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Is Telehealth Therapy as Good as In-person?


Telehealth therapy, also known as telemental health, is a relatively new way of providing mental health services. It involves the use of technology to provide services to people who are unable to travel to see a therapist in person.  Some people who need mental health services cannot access them in person. The convenience of telemental therapy has made it a popular option for these individuals.

Many telemental health services are available, but to decide if telemental treatment is right for you, it is important to understand some of the pros and cons described in this guide ifvod.

What Is In-Person or Traditional Therapy?

In-person therapy, also known as traditional therapy, is the most common type of therapy. It involves meeting with a therapist in person to discuss your problems and work on solutions. In-person therapy can be conducted in several different settings, including private practices, hospitals, clinics, and community mental health centers.

Pros of In-Person Therapy

With in-person therapy, your interactions with the therapist can build a strong relationship. In the long run, you may feel more trusting of and comfortable with your therapist, making the therapy more effective and reliable. 

You can also learn new skills more easily with an in-person therapist, which will help you focus and cope with your mental health problems. This and other services are more readily available or possible with the physical proximity of in-person therapy sessions. 

Cons of In-Person Therapy

There are also some drawbacks to in-person therapy. For example, scheduling can be significantly more difficult, requiring that you wait longer for an appointment. Immediate help is less accessible when the therapist is constrained by location or schedule.

That travel is something that may be frustrating for you, too. If you live in a rural area or do not have transportation, you may have to travel long distances to see an in-person therapist. Some therapists offer in-home visits, but that service may cost you a substantial amount more for travel fees.

Some in-person therapy sessions are conducted in a group setting. This may cause some discomfort and personal problems in front of others. 

What is Telemental Health or Online Therapy?

Telehealth therapy or online therapy is conducted over the internet. It can be done through video conferencing, email, instant messaging, or phone calls.

Pros of Telehealth Therapy

There are many benefits to telemental health, including:

  • Location accessibility. Telehealth therapy can be conducted from anywhere, as long as you have a computer or mobile device and an internet connection. This can be beneficial if you live in a rural area or do not have transportation. 
  • Flexibility with time. Telehealth therapy is available 24/7, which can be beneficial if you have a busy schedule or need immediate help. During crises, it’s extremely valuable to have someone reliable on-call to talk you through your emotions. Your access to your mental healthcare provider can feel like a kind of safety net in times of distress. 
  • Provider availability. You can receive therapy from any provider. Telehealth therapy allows you to receive therapy from any provider, regardless of location. This can be beneficial if you are looking for a specific type of therapist or cannot find a therapist in your area. Specialists can be particularly difficult to track down or find access to in small geographic boundaries. Telehealth allows for access to specialists that would otherwise be unavailable. 
  • Personal security and privacy. Telehealth therapy can be conducted in the privacy of your own home, which may make you feel more comfortable discussing personal issues.

Cons of Telehealth Therapy

There are also some drawbacks to telehealth therapy.

  • Therapist relationships. You may have more difficulty building a relationship with your therapist. Without a distinct physical setting to help you and they focus on each other, appointments may feel less personal and therefore less connective between you and the therapist.
  • Difficulty learning new skills. Without the physical proximity to help the therapist read your body language and gauge your focus or reaction, it becomes more difficult for them to teach and confirm new coping skills. 

So, Which is Better?

Both in-person therapy and telehealth therapy have their benefits. The best therapy type will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for access to immediate help or a specialist to address narrow needs, telehealth therapy may be the best option. However, if you are looking for a comfortable, familiar relationship with your therapist, or if you want to learn new coping skills, in-person therapy may be the best option for you.

If you are considering any healthcare, it is important to choose a reputable provider. You can ask your friends or family for recommendations or search for providers online. When searching for providers online, be sure to read reviews and compare pricing. You should also make sure that the provider you choose is licensed in your state.

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