Many people have wondered, what is the difference between in-person vs online therapy, what’s right for me? The popularity of online therapy has grown significantly as an increase in online therapy options have become more readily available. More and more people are seeking online help and utilizing virtual sessions for mental health. While there are a number of benefits to virtual care, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, many people benefit more from live, in-person treatment options. Part of the appeal of online therapy is that it offers convenience and accessibility. Convenience may not lead people to the outcomes they are looking to achieve and there are instances where in-person therapy may be a better option. Here are some considerations where in-person therapy may be a more appropriate option than online therapy.
If you are seeking help for a mental health condition, such as addiction, bipolar disorder, anxiety or depression, in-person therapy is a better option. These conditions require structure, close monitoring, and face-to-face support. Learning to manage these issues in-person therapy helps to effectively detect any worsening symptoms during the course of treatment. Symptoms are often indicated by a person’s body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. This level of observation is difficult to achieve through online therapy. Additionally, for those who are struggling with certain issues, spending too much time at home or looking at screens may be tied to the problem faced.
Asking yourself the question is in-person vs online therapy, what’s right for me can be overwhelming. An advantage of in-person therapy is there is a greater opportunity to develop a more meaningful and interactive therapeutic relationship with your therapist or clinician. The therapeutic relationship is essential to the healing process and allows for direct feedback and deeper exploration, which can be limited in some of the available online options. Additionally, technology can pose a number of issues, such as poor internet connection, lack of privacy and other technological challenges.
With online therapy on the rise, accessibility has increased for some and many individuals are seeking help for mental health issues virtually. However, it is important to consider the benefits and disadvantages of online therapy when compared to in-person therapy options based on your individual needs. As always, asking for help is the first step to improving your mental health. Consult with your provider to identify the option that works best for you.