Have you recently considered telehealth therapy, also called remote counseling? If so, one of the first things you’re likely wondering is how telehealth therapy compares to in-person, traditional counseling. While there are plenty of similarities between the two options, there also are some noticeable differences.
This article will examine these two options side by side. Because both therapy types offer unique advantages, it’s difficult to say one is better than the other. Still, there may be one that you prefer over the other, given your treatment needs.
What are the key points to consider with face-to-face and remote counseling? Let’s take a look.
The Dynamics of Face-to-Face Therapy (Traditional Counseling)
Like remote therapy, traditional, in-person counseling comes with some advantages. Here are some of the highlights of what makes face-to-face treatment stand out.
Many who have tried online and in-person counseling will tell you that going face-to-face can feel more personable. For example, imagine you were speaking with a friend in person versus on a video call. Each option is meaningful, but the face-to-face one tends to offer a bit stronger connection. Does this cancel out the value of video calling your friend? No, because video calling is still a great way to communicate. In the same way, remote and traditional therapy are valuable and effective.
Just think about why you might video call a friend versus meet in person. Often, you choose the online option because it is more workable with your schedule and time constraints. The same goes for virtual counseling, and you may give up some of the personableness to still have access to therapy that otherwise may have been difficult to impossible to carry out.
Although some people love the option of virtual therapy, this doesn’t work as well for everyone. Some individuals feel more comfortable sharing from the comfort of their homes or another suitable location. However, plenty of people still prefer the option of a neutral setting that in-person counseling provides.
Some have less privacy at home and fear sensitive information will be overheard. In that case, an in-person therapy location can feel like an oasis or haven from the familiarness of your home. For those who feel this way, greater comfort in sharing in person will likely lead to a better experience and outcome.
Therapists and Non-Verbal Communication
A skilled therapist will pick up on non-verbal cues that help with treatment, whether that involves traditional or virtual counseling. At the same time, traditional settings generally make it easier to notice non-verbal communication indicators. After all, it’s not just what is said but how something is said that helps therapists to know how to deliver effective treatment. And you really can’t top face-to-face interactions in that regard.
Some Treatment Forms Work Better in Person
With all the variety of people and treatment options, it’s imperative to offer the most effective treatment methods, given each person’s situation. Some of the ways treatment is accomplished will work better in person than in online sessions. Good examples of this include play, music, and art therapies.
The Dynamics of Teletherapy (Online Counseling)
While in-person counseling has its advantages, so does telehealth mental health counseling. What follows are a few of the highlights of online therapy.
Teletherapy counseling offers a high level of convenience. Here are some reasons why:
No commute necessary
Greater privacy in some cases
Easier scheduling-wise/less time commitment
Therapy outside your driving location is sometimes possible
Some people experience less social anxiety and greater comfort in an online setting. It can feel less intimidating for some when social interactions happen through an online platform.
At the same time, some individuals struggle with more significant anxiety during video therapy, so it’s a mixed bag. Some experience stage fright when they know they’re on a screen instead of just meeting in person. Some will get used to this dynamic, while others will prefer not to experience it.
Therapy Stigma is Less of a Concern
Unfortunately, counseling stigma does still exist in some walks of life. Those who log in at home or at an alternate location tend to do so without anyone outside their home knowing about their therapy session.
Any time someone can feel less judged for going to therapy, that’s always a major advantage. At the same time, some will have greater confidentiality during in-person visits, so it really depends on a given person’s situation.
A Bright Future
In her “Psychology Today” article entitled 14 Benefits of Teletherapy for Clients, Goali Saedi Bocci Ph.D. shares the following:
“With more and more individuals telecommuting, busier schedules, and the need for greater flexibility in our ever-changing world, teletherapy opens up a whole new frontier.”
Whether you’re considering couples teletherapy or teletherapy marriage counseling, the future of online counseling is very strong. No doubt, family and individual counseling will continue to thrive online as well. And because of the demand for traditional and online counseling, neither is going anywhere anytime soon.
Which Counseling Option is Best for You?
After exploring telecounseling and in-person therapy side by side, this is the most important question of all. What works well for one person may not be the best option for another. What therapy option works best for you specifically?
You may decide that you prefer the added convenience online counseling provides. You also may find in-person visits feel more personable for you. Another possibility is that you do some of both based on what works best for your schedule and unique walk of life at a given time. The choice is ultimately up to you!
Could Telehealth Teletherapy be an Excellent Treatment Option for You?
Millions of Americans are learning the unique benefits remote counseling provides. The OC Relationship Center can assist you with your therapy needs, whether you decide to go remote or meet face-to-face.
You are welcome to get in touch with us to learn more about how we can best serve you. Also, feel free to schedule an appointment with us at your convenience.