Online therapy refers to providing psychological support and mental health counseling via the Internet. Online therapy is also referred to as e-therapy, distance therapy, web therapy, thera-coaching and internet therapy; therapists who participate in this form of treatment use various mediums such as apps for video, texting and audio messaging. Studies have proven the success of therapy via online or telephone as effective and helpful for a variety of concerns. E-therapy has become a good alternative to face to face counseling and can supplement in-person therapy between or when traveling. A variety of individuals are interested in this form of psychotherapy and counseling, as examples: disabled clients, individuals who must travel, new parents and clients who are unable to commute.
What follows are some common reasons people prefer online therapy:
- The commute can be inconvenient, difficult or impossible
- Concerns about the stigma of in-office therapy, or being seen entering or leaving a therapy office
- Greater comfort and privacy while at home
- Shorter sessions with increased frequency
- Cancellations or reschedules when sick or busy with work/family obligations
- Convenient for clients with disabilities such as a physical disability or agoraphobia
Online counseling is not the best option for everyone. It should not be used when individuals have serious mental illness and would be better-served by attending sessions in person.