People have always said that there were certain goods and services that could never be traded over the Internet. Time has proven these theories to be wrong, of course. This is an age where ordering a car online can be as simple as placing an order on Amazon. Another area where people have been skeptical about the ability of the online world to deliver is in therapy.
Now, of course, time has once again proven this to be wrong-headed. You can find a range of online psychologists today who provide high-quality counselling and therapy services catering to a huge number of people. How does it compare with in-person counselling? What are the pros and cons of each one? We will think about that further below.
Online Therapy is More Flexible
When you book a session of in-person therapy, then you have to be at that designated place at the time appointed, which means your therapy in reality takes a larger chunk out of your day. Online therapy cuts out the travel time, which is handy, but also means you can be in any place that you find the most comfortable to conduct your therapy session.
With in-person therapy, there’s little wiggle room, but with the online option, you can be in a certain room of your house, or in another quiet space that you find is helpful to getting you in the right mindset. That’s the choice that online therapy offers. When you don’t have to factor in travel time, it opens up more of your schedule as well.
It’s Easier to be Candid Online
Even when sitting in a quiet and very private therapist’s office talking to someone one-on-one, it can be quite a daunting task to open up and start talking about your problems. There’s a reason that online discussions in general tend to be more open and frank, and that’s because there’s a sense of a safety net provided by the screen and distance between you. Even in a video chat, everything being online and you being in familiar surroundings make it easier to open up and speak candidly.
Ultimately, that can help to make your course of counselling or therapy more effective and possibly in fewer sessions. If you spend the first few in-person sessions resisting or clamming up, then it can take longer to achieve any breakthrough moments.
There is No “Effectiveness Gap” with Online Therapy
Some continue to claim that in-person therapy is always more effective than online therapy, but there is evidence to suggest that this is not the case. It is still relatively early days for the world of online therapy, of course, but it seems that the nay-sayers are steadily being proven wrong and that online counselling offers excellent and effective options for people seeking help.
Online Therapy Widens the Market
Further above, we touched on the fact that therapy being online helps people to more easily open up and speak candidly, and that online options are more flexible with time and location. When you put these two factors together, you end up with an option that is more appealing to many kinds of people who otherwise might never seek therapy when experiencing various problems.
People sometimes don’t want to go to a therapist’s office because they’re afraid of being seen there, either walking into the building or being recognized by another patient or member of staff in the office. The power of the stigma and embarrassment people feel is very real and very potent. The online option further enhances the natural layer or privacy that surrounds regular therapy and counselling sessions.