When you talk about psychotherapy, the image that people recall is traditional in-person sessions, where the client sits on a comfy couch, in a relaxing office. While traditional in-person therapy is still the most predominate way that people access therapeutic services, telehealth is growing popularity and changing the way people can access therapy. Telehealth is a viable and convenient way to get help and support and below is some information you should consider when deciding which option that is best for you.
Teletherapy makes it possible for people to start or continue therapy, whether they are quarantined due to COVID-19, unable to leave home, or live in an area where treatment services are limited.
Benefits of In-Person Therapy
- Trust: The therapeutic relationship is based on trust, which can be harder to build online.
- Focus: Some people have an easier time focusing in their therapist’s office where they can eliminate work and home distractions.
- Insurance Coverage: Insurance providers are more likely to cover in-person therapy than online therapy. Regardless, it’s important to understand your insurance coverage and be aware of any out-of-pocket costs.
- No Reliance on Technology: In-person therapy means you don’t have to worry about technology affecting your session.
It’s also important to keep in mind that some mental health disorders may not be able to be treated in a virtual setting. For new or complex symptoms, direct treatment is recommended.
Disadvantages of In-Person Therapy
These are some reasons that someone may not prefer in-person therapy.
- Flexibility: In-person treatment is not as flexible or convenient as teletherapy. Scheduling an in-person session can be difficult if appointment availability is limited.
- Time: Getting to an appointment can take up a significant amount of time when accounting for travel. Some people may not have this time, especially if appointments fall during work hours.
- Stigma: Those who are hesitant to try therapy may be uncomfortable visiting an office.
Advantages of Online Therapy
Online therapy offers many advantages, such as:
- Convenience: Attend therapy anytime, anywhere.
- Accessibility: Teletherapy is ideal for those who can’t leave their homes or who live in remote areas where quality treatment is hard to find.
- Cost: Online therapy can eliminate related costs of treatment, such as travel or childcare.
- Reduced stigma: People can participate in therapy at home, where they may feel more comfortable discussing their mental health concerns.
Convenience and accessibility are two reasons that many choose teletherapy. With a phone, it’s easy to participate in treatment no matter where you are. If you are out of town, you don’t have to miss your session. You can still talk with your therapist.
Online counseling also enables people to see clinicians that don’t live within driving distance. Due to licensing laws I am able see clients via telehealth from anywhere in the state of California.
Disadvantages of Online Therapy
While there are many advantages, there are some reasons that people may not want to participate in online therapy:
- Cost: Online sessions are generally the same as in-person sessions. Additionally, insurance providers may not cover online treatment. Check with your insurance provider.
- Privacy: Teletherapy is held to the same HIPAA standards as in-person therapy, but understandably, people may have concerns about sharing information online.
- Technology: A bad internet signal or poor phone reception can hinder the therapeutic experience.
- Distractions: It can be harder to focus and eliminate at-home distractions.
Please feel free to contact me if have questions or need assistance in decreeing which option would be best for you.