Is Remote Therapy As Effective As In-person Therapy Sessions?

One of the arguments against remote therapy is the failure of the therapist to observe the patient’s demeanor during therapy. However, studies on online therapy reveal that online therapy is as effective as in-person therapy. If you are concerned about the therapist missing the advantage of body language, try video therapy for live counseling sessions.   

Remote therapy is as effective as in-person therapy sessions because the therapy sessions are offered by professionals communicating using multiple channels. Video chats allow therapists to read nonverbal cues, while emails enable clients to effectively communicate when most in need. 

The availability of multiple communication streams allows those in need of therapy to use the means they find most appealing. This improves the effectiveness of remote therapy and allows more people to access services that may not be available locally.

Remote Therapy vs. In-person Therapy

As the demand for online therapy soars, questions have been raised on its effectiveness. A 2020 survey shows that  56% of people receiving online therapy moved from in-person therapy. Convenience and ease of communication with the therapists are reasons some people opted for online therapy over in-person therapy. 

This video analyzes online and in-person therapy, and why some people prefer one over the other.

When comparing remote therapy vs. in-person therapy, these are some similarities and differences. 

  1. Mode Of Communication

The means of communication is the primary difference between remote and in-person therapy. Remote therapy involves using multiple communication options, such as phone calls, emails, video chats, and texts. 

The therapists and clients hardly ever come face-to-face because they may not be in the same locality or country. Online therapy providers, like Betterhelp, have thousands of therapists from various countries.

In-person therapy only offers one type of communication, and it is face-to-face. You need to make an appointment with the therapist. In-person therapy is sometimes considered better than remote therapy because the therapist will observe and interpret body language. 

While this gives in-person therapy a competitive edge, video chats allow therapists to make up for this shortfall in remote therapy. Emails and phone calls add to the effectiveness of remote therapy because you can easily reach out to the therapist when you feel like talking. 

This makes crisis management easier because you don’t have to wait to make an appointment to see your therapist, as is the case with in-person therapy. 

  1. Scheduling Flexibility

Remote therapy beats in-person therapy in scheduling flexibility. Most online therapies will allow therapy without notice, especially when they have the time to spare. Some online therapy providers recommend an alternative if your therapist is unavailable.

When in urgent need of a therapist, you may be allowed to use another therapist if your usual one is not available. 

In-person therapy is not as effective as online therapy instant scheduling. Sometimes, you may have to wait weeks before you can see your therapist. If you desperately need a therapist, online therapy is best. 

  1. Professionalism

Qualified professionals administer both in-person and online therapy sessions. Before registering in online therapy platforms, therapists must prove they are qualified. 

Therapists offering in-person and online therapy services have the right skills to ensure their clients receive the care and support they need. 

  1. Privacy

Privacy is a concern many people have when they visit therapists, especially online therapy. Your health information, including mental health, should be protected, and most in-person therapy providers are bound to respect this.

The challenge is usually with online service providers. Some have streamlined their systems to ensure their clients’ information remains private. However, some websites do not have privacy safeguards in place, and without the right protection, you remain vulnerable. 

When choosing an online service provider, you need to check the measures taken to protect your privacy. This extends to video conferencing platforms they use to communicate with clients. The website may have the safeguards, but you need to make sure they use apps that guarantee your privacy. 

  1. Convenience

Online therapy has become quite popular because of its convenience. You can seek services from anywhere without being forced to travel to a different location to be served. Some people miss in-person therapies when they don’t have the time or means to get to the therapist. This affects the effectiveness of the service. 

Teletherapy is no doubt as effective as in-person therapy. However, if you choose the wrong platform, you may be disappointed by the quality of service. Some online therapy sites use a lower price as a promotional tactic. While price is critical, you should consider other factors when choosing online or in-person therapy.

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