It seems like everything has gone remote, including work and even spending time with friends and family in the past few years. Technology has allowed us to do everything we need to do from the comfort of our own homes, so why should therapy be any different? While many therapists’ offices were shut down during lockdown, they were still able to hold sessions via video conference platforms like Zoom and Google Meet, continuing to help their parents during some of the most emotionally straining times of their lives.
Online therapy is similar to in-person therapy. The only difference between your two options is that you can either get treatment in an office or enjoy it from the comfort of your own home. Some people prefer online therapy over in-person therapy, while others feel more likely to go to therapy if it happens online. This article will discuss online vs. in-person therapy to help you decide which is right for you based on your unique circumstances.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Online and In-Person Therapy
Both options for therapy can make remarkable differences in your mental health and teach you how to care for yourself better. The goal of therapy is to help you deal with your emotions and any present mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. That being said, people who aren’t diagnosed with mental illness can also benefit from therapy as it provides them with an outlet and someone to talk to about their problems. Here are factors to consider to help you choose between online and in-person therapy.
Having online therapy is much more convenient than going to therapy in an office. Online therapy might be a better option for you if you’re always pressed for time because you can have your session just about anywhere, including at home or even at your office.
Before you decide to have therapy online, consider how much time you have available for weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly appointments. Depending on your therapist, you might also have the option to have hybrid therapy, which would be a mix of in-person and online sessions.
Of course, some people enjoy getting ready and driving to therapy since it gives them more time to themselves. By visiting an office, therapy can give you a reason to get out of the house and spend some time thinking about yourself instead of all the things you have going on in your hectic life.
Those who decide to pursue therapy are typically committed to overcoming obstacles or problems in their lives. They simply want to learn how to manage stress and anxiety and be happier. No matter what, most people who go to therapy have a goal in mind, and you don’t want your therapy method getting in the way of achieving those goals. If your level of commitment to therapy might change depending on your chosen method, it’s always best to choose the platform that works best for you. For example, some people will be more committed to their therapy if they have a set appointment in person, while others will remain just as committed if they decide to have therapy online in the comfort of their own homes.
Relationship Building Preferences
If you’re someone who forms more meaningful bonds in person, you might prefer in-person therapy over online therapy simply because you prefer to get to know people outside of the digital world. Additionally, those who enjoy communicating through body language would also prefer to go to therapy in person because body language is not as easily read via video conferencing software. Of course, these preferences might depend on your age. Overall, younger people are more comfortable building relationships via messaging, smartphones, and video, while older generations prefer in-person communications and connections.
For your therapy, you’ll need a quiet space that’s free of distractions and allows you to focus on what you and your therapist are talking about so you can think deeply about your situation. For example, if you’re someone with a noisy family and a chaotic household, online therapy might not be for you unless you’re able to find a quiet room during your appointments. You can also choose to have your appointment during your lunch, in which case you should have your own office and ensure you won’t be bothered during that time.
If you’re interested in online therapy, consider if you can have the privacy necessary to have a successful session. Additionally, consider how likely you are to get distracted. It’s more difficult to get distracted in person than it is when you’re video conferencing. Your brain might be used to working on your laptop, so switching off when you need to attend your online therapy session can be hard.
Many online therapy websites are affordable, but you should be careful about the types of platforms you use because pricing models vary, and some therapists might be out of your insurance network. Additionally, online therapy can be more expensive than in-person therapy, depending on your insurance. Some online therapy providers charge a subscription fee for a specific number of appointments.
Which Is Right For Me?
Many people find success with both online and in-person therapy, and what you decide to do is a matter of preference; no option is better than the other. Before you can decide which therapy option is right for you, make sure to consider all of the factors outlined in this article. If you’re still unsure, consider looking for a therapist that offers online and in-person sessions. That way, if you’d like to experiment with your options, you can switch from online to in-person and vice-versa, depending on your preferences.
Regardless of your choice, always ensure you’re working with a licensed and certified therapist that you believe can help you. Some therapists specialize in certain areas, including children or families, while others take on various clients. Always vet your therapist to ensure you’re working with the right person to help you.
Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.