (i.e., suicidal thoughts, personal tragedy). 

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

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