When you think of therapy, you probably think of going to a small office lined with books and degrees where you’ll sit on a couch and talk about your feelings while a therapist jots down notes on a clipboard. While this may have been true in the past, times have changed. Thanks to modern technology, you don’t have to go anywhere. Sharing personal thoughts and feelings can be hard enough, without the added discomfort of being in an unfamiliar place. Now, you can have sessions wherever and whenever is most comfortable and convenient for you. In today’s modern digital age, technology has revolutionized the way we access services, including therapy. Online therapy, also known as virtual counseling, teletherapy, or e-therapy is a powerful and accessible alternative to traditional in-person counseling and has been shown to be just as effective as in-person sessions for a variety of concerns, including depression, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and panic attacks. All you need is reliable internet access and a phone, tablet, or computer. If you’ve considered therapy before, but changed your mind due to time constraints, stigma, or other barriers, online therapy may be the option for you. Here’s 6 benefits of virtual counseling!
1. Better Access to Care
There can be a number of factors that make it difficult for people to receive the care that they need, including accessibility in rural areas, limited transportation, and physical disabilities. Some mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety, can also make it hard to leave the house. And, even if you live in a city, you may have difficulty finding a therapist since the demand for services has increased. Virtual therapy makes it easier for people to access care regardless of location, socioeconomic status, or ability level.
2. Access to a Diverse Pool of Therapists
Aside from the accessibility issues discussed above, online therapy allows you to have access to a larger pool of qualified therapists. Perhaps you want a therapist who specializes in a particular concern, like trauma, identity development, or couples counseling, or a therapist with experience in a particular approach, like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy, or the Gottman Method. Access to a broader selection of therapists allows you to find one whose expertise and approach align best with your unique needs and preferences.
3. Enhanced Convenience and Flexibility
Aside from accessibility, one of the most significant benefits of virtual therapy is convenience. You don’t have to worry about how to fit it into your busy schedule, travel time, or rearranging family or work responsibilities. You can schedule it at a time that works best for you, whether that’s while you’re having your morning coffee, during your lunch break, or at home after a busy day. And you don’t have to worry about making an extra stop!
4. Increased Privacy and Reduced Stigma
Despite improvement in mental health awareness and education, there is still a stigma related to mental health treatment. Many people who may be interested in therapy delay treatment due to concern about social stigma. Online therapy allows people to receive treatment without having to worry about the possibility of running into someone you know, like friends, coworkers, or neighbors.
5. More Comfortable
Meeting with someone new and opening up about personal thoughts and feelings can be difficult and being in an unfamiliar setting can add to the discomfort. A way to ease that discomfort is by having sessions in a familiar space. A benefit of online therapy is that you can have sessions wherever you feel most comfortable, whether that’s cozied up on the couch with your dog or cat, in an oversized reading chair with your favorite cup of coffee or tea, in the backyard soaking up some sunlight and fresh air, or your quiet private office. Some people even find that the increased comfort associated with being in their own space allows them to open up and share more than they would in a therapy office.
6. Consistent Support Across Transitions
Life is constantly changing, and people are more mobile than they used to be. You may find yourself moving for work, school, or to be closer to loved ones and want some extra support during this transition. If you’ve already established a trusting therapeutic relationship, it can be hard to end and start over with someone new. With online counseling, if you move to a new city within the same state, you can continue seeing your same therapist. And you may even be able to continue seeing the same therapist in a different state, if your therapist is licensed in multiple states or a member of PsyPact, providing consistent support, stability, and continuity in times of change.
So there you have it! Online therapy can be just as effective as in-person sessions and offers many advantages over traditional sessions, including great accessibility, convenience, therapy options, privacy, comfort, and consistency. If you’ve been considering counseling, online therapy is a great way to give it a try while still having some of your personal comforts by your side!