Should I Do Therapy In-Person Or Online?
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Should I Do Therapy In-Person Or Online?

The emergence of online therapy platforms has brought about a notable revolution in the field of mental health in recent times. There are now virtual alternatives to traditional in-person therapy sessions, which presents a dilemma for anyone looking for mental health support. The question that needs to be answered is: Should one choose the more comfortable in-person method or go with internet counseling? The article intends to examine the advantages of both in-person and online treatment, evaluate the advantages and disadvantages, and assist readers in making an informed choice regarding their journey toward mental wellness.


Table Of Contents

What Are The Benefits Of Seeing A Therapist In Person?

What Are The Benefits Of Seeing A Therapist Online?

Which Is Better, In-Person Or Online?

Are Online Therapists As Good As In-Person Therapists?




What Are The Benefits Of Seeing A Therapist In Person?


Personal Connection and Presence: The immediate and apparent bond between the therapist and the patient is one of the main benefits of in-person treatment. Face-to-face communication helps people feel more present, which helps them connect with each other on a deeper level. Being physically close to someone makes it easier to read body language and nonverbal clues, which improves the therapeutic process.


In-Depth Assessment: Person-to-person interactions frequently give therapists a deeper comprehension of their patients. Therapists can evaluate subtleties, gestures, and facial expressions that may go unnoticed in virtual conversations by watching a client in their real setting. Having a thorough assessment might be essential to developing treatment programs that are specific to each patient.


Safe and Confidential Setting: Conventional therapy settings are meant to offer a private, secure area where clients can express their emotions. The foundation of therapy is confidentiality, and while talking about delicate topics, many clients find solace in being physically removed from their regular surroundings.


Reduced Technological Barriers: The potential technological difficulties that could occur in online therapy sessions, like poor internet access, audio difficulties, or platform bugs, are eliminated with in-person counseling. This may make the therapy process go more smoothly and deliberately (DeMelo, 2021; Grover, 2023).







In person or virtual therapy


What Are The Benefits Of Seeing A Therapist Online?


Convenience and Accessibility: People who live in remote or underdeveloped locations can now obtain mental health treatment due to the extraordinary ease of online therapy, which also removes geographical restrictions. Patients may participate in sessions from the comfort of their homes thanks to the flexible schedule, which cuts down on travel time and logistical difficulties (MacDonell & Prinz, 2017).


Increased Anonymity: A more transparent and sincere conversation may be facilitated by the virtual environment, which gives some people a feeling of anonymity. Patients may feel less anxious to disclose their thoughts and feelings as they are physically removed from the therapist’s office, which can ease their fear of being identified (Baumel, 2015).


Cost-Effective Option: For both therapists and patients, online therapy may be a more affordable option. Therapists may charge less when they don’t have to rent an actual office, while patients may save money on travel expenses. Furthermore, several digital platforms offer reasonably priced membership packages, thereby diminishing the financial obstacles to mental health services (Andersson & Titov, 2014).


Comfort and Familiarity of Home Environment: A patient’s comfort and ease can increase during therapy sessions when they are in a familiar setting. People who struggle with social anxiety or who find comfort in their own privacy may find this especially helpful.



Which Is Better, In-Person Or Online?


Individual requirements, opinions, and circumstances ultimately determine whether online or in-person therapy is preferable. Each modality has advantages of its own, and what suits one individual may not suit another. The following elements should be taken into account while selecting the solution that best fits your circumstances.


Nature of the Concern: In-person therapy may be a more effective approach for addressing some mental health disorders, particularly when the therapeutic process requires both physical presence and a closer relationship. Conversely, less serious issues or regular check-ins could be handled more skillfully by using online resources.


Comfort Level with Technology: Think about how at ease you are using technology. Virtual therapy may be an easy experience for you if you are tech-savvy and comfortable using internet platforms. On the other hand, in-person sessions could be more comfortable if technology is not your cup of tea.


