Should I Do Remote or In-Person Therapy?

3 minutes Written by Mental Health Match & Reviewed by C. Adamo, PhD

Remote therapy became far more common during the pandemic, but is it right for you? The answer, as with most things, is that there are pros and cons for both remote and in-person therapy. Deciding which to do should be based on what benefits are most important to you.

In-Person Therapy Pros & Cons

In person therapy is a powerful tool. Just like when you’re in-person with the people you care about, you have more access to each other’s non-verbal cues. For both the therapist and the client, this can be helpful. Sometimes, people who spend their days working on computers or doing more socially isolated work feel that in-person therapy is even more valuable because it is a change of pace.

A big part of a therapeutic practice is creating a peaceful environment where the therapist and the client can comfortably focus. A therapist’s office should be a safe space free of distractions and outside influences. Because your therapist is in charge of that space, seeing your therapist in-person means you don’t have to worry about creating the right environment for therapy like you would if you went to therapy virtually from your own space.

In-person therapy also allows for more flexible options like equine therapy, art therapies or  walk and talk therapies.

However, choosing an in-person therapist means that you’re limited by location and everyday hiccups such as traffic. In-person therapy will take up more of your time and be harder to schedule since you‘ll have to commute. It will also limit the number of therapists you’re able to select from

Remote Therapy Pros and Cons

Perhaps most simply, remote therapy is more flexible. For people with busy schedules or inflexible working hours, remote therapy can be a huge advantage. And while some people feel more comfortable in-person, others prefer the context of a video call.

A huge advantage of remote therapy is access to many more therapists. There are many different types of therapy, and different therapists have experience with different problems or needs. Remote therapy makes it far easier to match with a therapist that’s a good fit for you. This is particularly important for people in rural or more remote areas, where the number of therapists is far more limited.

Another factor to consider for remote therapy is if you have a quiet, private location to call into your remote session. Therapy is much harder if you are concerned about being overheard or are constantly interrupted.

Making a Choice

The right therapeutic relationship is all about trust and connection, no matter if you are remote or in-person. Some people feel that being in-person is necessary to build that trust and connection. Others feel they can build that relationship over a video call and want significantly more therapists to choose from. If you’re not sure, you can always try one way and learn if it’s right for you. But no matter where or how you go to therapy, what matters most is your comfort and trust with your therapist.

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C. Adamo, PhD

Written by Mental Health Match & Reviewed by C. Adamo, PhD

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