Online Therapy: Is it as effective as in-person therapy sessions?
“Online Therapy has been a lifesaver for me. I have been going through a cycle of anxiety and burnout for most of my career. And I’ve always wanted to seek help, but it’s so hard for me. Just thinking about the logistics of finding a Psychologist, making a call to book an appointment, and going to the clinic already felt like a massively overwhelming chore. Aside from that, it’s hard for me to find the time in my busy schedule to go to therapy. So, I procrastinated on it for the longest time. It was not until I found online counselling that I tried my first session. Finding an online therapy platform that allows me to talk to a registered psychologist and overcome my challenges has been a big blessing. Because of online counselling, I made progress in managing my anxiety, stress, and burnout.”
– A client’s experience with discovering online psychology
One of the hardest things to do for people experiencing mental health challenges is to seek help. Not only because of all the logistics and tasks they must do – we all know how hard it is to move when having mental health issues. But also because of the shame we feel about seeking help. These two things are why many people who experience mental health issues do not seek help.
But the good thing is that seeking help is much easier when experiencing mental health challenges. Thanks to the internet and online counselling.
What is Online Therapy?
Online therapy, also known as telehealth, e-counselling, online psychology, or teletherapy, is a way to seek professional help using the power of the internet and digital methods. Online therapy allows you to talk to a professional Psychologist remotely and from the comfort of your own space.
So, instead of face-to-face sessions in a traditional therapy setting, you can engage in counselling online through video calls, phone calls and text message services.
This approach caters to modern lifestyles and behaviours, offering flexibility and overcoming location and travel barriers that might usually hinder access and commitment to in-person therapy. It also reduces the emotional resistance to seeking help since some people find sitting in an office discussing the most important intricacies in their lives slightly uncomfortable.
How Does Online Counselling Work?
Online therapy works almost the same way as traditional therapy. The only main difference is it happens virtually, on an online platform. But aside from that, the interventions are the same as in-person.
You can schedule an appointment at your most convenient time and gain access to a registered Psychologist from wherever you are. Your Psychologist will help you create a counselling plan to help guide you through the issues you are experiencing and will be a support for your ongoing needs.
The Convenience of Online Therapy
For starters, anyone can find online psychology convenient, but here are a few examples of why you might find online psychology to be a convenient alternative to in-person therapy:
People working irregular shifts, such as nurses, firefighters, or FIFO, may find it challenging to schedule in-person psychology sessions. Teletherapy allows them to access support at varying hours that align with their schedules.
Parents with Young Children
Parents with infants or young children may have limited flexibility due to childcare responsibilities. Getting therapy online eliminates the need for arranging childcare or leaving the house, making it more accessible for them.
Business professionals or individuals who frequently travel for work can maintain a consistent therapeutic relationship by accessing a Psychologist online from different locations. This ensures continuity in their mental health support.
Individuals with Physical Disabilities
People with physical disabilities that make it difficult to attend in-person appointments can benefit greatly from teletherapy, as it eliminates the need for transportation and navigating physical barriers.
University students often have busy schedules with classes, extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs. Online counselling allows them to receive support without having to commute to a psychologist’s office.
Individuals in Remote Areas
Those living in regional, rural or remote areas may have limited access to mental health services. E-counselling bridges this gap, ensuring they can receive professional help without travelling long distances.
Anxiety or Agoraphobia
Individuals dealing with anxiety or agoraphobia may find it challenging to leave their homes for face-to-face sessions. Working with a Psychologist online provides a safe and comfortable environment for them to seek help.
Professionals with demanding careers may struggle to allocate time for in-person psychology. Online sessions can be scheduled during lunch breaks or after hours, allowing them to balance work and self-care.
People with social anxiety may find it less intimidating to open up to a psychologist through the relative anonymity of online platforms, reducing the fear of face-to-face interactions.
Couples in Long-Distance Relationships
Couples in long-distance relationships can benefit from online couples therapy to address issues and maintain a healthy connection despite geographical separation.
Seniors who may have difficulty with mobility or transportation can easily access online counselling from the comfort of their homes, ensuring they receive the mental health support they need.
Night Owls & Morning Larks
Some individuals are more active and alert during the morning or the late hours of the night. Virtual counselling accommodates their preferred schedule, allowing them to engage in therapy when they feel most comfortable.
People facing stigmatised mental health issues, such as addiction or certain mental illnesses, may prefer the privacy and confidentiality offered by online psychology.
Teens and Adolescents
Young people who may feel uncomfortable discussing their issues face-to-face with a psychologist may find it easier to communicate through digital channels, promoting openness and engagement in therapy.
Expats and Cultural Adaptation
Expatriates and individuals adjusting to a new culture can access online psychology to address the unique challenges and stresses associated with relocation.
Perhaps you simply feel uncomfortable at the thought of sitting in an unknown space or environment to share important details about your life and you would feel more comfortable doing so from the comfort of your own home.
What are the Most Common Forms of Working with a Psychologist Online?
Some people feel at ease with talking with their psychologist but do not want to go to a physical space for their sessions. This makes video consultations the perfect platform for them.
Some people feel uncomfortable showing their faces but are comfortable voicing their feelings and emotions. This makes phone consultations more effective for seeking help.
Talking to people, especially psychologists, can be challenging, especially for first-timers. And not everyone is comfortable with voicing out their feelings. This makes text/chat consultations an easy way to get introductory professional help. It is a perfect stepping stone, especially for those who aren’t quite ready to open up intimately to a Psychologist.
What are some Advantages of Online Counselling?
1. Accessible to anyone with an Internet
Online counselling breaks down barriers like distance and transportation. All you need is an internet connection.
2. Convenient and Flexible
Most people have busy schedules and often have multiple places to be in one day, so cutting out the need to travel to a psychologist’s office offers more convenience and flexibility in your week.
3. Tailored to your Needs.
Teletherapy offers various communication methods, from chats to phone calls and video calls. This allows people to choose the mode they’re most comfortable with and is matched with a psychologist suited to their individual needs.
Does Online Psychology Work?
Research shows that online therapy can be as effective as in-person psychology when managing various mental health issues. Several studies have also demonstrated a significant impact in reducing mental health symptoms. Moreover, virtual counselling provides people with better access to mental health support because of its cost and convenience.
Ultimately, the effectiveness of any psychological treatment can be attributed to different factors such as the client’s willingness to engage, the Psychologist’s expertise, and the severity of the mental health concerns.
Where to Find Online Psychologists?
In today’s digital age, finding a psychologist has become incredibly accessible but also, incredibly difficult if you don’t know where to start. What sets MeHelp online psychology apart is our commitment to streamlining the process for you. We understand that scouring the internet for hours to find the perfect psychologist can be daunting, especially if you’re unsure of what exactly you’re seeking.
At MeHelp Psychology, we remove this burden entirely. Our unique approach involves a discovery call session with a registered psychologist, ensuring a tailored match to address your specific counselling needs. Say goodbye to the overwhelming search and hello to personalised support.
Contact MeHelp Psychology and book a discovery call to answer any of your questions and access a range of psychologists matched to your counselling needs:
For more information on the efficacy of online psychology, below is a list of publications outlining the effectiveness of online psychology
If you’re experiencing mental health issues, or you know someone who is, reach out to MeHelp Psychology for assistance. We’re here to listen, chat and plan the right support for you.
If you require immediate assistance, Lifeline provides 24-hour crisis support telephone service and suicide prevention services.