Geographical Considerations: Online therapy can be a lifesaver if you live in a rural place or have limited opportunities for mental health care. It guarantees that those living in underprivileged or rural areas can access high-quality mental health services without having to travel far (Andersson & Titov, 2014).


Privacy and Anonymity Preferences: Consider how important privacy and anonymity are to you. Online counseling may be the better option if you like the concept of talking to someone while lounging in your own house. Conversely, in-person sessions might be more appropriate if the guarantee of a private physical environment is essential (American Psychological Association, 2012).




Are Online Therapists As Good As In-Person Therapists?


Therapy is more successful when the therapeutic relationship and the therapist’s abilities are strong. The technique plays a secondary role in this regard. Several studies have demonstrated that for many people, online treatment can be just as successful as in-person therapy (Ierardi et al., 2022; McGee, 2022; Sarkis, 2021).


Therapeutic Alliance: A major factor in predicting the success of therapy is the therapeutic alliance, which is defined by mutual understanding, trust, and cooperation between the patient and the therapist. Competent therapists can build a solid therapeutic relationship by empathetic communication be it in-person or virtually.


Evidence-Based Practices: Evidence-based practices are frequently followed by online therapy platforms, guaranteeing that the interventions offered are supported by empirical research. Therapists are educated professionals who adhere to ethical norms and care requirements, regardless of whether they practice in-person or virtually.


Positive Client Outcomes: Studies comparing the effectiveness of online versus in-person therapy have demonstrated that both approaches can provide favorable effects. Both of them exhibit equivalent outcomes in terms of things like symptom relief, treatment compliance, and general well-being augmentation.


Tailored Treatment Plans: Therapy is just as good as the therapist’s ability to customize treatment regimens for each patient. Therapists can modify the way they work to suit the specific requirements and wants of every patient, whether they are meeting in person or virtually.


There’s no single answer to the ongoing debate over in-person versus online therapy. Individual preferences, situational factors, and the type of mental health issue should all be taken into consideration while selecting one of these techniques. While online therapy gives accessibility and convenience, in-person therapy offers a more concrete and intimate relationship. People can find comfort in the variety of options available as the field of mental health treatment continues to change, since this guarantees that they will be able to discover the best fit for their particular requirements.







American Psychological Association. (2012, March). Practicing distance therapy, legally and ethically. Https://Www.Apa.Org.

Andersson, G., & Titov, N. (2014). Advantages and limitations of Internet-based interventions for common mental disorders. World Psychiatry, 13(1), 4–11.

Baumel, A. (2015). Online emotional support delivered by trained volunteers: Users’ satisfaction and their perception of the service compared to psychotherapy. Journal of Mental Health, 24(5), 313–320.

DeMelo, J. (2021, September 29). Should You Resume In-Person Therapy? The New York Times.

Grover, S. (2023, June 20). The 3 Essential Benefits of In-Person Vs. Online Therapy. Psychology Today.

Ierardi, E., Bottini, M., & Riva Crugnola, C. (2022). Effectiveness of an online versus face-to-face psychodynamic counselling intervention for university students before and during the COVID-19 period. BMC Psychology, 10(1), 35.

MacDonell, K. W., & Prinz, R. J. (2017). A Review of Technology-Based Youth and Family-Focused Interventions. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 20(2), 185–200.

McGee, V. (2022, January 19). Virtual Therapy Vs. In-Person Therapy. Psychology.Org.

Sarkis, S. (2021, February 14). Online Therapy Just As Effective As In-Person Sessions. Forbes.



Written By: Dr. Wasif MD

Edited by: Madison Vargas, BS

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Kyle Zrenchik, PhD, LMFT

Published : 02/02/2024


Disclaimer: ALL IN Therapy Clinic aims to improve people’s lives. We do this through providing effective mental health counseling by passionate professionals. Inspired by this, we write content for your own education. Also, our content is researched, cited, reviewed, and edited by licensed mental health professionals. However, the information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, it should not be used in place of the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Written and reviewed by

Madison Vargas

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