Is Online Psychotherapy Effective? (Pros and Cons)

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Published Date|
August 20, 2022

Is Online Psychotherapy Effective? (Pros and Cons)

When most people think of psychotherapy, they often imagine a stuffy office with a desk, a couch, and a soft-spoken person listening to them pour out their worries and sorrows.

For some, that can be an intimidating thought! Choosing what to wear to therapy, figuring out how to get to your therapist's office, and sitting in a waiting room until they're ready to see you can feel overwhelming.

The good news is that if you hate the idea of going to see a therapist in-person, there are more options available than ever for online therapy.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, online therapy saw a huge incline due to public safety. But even before that, plenty of people were already utilizing online therapy as an alternative to in-person therapy for many different reasons. It's convenient, accessible, and you can even see a therapist from the comfort of your home.

But does online therapy work - and is it as effective as in-person therapy?

At KMA Therapy, we’ve helped hundreds of people get the help they need through video sessions with our therapy team. We're here to help you understand how online therapy works so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it's the right choice for you.

By the end of this article, you’ll know what online therapy is, the pros and cons of online therapy, and the next steps to take for finding a great online therapist.

What is Online Therapy?

Online therapy is just like in-person therapy, except it takes place through online forms of communication. Online psychotherapy doesn’t have one specific “right way” to be done.

Just like the different modalities of psychotherapy, there are different means of receiving counselling. Instead of sitting in front of you, your therapist provides counselling services through online aids.

Different forms of online therapy include:

  • Email
  • Online chat
  • Therapy apps
  • Text messaging
  • Video conferencing (i.e Zoom, Google Meets, or the Jane App)

Although it may not be your first thought when it comes to therapy, online psychotherapy in any of these forms has been known to benefit people all around the world.

Why Do Some People Choose Online Therapy?

For some, online therapy is a better option for a multitude of reasons listed below. It’s important to remember that just like everyone learns in different ways, people receive help in different ways.

Sometimes it can be uncomfortable, intimidating, or just inconvenient to travel to a therapist, and talk about topics that might trigger you.

why choose online therapy?

Instead, online therapy provides a more convenient means for communication that often can take place from the comfort of your own home.

This can make it easier to be vulnerable, or provide access to therapy to people who live too far from mental health services.

Pros and Cons of Online Therapy

There are plenty of reasons why online therapy is great, but also some things you might want to consider when deciding which type of therapy is right for you.

Exploring the pros and cons of online therapy can help you learn more about whether it will work for you.

Four Pros of Online Therapy:

1. It can be less intimidating: If you feel uncomfortable about the thought of going to a therapist's office and speaking openly, online therapy can make you feel more secure.

2. Broader choice of therapists: If you live in a remote or rural area, online therapy can help you have access to a wider range of therapists.

3. More accessibility: If you have accessibility needs that make it difficult or inconvenient to travel to a therapist's office, online therapy lets you communicate from the comfort of your own home.

4. Convenience: You can choose to have your session from wherever you'd like. Some people like to do therapy from their living room, from their bed, or even while taking a walk outside!

Four Cons of Online Therapy:

1. Technology issues: If you have any wifi or internet issues, this can cause miscommunications or delays during your therapy sessions.

2. Insurance issues: Depending on what type of online therapy you're interested in, it may not be covered by insurance (online therapy provided by local therapy offices usually is covered, but apps like BetterHelp are not)

3. Not suitable for all mental health issues: Online therapists cannot usually assist with immediate mental health crises, and in-person therapy is typically better for issues like addiction or complex mental health issues)

4. Can lack emotional connection: Sometimes it can feel harder to connect emotionally online as you can't read body language as well online

While there are both pros and cons to online therapy, most people who utilize online therapy do so for accessibility reasons, convenience, price, or personal comfort level.

Regardless of your reason, online therapy can be a great alternative to in-person therapy for many people.

So, Does Online Therapy Work?

You found this article and you want to know if online therapy works.

The answer - yes, online therapy has proven to be just as effective as in-person therapy for most clinical and non-clinical issues. 

Online therapy can be useful for issues like:

  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Some mood disorders
  • Brief solution-based needs

If you're experiencing more complex mental health symptoms, including changes in your personality, changes in your sleeping and eating habits, and difficulties completing your daily tasks, it can be best to seek help from a medical professional about the best option for you.

Next Steps for Beginning Online Therapy

In this article, you learned what online therapy is, the pros and cons, and how to know if it’s the right fit for you.

You may have tried in-person therapy and found it inconvenient, inaccessible, or generally uncomfortable. But don’t let that stop you from getting the help you need in the way you need it. 

Here at KMA, we offer both online and in-person therapy options. Our experienced team is here to provide you with a customized therapy plan to help you reach your goals, regardless of which option you choose.

Register online or contact our team directly to book an introductory appointment.

If you’re looking to learn a little bit more about therapy, here are a few more great articles to read:

About the Author

Tre is KMA's rockstar recruiter. As a podcast host and entrepreneur, he’s learned to utilize both creativity and charisma to help remove walls between employer and employee, while creating a space for transparency and authenticity.

Author |
Tre Reid
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