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8 Reasons to Consider Online Therapy
The cost and convenience of online therapy is very appealing, but there are other benefits you may not be aware of.
8 Reasons to Consider Online Therapy
The cost and convenience of online therapy is very appealing, but there are other benefits you may not be aware of.
September 23, 2021 / Helen Brown
8 Reasons to Consider Online Therapy
The cost and convenience of online therapy is very appealing, but there are other benefits you may not be aware of.
September 23, 2021 / Helen Brown

8 Reasons to Consider Online Therapy

The rise of mental health conditions around the world has brought a growing demand for mental health treatment

Online therapy offers an accessible and affordable treatment option that has been a lifeline for many people, particularly during the pandemic, when face-to-face therapy has not been possible.

Your choice to seek online versus in-person therapy is a very personal one. It will likely depend on numerous factors, such as how severe your current issues are, the cost of treatment, how soon you’d like to receive help, and how easy it is to access.

In this article, we’ll run through some of the main advantages of online therapy to help you to weigh up whether it’s the right choice for you.

Cost

The cost of an in-person therapy session can range between $75 and $150 (although it can be more), whereas you can find online therapy subscriptions for $35-$80 a week, depending on the services you select

Face-to-face therapy can be much pricier than online therapy for several reasons. One study found face-to-face therapy demanded nearly 8 times more therapist time than online cognitive behavioral therapy. As well as being more time-efficient, it typically incurs fewer overheads for online therapists, such as the cost of renting a room, so they’re able to offer treatment at a more affordable price

As effective as in-person therapy for certain conditions

There are numerous instances where online therapy may be just as effective as face-to-face therapy. For example, research suggests electronically delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is at least as effective as face-to-face CBT for reducing depressive symptoms [5]. Online CBT also appears to be equally beneficial as face-to-face CBT for treating a range of anxiety disorders

Other research has indicated online CBT and face-to-face CBT are equally effective for the treatment of social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, male sexual dysfunction, insomnia, tinnitus, body dissatisfaction, depressive symptoms, fibromyalgia, and snake and spider phobia

However, online therapy is not suitable for everyone or every condition. For people experiencing a mental health crisis, those with serious or complex psychiatric conditions, or who are at risk of harming themselves or others, in-person therapy and other interventions are more appropriate

Our Top 3 Online Therapy Services

#1
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Pros
  • Patients matched to therapists based on their needs
  • Affordable pricing
  • Online format offers convenience and ease of scheduling
  • Patients can change therapists as desired
Cons
  • Must pay for four weeks of therapy upfront
  • Therapist availability may be limited due to high demand
BetterHelp provides a convenient option for people who want mental health counseling but can’t (or don’t wish to) see a therapist in person. For a weekly subscription, clients can access virtual video, phone, or text therapy sessions with licensed professionals. The price is more affordable for many patients than in-person therapy, and the financial aid plans make the service even more accessible to a wide range of people.
#2
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Pros
  • Fully licensed therapists specializing in the LGBTQ+ community
  • Unlimited messaging, plus live chat, phone and video sessions
  • Financial aid available for those who meet certain criteria
  • Dedicated iOS and Android apps (contact your therapist anywhere)
  • Comprehensive and inclusive therapist matching questionnaire
Cons
  • No choice of pricing plans or payment terms
  • No phone or chat support for technical problems
Pride Counseling offers a solution to LGBTQ+ members looking to improve their well-being and life satisfaction. This is the case whether your personal difficulties stem from your sexual or gender identity or not. The inclusive and comprehensive questionnaire and large network usually make for a good match between individuals and therapists, and you can request a new therapist free of charge at any time. The prices are on par with competitors, which is pretty impressive given the specialized requirements of Pride Counseling’s therapists and their familiarity with (or membership of) the LGBTQ+ community. Unlimited messaging, chat, phone and video calling, all with solid encryption, also make for reliable, safe, and private conversations. If you’re looking for therapy that takes into account your LGBTQ+ identity, this may be a good solution for you.
#3
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Pros
  • Get matched to a licensed online couples therapist quickly
  • Unlimited messaging, plus live chat, phone and video sessions
  • Extra privacy tools to ensure confidentiality and control of your data
  • Meet or talk with your therapist individually or as a couple
Cons
  • Three-way live sessions (3 different locations) not supported
  • The platform does not regulate counselor services
  • No live chat for assistance on the site
We all encounter relationship issues from time to time, and sometimes we need a little help to work things out. ReGain is a convenient, discreet, and affordable couples therapy platform, which uses a thorough assessment to match individuals and couples with a therapist that suits their needs and preferences. All therapists are licensed practitioners with a range of expertise. But what unites them is their interest and experience in working with couples and individuals.

