Also known as teletherapy, online therapy offers access to mental health and counseling services via the internet. Now, you only need a computer or phone device and an internet connection to connect to a skilled, qualified therapist. You can get mental health care from the comfort of your home through live video sessions and messaging apps. Online therapy means help is available, and it’s literally at your fingertips.
If virtual mental health service sounds intriguing, keep reading to learn about the many benefits of teletherapy.
Benefits of Online Therapy & Counseling
While both in-person and online counseling can be very effective, there are many reasons to choose teletherapy over face-to-face care. Below, we’re exploring some of the most notable benefits of virtual therapy.
“Online therapy has increased access to care for many people while at the same time making therapy more convenient. Being able to readily access a licensed mental health professional in a convenient way has also decreased the stigma of reaching out for support.”Talkspace therapist Jill Daino, LCSW-R, BC-TMH
1. Remote therapy lets you access care from where you are
According to a study by Mental Health America, many Americans have limited access to therapy and mental health counseling services. This is especially true if you live in remote or rural areas. Additional barriers exist for anyone who doesn’t have transportation or those who travel for work, are limited on time, or struggle with consistent access. These are just a few reasons why it might be difficult to seek in-person therapy.
One of the most significant advantages of online therapy sessions is that access to treatment isn’t limited by location. As long as you have reliable internet, you can talk to a therapist from home, or anywhere you happen to be. No longer is getting to an office at a specific time, on a particular day, necessary. Telehealth services have made therapy far more accessible than it’s ever been in the past.
2. Patients have access to a wide range of mental health professionals
Virtual therapy also gives you access to a broader range of providers. Instead of choosing someone to work with and being limited by location, now it’s possible to focus on seeking help from a therapist who’s the perfect fit for your specific needs.
Many therapists offer specialized treatments, including types of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and many other treatments that identify and address problematic or unhealthy thought and behavior patterns. Most have a specific area of focus, like treating trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
3. It’s accessible for people with physical limitations
Those who have a disability, are housebound or have other physical limitations often find it difficult to access mental health care. Teletherapy allows you to receive mental health care without leaving your home. In short, online therapy platforms can help people with special accommodations to reach their therapy goals in ways that have been impossible in the past.
4. Online therapy can be more affordable than in-person care
Cost and ability to pay are common concerns why people can’t afford therapy. In addition to therapy cost, paying for things like gas or childcare can make getting to therapy even more expensive.
One of the most significant benefits of virtual therapy is that it tends to be more affordable than in-person care. This is especially helpful if you’re seeking therapy without insurance.
5. It’s very convenient
When you have a lot on your plate, even just finding the time for therapy can feel overwhelming. However, one of the main benefits of online therapy is that sessions can take place conveniently at home. With virtual therapy, you don’t have to worry about finding parking, taking extra time out of your day, dealing with traffic, or driving to appointments. It’s suddenly much easier to fit therapy into a hectic schedule.
6. Ability to schedule more sessions
When you have to travel to appointments or take time off work to see a therapist, you may not be able to schedule as many sessions as you’d like. Since online therapy is so flexible and convenient, it might be possible to schedule additional sessions.
Illness, bad weather, and other obstacles can also result in needing to cancel appointments. One of the benefits of online counseling sessions is that, barring a significant illness, you’ll never have to miss an appointment due to unforeseen obstacles like these.
7. Many people feel more comfortable with virtual therapy
Therapy can be intimidating. Being vulnerable or sharing your fears and concerns isn’t always easy. Doing these things in a strange or unfamiliar environment can be even more daunting.
If you’re living with anxiety – especially if you’re anxious about starting therapy – the process might be easier in a space that you’re comfortable in. One of the major advantages of online therapy is you have control over your environment. Whether you want to curl up under a blanket on the couch or talk to your therapist in bed, you’re more likely to be able to put yourself at ease during online or virtual sessions.
8. You can do things on your own terms
Another one of the benefits of therapy online is that teletherapy can mean mental health care is more approachable. It offers more control over the process. When you use online therapy, you’re free to talk to a therapist on your schedule and in the way that you find most comfortable.
