Should I do remote therapy or in-person therapy?

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There are pros and cons for seeing a therapist in-person vs. online or remotely, so here are some things to consider as you weigh the decision to see someone in-person or online.

Advantages of in-person therapy

  • You can come to a safe space that’s just for you.
  • You can experience more types of therapy, such as those that involve creativity (like art or music therapy) or those that involve training your body’s response to stress and trauma (like Neurofeedback or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy [EMDR]).
  • You really may need in-person interaction for several reasons: 
    • It’s easier to communicate because of nonverbal communication cues and tone that can be missed online.
    • You have more intense mental health needs that remote therapy can’t address due to the types of therapies that you may need.
    • You just find that being in someone’s presence is therapeutic.

Disadvantages of in-person therapy

  • If you live in a remote area, it can be tough to find someone close by. If you are in a city, you may have a tough commute due to traffic or distance.
  • You may not feel comfortable going to a therapist’s office because you feel uneasy talking in-person or are worried that others might see you.
  • If you are trying to commute to a therapist’s office after work, you may find difficulties with scheduling.

Advantages of remote or online therapy

  • It can be more affordable than in-person therapy.
  • You can see your therapist while you’re traveling. 
  • With online therapy, you can sometimes talk to your therapist more frequently, multiple times a day.
  • You can see your therapist in the privacy of your home.
  • If you’re disabled or cannot leave your home, remote therapy can be a more accessible option.
  • A greater number of therapists are available to you. To see a remote therapist, the therapist just has to be licensed to practice in the state you are in. 

Disadvantages of remote or online therapy

  • It may feel impersonal because you’re using a computer and speaking into a webcam.
  • The mental health problem you want to address may require more intensive services that are provided in-person.
  • The therapy modalities you need cannot be fully provided online or remotely.
  • Communication isn’t as smooth because you’re missing tone and intent.
  • Technical issues such as a poor internet connection can make online therapy less reliable than in-person therapy.

Whatever your needs are, Mental Health Match can help you find a therapist that is best for you. Take our free quiz today and start your search for either a remote or in-person therapist.