This comparison of online therapy and in-person therapy can help you make the right choice for you. Together, you and your counselor can build a path to recovery.
At its core, counseling is about a trusting relationship. A therapist begins by creating a safe, private environment for you. Where and how that environment is created is the difference between teletherapy and traditional counseling.
Some people feel more comfortable with traditional counseling, held in a private room (usually an office setting) with a live person. Being present with another person in a place outside your normal environment can feel more safe and real.
Others may prefer online therapy, also known as teletherapy. Teletherapy sessions happen over the internet using video, voice, email or text messages. The computer screen can feel like a layer of protection. This barrier can help a person feel safer as they get to know their counselor. Some people may feel more comfortable inside their own home than an office.
Once trust starts to build, it matters less whether it is in-person or online. Your preference may depend more on convenience, cost and finding a good match. Both in-person and teletherapy can be equally beneficial for your mental health and help you develop a deep connection with your counselor. Together, you and your counselor can build a path to recovery.
Both online and in-person therapy have merits and drawbacks. Neither one is perfect; you may prefer one over the other. In the end, it matters most that you find treatment you can stick with. This comparison of online therapy and in-person therapy can help you make the right choice for you.
Consider online therapy if these benefits sound appealing or meet your needs:
Online therapy does have drawbacks that you may need to consider:
In-person therapy, a traditional counseling option, can offer different benefits:
If you decide to start in-person therapy, keep these obstacles in mind:
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, consider looking into some type of counseling therapy. When considering online counseling vs. face-to-face therapy, both have their benefits and drawbacks. Having multiple options makes it easier than ever to start counseling for a substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health conditions.
Wagnera, Birgit; Horn, Andrea B; Maercker, Andreas. “Internet-based versus face-to-face cognitive-behavioral intervention for depression: A randomized controlled non-inferiority trial.” Journal of Affective Disorders, January 2014. Accessed March 28, 2020.
Dowell, N. M., & Berman, J. S. “Therapist Nonverbal Behavior and Perceptions of Empathy, Alliance, and Treatment Credibility.” Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 2013. Accessed March 28, 2020.
Seeking addiction treatment can feel overwhelming. We know the struggle, which is why we’re uniquely qualified to help.
Your call is confidential, and there’s no pressure to commit to treatment until you’re ready. As a voluntary facility, we’re here to help you heal — on your terms. Our sole focus is getting you back to the healthy, sober life you deserve, and we are ready and waiting to answer your questions or concerns 24/7.