Convenience

One of the most obvious benefits of online therapy is that you get to experience it from the comfort of your own home. This makes it far easier to fit sessions around your commitments and schedule appointments at times that work best for you. Online therapy can also usually be accessed via an app on smartphones and tablets, so wherever you go, you can take therapy with you.

Accessibility

Many people find it difficult to speak about their mental health issues or self-refer themselves to their doctor or mental health specialist. There may be a variety of reasons for this, but the stigma around seeking help for mental health issues is likely to be a significant barrier for many.

Self-referring to online therapy can be very fast and discreet, and as the client, you’re very much in control of the process. It also offers the chance to assess your treatment options before you get started, which can help you to make an educated choice about whether therapy is right for you

No need to travel

Traveling to see a therapist many miles away can be a significant roadblock to seeking therapy. For those living in very rural or remote areas, it may not even be logistically possible to travel to a treatment center. Being mobility-impaired or homebound also makes it incredibly difficult to seek face-to-face treatment.

Provided you have an Internet connection, online therapy allows you to access evidence-based mental health treatment from wherever you are while removing the burden and cost of travel.

Frequency of interaction

Traditional face-to-face therapy generally happens weekly, and this structure works for many people. With online therapy programs, however, there is typically the option to send messages to your therapists anytime you like between sessions.

This means you can check in with your therapist when something happens or if you’d like to get something off your chest, without waiting until your next meeting. Your therapist will then respond to you when they’re available. Some people prefer a greater frequency of shorter interactions with their therapist across the week, while others may send longer messages. Either way, you get to shape your interactions with your therapist in a way that suits you.

Writing can be therapeutic

Writing therapy is a form of therapy in itself. And, although writing down your thoughts and feelings isn’t essential to receiving online therapy, the opportunity to express yourself through words and reflect on what you’ve written may be very helpful. Writing also offers a level of privacy and anonymity that may make it easier to communicate things we find too difficult to say out loud

Automated software features

Many online therapy providers have automated software features built into their platform so you can track and monitor your progress as you go.

As well as being helpful for you as a client to visualize how things are going, it can also be useful for your therapist. If your therapist can monitor how you’re doing based on progress and outcome indicators you routinely provide, this can enable them to reach out and offer timely support when issues arise

Get matched with a therapist that’s right for you

Finding the right fit with a therapist can be tricky, especially if you have limited therapists available in your area.

Most online therapy platforms offer some form of matching service, whereby you outline the issues you’d like help with, and in some cases, can even indicate your preference for the kind of therapist you’d like to see. A therapist with the expertise and experience to help you would then be matched with you, which contributes to a client-centered, personalized experience.

Of course, matching with a therapist is never set in stone. If you’d like to change your therapist for any reason, doing this through an online therapy platform can be a relatively quick process.

Bottom line

Online therapy is an affordable, convenient, and effective option for many people seeking psychological treatment. Of course, online therapy is not right for everyone, and the most important thing is that you choose the therapy that’s best aligned with your needs and preferences.

If you’re considering online therapy, it’s a good idea to do some research before choosing a provider. You can compare the best online therapy services using our chart of best online therapy services to find the one that suits you the most.

By Helen Brown
Helen Brown holds multiple degrees and diplomas in psychology, including a PhD from the University of Bath and MSc with Distinction from University West of England. She also has many years’ experience as a researcher and writer in the fields of mental health and counselling, wellbeing research and positive psychology interventions, organizational and occupational psychology, and human-computer interaction.
Cappsool Technologies does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or your local emergency number immediately.
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