How Does Online Therapy Really Work?

Women speaking with her therapist via video chat.

Between rising generations growing into an increasing tech-savvy world and the Covid-19 pandemic, our digital presence has skyrocketed. From two-day shipping, buying your groceries or a car, to video chatting with loved ones, there is little we can’t do online. Therapy is no exception, and more people continue to use online therapy.  Whether you’re curious about it for yourself, or just wondering how it really works, we’re here to delve into the perks of online therapy.

Online therapy gives us more accessibility.

One of the benefits that online therapy gives us is the ability to provide a further reach to people who may have not had access to therapy beforehand. For instance, those who live in more rural areas, or places with less resources for therapeutic help, now have access to care through online therapy. As long as someone has internet connection and a smart device, they are able to connect to a therapist online. 

Online therapy can be offered by a private practice or through apps like BetterHelp or Talkspace. So, even if you live in a place that offers other therapeutic services, you may still ultimately decide that online therapy is a better option for you.

Some people find online therapy to have a different type of ease.

At times, therapy can feel particularly vulnerable. For some people, online therapy provides a physical distance which may help those feel more comfortable discussing more personal matters. For many, the pandemic forced us all into taking advantage of online therapy. Here are a few thoughts people had to say about what their experiences with online therapy have been:

Online therapy has been an absolute game-changer for my mental health. At first, I thought that going to therapy digitally wasn’t going to translate well from in-person sessions. But the pandemic forced me to go digitally, and I quickly realized that as long as I make a space in my home that’s quiet and cozy, I was able to engage and receive in the same ways as an in-person session. It also saved me from getting into Atlanta traffic!” 

“Online therapy gave me the ability to find comfort and vulnerability in a different way. Being in my own space freed my mind from the have-to’s of commuting to therapy. It made scheduling easier, and also allowed me easier access to different therapists for different needs, which isn’t always as easy to do.”

“I ended up using BetterHelp after having a hard time finding consistency with in-person therapy. They matched me with a therapist who was able to work with my abnormal hours, which was super helpful. I liked that my therapist was able to text me throughout the day and that I had the freedom to choose messaging, phone calls, or video chats. I also felt as if the pricing was more affordable for the therapy I was seeking.”

There are many reasons as to why someone may feel safer or more comfortable meeting virtually instead of in-person. Whatever your potential reasoning may be, trust that it’s valid, and that there are many therapists willing to work with you.

Online therapy ensures support for all.

The accessibility that online therapy provides isn’t just for those who may live in rural areas, or for those who may feel safer talking from a distance. Online therapy helps those who may have any disadvantages or predispositions that can make it harder to schedule in-person therapy. From younger generations who are more accustomed to talking in digital spaces to senior citizens who may have difficulties getting to appointments, online therapy ensures that all people have access to therapeutic care. 

There are a few things you can do to help your online therapy experience feel the most beneficial to you.

  • When setting up for your appointment, try to find a quiet place where you feel comfortable talking.
  • Make sure you have a strong network and connection before you get started with your session!
  • Take a few minutes for yourself and prepare for your meeting mentally and emotionally. 

If you are working through an app, you may find it easier to work with different therapists, should you find your initial appointment doesn’t feel comfortable. Private practices who are using online therapy as an alternative means of care may be able to provide smaller steps, such as starting with email or a phone call before a video session, to help you feel most comfortable.

Whether you’re taking steps to try online therapy or in-person therapy, remember that all therapists want you to feel safe, comfortable, and supported. 

Have more questions about how online therapy works? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any support you may need.