Therapy FAQ

The Benefits of Online Therapy

Online therapy, amid its growing popularity, provides accessibility and flexibility for those seeking support. Just as with traditional therapy, online therapy offers invaluable support for various life challenges, whether mental health struggles or navigating tough situations.

Author Generic Image By Grow Therapy

Updated on May 23, 2024

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Whether you’re coping with a mental health condition, dealing with a stressful job, navigating a difficult relationship, or anything in between, therapy is an amazing resource. A therapist can help you learn to manage your stressors, identify negative thought patterns, and develop healthier habits and ways of thinking – regardless of if your sessions are in-person or online.

You may have heard a lot about online therapy in the last couple of years, ever since COVID propelled us into a mostly virtual world. This resulted in a boom of telehealth services, including teletherapy, or online therapy.

Now that some therapists are back to the office and offering in-person sessions, you might be wondering if you should opt for the traditional therapy model or if you should give online therapy a go.

If you’re trying to decide if online therapy is right for you, here are some pros and cons to consider.

Why You Should Try Online Therapy

Online therapy has been a huge help for many people since it allows for newfound accessibility and ease. Here are six pros of online therapy.

1. It’s as effective as in-person therapy

While some people may be skeptical about the efficacy of online therapy, researchers have found that teletherapy is, in fact, just as effective as old-school in-person therapy. Various studies were conducted surrounding online therapy – even before the recent boom of teletherapy as a result of COVID – and the research has been promising. Along with determining that online therapy is effective, experts have found that there’s also a higher retention rate with online therapy as opposed to in-person therapy, meaning people in teletherapy are more likely to stick with treatment.

2. You have access to way more therapist options

When you’re looking for an in-person therapist, your options are limited based on your location and how far you’re willing to travel for your sessions. This can be a problem for people in smaller towns or rural regions, who may not have any therapists with the specialty or licensure they’re looking for nearby. Even those who live in bigger cities may still have trouble finding a therapist who’s a fit for exactly what they need. Opting for an online therapist gives you access to a much larger network of mental health professionals since you can work with a therapist who’s located anywhere within the state you reside. This means you’ll have a much better chance of finding a therapist who’s the best fit for you, whether you’re looking for someone who has a specific specialty, experience level, licensure, or background.

3. There’s less wait time to see a therapist

If you’re looking to make an appointment with an in-person therapist, you may need to wait weeks to have your first session. This is particularly common if the therapist is part of a clinic, group practice, or hospital network. On the flip side, online therapists typically have a much shorter wait time, and you can even schedule your first session within days. When you’re actively seeking help for your mental health, the last thing you want to do is wait weeks to be seen and start taking action.

4. It may be cheaper than in-person therapy

Cost is a major barrier to therapy for many people. Some therapists do not accept any form of insurance and can charge upwards of $200 a session. Cost varies greatly depending on their location, experience, and specialties. Finding a therapist who accepts insurance is much more budget-friendly. Every insurance plan is different, but you could pay a copay or even nothing, contingent on your plan’s benefits, deductible, and out-of-pocket maximum. Don’t hesitate to call up your insurance provider so you can learn about the specific mental health benefits of your plan. Many online therapists do accept insurance, making treatment more accessible since cost is less of an obstacle. All online therapists with Grow Therapy accept insurance.

5. You can have sessions without commuting

When seeing a therapist in person, you have to account not only for the duration of your session (which is usually 45 minutes to an hour) but also for how long it takes you to get to and from the appointment. Depending on how far away you live from your therapist, travel time could tack an hour or more onto your therapy time. Plus, you have to consider the cost of getting there, whether you’re taking public transportation or driving and paying for gas. Therefore, having no commute saves you both time and money –– and who doesn’t want that?

6. You’ll be in the comfort of your own home

Sure, in-person therapists make sure their office is comfortable and feels like a safe space for clients, but nothing is going to feel as comfortable as your own home. If you’re new to therapy, the idea of working with a therapist can feel daunting – but online therapy may feel a little less intimidating when you know you can have your session feeling comfy in your bedroom or living room, with your pet there, a nice warm beverage you’ve made for yourself, or whatever makes you feel the safest and most at-ease.

Considerations When Choosing Online Therapy

While there are so many amazing aspects of online therapy, there are still some cons you should consider. Here are four possible cons of online therapy.

Equipment or Connectivity Issues

As with anything else virtual, online therapy is subject to technical difficulties such as issues with your equipment or your internet. This may result in your therapy session being laggy or getting cut off temporarily.

Luckily, there is plenty you can do to troubleshoot any technical issues. You can call up tech support for your specific device or contact your internet provider so that you can get any issues sorted out. Other quick fixes include restarting your device, closing out of any additional programs on your computer that you aren’t using while you’re in therapy, or moving your computer closer to your WiFi router.

Privacy Within the Home

If you live with roommates, a partner, or your family, you might have concerns about them listening in on your session. This could potentially hold you back from sharing everything you’d like to in therapy. However, you can prevent this in a number of ways, including:

Personability

While in-person therapy may result in easy human-to-human connection and personability, this may be a bit more challenging with online therapy, especially if a therapist isn’t used to this form of therapy. However, remember that even with in-person therapy, it can take time to warm up to a therapist and build rapport. To increase your chances of having a great match, be sure to choose a therapist who has plenty of experience seeing clients virtually. This way, they’ll be skilled in creating connections online and know what techniques to use to make sure you feel comfortable with them.

No Transition Time

In-person therapy naturally comes along with some transition time both before and after the session, since you need to commute to the appointment, wait in a waiting room to be seen, and then commute back home. This is time you can use to prepare for your appointment and subsequently wind down from it. Virtual therapy may not inherently offer this benefit, but you can certainly add it yourself by allotting five to ten minutes before your session to make sure your technology is ready, get in the mindset for therapy, and make note of any specific talking points you’d like to bring up. Distance yourself from work or anything else you were doing before. Then, allow yourself five to ten minutes after your session to unwind, take any notes, get up and stretch, and prepare to get back to your day.

For many therapy-goers, the pros of online therapy greatly outweigh the potential cons. Teletherapy allows you to “go” to therapy in the comfort of your own home, saving you time and money, while also giving you more options of therapists to choose from than ever before.

Ready to take the first step and try online therapy out for yourself? You can search here through our community of in-network, qualified therapists and psychiatrists, or call our team at 1(786)244-7690 to book a virtual session today.

Frequently Asked Questions

This article is not meant to be a replacement for medical advice. We recommend speaking with a therapist for personalized information about your mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who can offer support and address any questions or concerns. If you or your child is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should dial 9-1-1 and/or go to the nearest emergency room.

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