Whether you have been going to therapy for years and are looking to find something that fits better in your schedule or you are trying it out for the first time, deciding whether to do sessions in-person or online can be a tough choice.
On the one hand, in-person sessions give you a more immediate and tangible connection with your therapist. But on the other hand, online sessions make it extremely easy to make space in your schedule for a therapy session due to the fact that you can call from home.
So, how do you pick which therapy option is the right one for you? Truthfully, the only way to figure out which type of therapy is going to be the best for you is by thinking about what you need from your sessions. To help you determine which therapy method will be the best fit for your needs and lifestyle, we’re going to jump right into what makes each of these methods different.
This comparison and outlining of what makes in-person therapy and online therapy unique can help you pinpoint which option will offer you the largest benefit. So, without further ado, let’s get started with some key differences between in-person and online therapy!
What Are the Key Differences?
Now that you have a better understanding of what in-person and online therapy are, you may have an idea of which option might be a better fit for you. If you aren’t sure yet, don’t worry; here, we are going to cover the key differences between these two therapy options.
Sometimes simply learning about what something does not help you make a decision. Sometimes you need to take the time to highlight the differences one-on-one and see which of the options fits your needs the most. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do here.
The first key differentiating factor between online and in-person therapy is convenience. If you are looking for the most convenient way of having therapy sessions, online appointments are going to be the way to go.
In other words, if you have a busy schedule and you can never seem to find the time to get to your therapist’s office, then online therapy is probably a better option for you. Online therapy is also a great option if you do not have a consistent transportation schedule because you can have your sessions from home. Typically, online therapists also have more flexible schedules, so if you find that you can never find time during the day to make it to sessions, you may be able to find another time that works better for you.
The biggest difference between online and in-person sessions is the way that you communicate with your therapist. Online sessions typically do not allow your therapist to effectively pick up on your body language, facial expressions, or other nonverbal cues. This can make connecting with your therapist more challenging than if you had your session in their office.
This difference is most likely to be the most subjective one since not everyone communicates in the same way. While online therapy may not be a great fit for all patients and therapists, it can be just as effective as in-person therapy for some. Online therapy can be incredibly helpful in getting people more aware of their mental health and mental health care as it uses technology to help remove barriers for individuals who may not be able to or want to go into a therapist’s office in person.
But keep in mind that it is not for everyone. Some people require more of a physical interaction to feel connected, and if that sounds like you, online therapy may not be the most effective for your particular needs.
With enough research and comparison, you can likely find both online and in-person therapy options that fit your budget and needs. A lot of times, insurance plans will also cover some or all of the cost of your sessions if you select certain providers or therapists. We recommend checking with your insurance if you are looking to work with a therapist, and the cost is a concern because each insurance company has different rules and coverage. If you do not have insurance, some mental health professionals will offer a sliding scale of payment options.
Which Option Is Best for You?
The unfortunate truth is that we can’t tell you whether online or in-person therapy is better for you. Only you can determine which method of therapy will be most effective for your particular needs. But this does not mean that you may not get anything out of your less-preferred method. The goal is to find which one works best for you.
Of course, if you are having trouble deciding, you can always try both types of therapy and see how you feel after each one. Typically, this is the most effective way to truly decide which type of therapy is effective for you. This is because it gives you the opportunity to truly understand what both online and in-person therapy is like so you can make an informed decision.