It has been well over a year now since the start of COVID-19. Since then, the world has been forced to have little to no social interactions. So many of us to have to do our education, jobs, and socialization through technology. As businesses and companies begin to reopen, some therapists have been offering in-person sessions. If you are already receiving therapy or would like to start therapy, you may be asking yourself, “Do I want to do in-person therapy or do I want to do online therapy?” At the end of the day, this decision is based on your preferences and what is best for you. And it is helpful to know more about your options. So let’s go over the benefits of online therapy more specifically.
Five Benefits of Online Therapy
1- No travel time
If you live in the DMV area, you know a 10 mile drive can end up being a 45+ minute drive. Going to a 50-minute therapy session can actually be a 2+ hour commitment for many. The benefit of doing online therapy is that your travel time can be as little as 5 seconds, meaning that you are taking 5 seconds to walk in one room to the next to have your session! Not to mention, the money you will be saving on gas!
2- More Availability
Squeezing in a 50-minute therapy session in the day can be very difficult for some. Particularly for those who work full-time and also raise a family. One of the major benefits to online therapy is having the ability to schedule sessions that fit your life. Online also provides more opportunities for your therapist to have flexibility for scheduling.
3- More consistent and frequent sessions
Having the ability to do online therapy also lessens the chances of having to cancel your session for unexpected circumstances. There are times where therapy sessions need to be canceled due to other commitments and responsibilities. Online therapy can make it easier to work around other commitments. Furthermore, there is a better chance to reschedule your session in the same week so that you are not missing a week of therapy.
4- Greater personal comfort
Online therapy reduces the risk of COVID-19 exposure, so you can continue to practice social distracing and feel safe. You also have the ability to choose where you would like to have your therapy session. Opening up and being vulnerable in an unfamiliar setting can be very difficult. Choosing to have your therapy session in a space you feel comfortable can make this process a little easier. If you struggle with social anxiety, going into social settings may not be an option for you early on in your therapy process. Online therapy can be a great first step where you can start therapy in your home and work on overcoming your anxiety before practicing.
5- Warming up to attend face-to face-therapy sessions in the future
We are all hopeful that social distancing and the fear of COVID-19 won’t last forever. We are looking forward to things going “back to normal” and being able to have those face-to-face interactions with others again. Some of you may have doubted and had fears about attending therapy sessions before “the world” of online therapy. Getting your feet wet and trying out online therapy could help you to feel more comfortable about therapy and maybe be able to attend face-to-face therapy sessions in the future.
As with anything, there are also some cons to online therapy.
Thereare serious mental health issues that should not be treated via telehealth. It will be important to disclose all mental health symptoms with your therapist to ensure that you are receiving the appropriate level of treatment.
- Some insurance companies that do not cover online therapy services.
- Most states required that the client is located in the same state in which a therapist is licensed. This can limit availability of therapists.
- Because information is being shared online, there are always risks where privacy can be leaked or hacked.
- Lack of internet connection or other technical issues can make it difficult to access treatment.
- Online therapy can inhibit a therapist’s ability to see facial expressions, vocal signals, or body language, which are helpful signs for therapists to see/hear when providing treatment. This is especially challenging in couples or family therapy.
If you are interested in starting online therapy with Montgomery County Counseling Center in Maryland:
- Check out this blog that gives you specific tips on ways to make online therapy more effective.
- Contact us and denote your preference for virtual sessions
- Get started with online therapy today!
About The Author
Kristen Moyer, LCPC is a licensed clinical professional counselor with Montgomery County Counseling Center in Maryland. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from West Chester University (PA) in 2010 and continued on to earn her Master’s Degree in Professional Clinical Counseling from La Salle University (PA) in 2014. In 2017, she began working with children and adolescents who struggle with education and their behavior in a school setting and has since evolved to working with adolescents and young adults in DBT settings. Kristen became EMDR trained in June of 2021. Kristen is currently accepting EMDR and DBT clients ages 12 and up for online therapy.