Online therapy isn’t a new thing, but it has really gained popularity these last few years. Prior to Covid, some people were able to find a therapist who did virtual sessions. However, it was kind of rare. However, Covid made everyone transition to working from home quickly and all therapy sessions moved to a virtual setting. Initially, even I was hesitant to change to a totally new way of therapy. I thought the change would be awkward. Now, after over two years of conducting virtual sessions, I love it. More importantly, so do the majority of my clients. There are SO many benefits to virtual therapy that set it apart from in person sessions.
With online therapy, you can meet with your therapist from anywhere, as long as you’re physically located in the state that your therapist is licensed in. If you are on vacation in another part of the state and still want to keep your regular appointment, you can! If you’re a college student and leaving for school on the opposite side of the state, you can keep your therapist!
As an online anxiety therapist in Charlotte, this feature is AMAZING!! Prior to virtual therapy, my clients would have to pause therapy when they went to college in a different city and resume sessions during breaks from school. Now, they can continue their sessions throughout the semesters too without having the stress of either finding a new therapist or waiting weeks/months for their next break/appointment.
Also, if you have kids and have had to miss your in person appointment before to stay home with them, you can still be home with them and keep your session as scheduled. Or if you’re not feeling the best and don’t want to come into the office for health/safety reasons, but would still like to have your appointment, you can ask your therapist if you can switch to a virtual platform. Snow days or severe weather used to be a valid reason to cancel a session, but it doesn’t have to be an issue with teletherapy.
If you live in a rural area or need/want a specialized type of therapy that isn’t offered in your city, you can search your state for a therapist that fits your needs. For example, if you live in Morgantown, NC and really want to try Brainspotting therapy for decreasing your anxiety, you can find a therapist in Charlotte or Raleigh who is trained in it and have virtual sessions.
Using tele therapy offers you so many more choices of which therapist you can see. You’re no longer bound to your physical location, which is awesome. There’s also a lot of support groups that are online that may better fit your schedule than the typical times offered, especially if you have a non traditional work/school schedule.
If you are at work and can’t get away for your appointment, you can meet with your therapist in your office or car. I have had SO many car sessions. It has been really easy for people with busy schedules or who have a lack of privacy at home to have a space for therapy. Sometimes, depending on where your therapist’s office is to your home/school/work, the travel time can add extra time to the hour of therapy you scheduled, so you would typically need to reserve a bigger block of time in your day in order to have an appointment. With teletherapy, you really only need the one hour for the session, so it saves time for you to get other things done.
Some people find starting therapy to be awkward because they are worry about how formal the initial sessions may feel. With online therapy, you can wear sweatpants or pajamas, you can meet in your own living room/bedroom/car, and you can have your pets with you (selfishly, my favorite part because then I get to see them!). For people who are anxious about beginning therapy, having sessions from home may be more comfortable and easier to manage. I love when clients can share their artwork, home renovation projects, gardening, etc. It lets me get to know them a little better and allows them to share more about who they are.
Virtual therapy has many benefits and can be a great alternative to in person sessions. It can even be an option clients can use as needed so you can benefit from in person sessions and virtual therapy. I hope you can find a therapist that fits your needs and helps you live a healthier life.