“One of the many benefits of online therapy is that it can be used in a variety of modalities that allow for clients to use it in ways that best suit them, which increases therapy’s effectiveness. For example, some clients use messaging-based therapy, writing to their therapist each week, while others use video sessions or a combination of both. This flexibility creates opportunities for clients to work with their therapist in whatever manner is most comfortable and effective for them.”– Talkspace therapist Jill Daino, LCSW-R, BC-TMH
If you find texting easier than talking, you can opt for messaging services over video appointments. Since you’ll have many options, you can choose a provider you’re comfortable with rather than someone who’s just closer to you in proximity. One of the most significant benefits of teletherapy is that you can receive care in a way that feels safe, convenient, and effective, for you.
How Effective Is Online Therapy?
All of the benefits sound great, but does online therapy actually work? Not only is online therapy convenient, but research also suggests it’s similar to in-person therapy in terms of efficacy. A study published by the Journal of Telemedicine and e-Health asked participants to compare traditional therapy to online therapy from Talkspace. A whopping more than 80% said that Talkspace was as effective or better than conventional, in-person therapy.
Studies consistently demonstrate the benefits of online counseling. One report shows that Talkspace Unlimited Messaging Therapy can significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. A study on mental health and productivity found that people who use Talkspace are happier, more productive, and more capable of solving problems. It’s clear that online therapy is an effective mental health intervention.
Start Online Therapy Today with Talkspace
While there are many barriers to mental health treatment, teletherapy services have made it substantially more accessible and convenient to seek help. The benefits of online therapy are impressive, and now, thanks to research, we know that it’s just as effective as face-to-face services. Online therapy could be an excellent option if you’re struggling with mental health issues but have found it difficult to get treatment.
Talkspace makes getting help on your schedule simple. You can connect with a licensed therapist via video, messaging, or your phone, and you can message them any time you need. With Talkspace, you can overcome obstacles, start your therapy journey, and learn how to improve your mental health.
You don’t have to live with the effects of mental health struggles. Online therapy offers affordable, accessible therapy that can change your life for the better. Not sure how to start therapy? Get matched with a licensed therapist today.
- The State of Mental Health in America 2018. Mental Health America. https://www.mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america-2018. Accessed November 16, 2022.
- Hull TD, Mahan K. A study of asynchronous mobile-enabled SMS text psychotherapy. Telemedicine and e-Health. 2017;23(3):240-247. doi:10.1089/tmj.2016.0114. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/tmj.2016.0114. Accessed November 16, 2022.
- Hull T, Mahan K. Improving the Mental Health and Productivity of Employees via Messaging Therapy. https://assets.website-files.com/5937152e5b0b327621f92212/595d247ab10f8929069c3d99_Symptom%20Improvement%20and%20Productivity.pdf. Accessed November 16, 2022.
- DellaCrosse M, Mahan K, Hull TD. The effect of messaging therapy for depression and anxiety on employee productivity. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science. 2018;4(1):1-5. doi:10.1007/s41347-018-0064-4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41347-018-0064-4. Accessed November 16, 2022.
Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.
Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.
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Commonly Asked Questions
Online counseling offers many advantages compared to traditional in-person therapy. Here are some reasons why online therapy might be right for you:
- Accessibility- Online counseling makes it possible for anyone with internet access to seek treatment. No matter if you live in a remote, rural location, or if you are ill and unable to leave your home, online counseling makes it possible for you to improve your mental health.
- Convenience- both the counselor and the client have the convenience of communicating with each other at a variety of times. You no longer have to worry about scheduling appointments and working with different schedules.
- Affordability- online counseling is much cheaper than traditional counseling. At Talkspace, plans start at just $65 a week.
Online counseling is more affordable than traditional counseling practices. At Talkspace, you can connect with a licensed counselor for just $65 a week. Online counseling has been proven to be at least as effective as in-person counseling.
When considering pursuing online counseling, begin your search with skepticism. Many online counseling websites do not employ licensed counselors or properly protect their client’s personal information. They may not be legitimate ways to improve your mental health. Talkspace is a legitimate online therapy and counseling provider supported by a wide variety of licensed counselors. Talkspace is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and is always working to ensure the highest level of security, privacy, and confidentiality.
Talkspace has become the leading name in online counseling. The digital platform connects individuals with licensed counselors with years of educational training and thousands of hours of practice using evidence-based methodology. Moreover, Talkspace is HIPAA compliant and committed to protect your data using end to end encryption and various other security regulations.