When seeking help for mental health and well being, there are many avenues one can take. For the most part, when someone is dealing with trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health struggles, they seek the help of a therapist or psychologist. However, going to a therapist’s office can be very expensive, even with insurance.
Due to the high expenses of therapy, many choose online therapy as a cheaper and more convenient option. However, there are some pros and cons to be weighed with online therapy:
Pro: Easier and More Convenient Access
Many of those living in rural and remote areas, unfortunately, do not have easy access to mental health information or treatment. With the convenience of online therapy, they are able to get the help they need. If there are limited or no mental health practices in their geographic area, they can rely on online therapy to treat and cope with their mental health issues. This is also a huge benefit so those living with a disability who have limited mobility can have access to therapy. It’s also much easier to work in a therapy session into a busy schedule when it can be easily done from the comfort of their own home.
Pro: Less Expensive Than Traditional Therapy
When going to a therapist’s office, they charge a large amount of money by the hour. Even when the patient has insurance, it can be upwards of $200 for an hour-long session. For those who are looking to treat and care for their mental health, money could be a major roadblock. However, online therapy can be a much cheaper option than seeing a therapist in their office. Those without insurance may even be able to find very affordable online therapists to give them the help they are looking for.
Con: Technological Difficulties and Security
While the world continues to become a technologically advanced place, there are still some who struggle with it. Although online therapy is convenient, it can also cause many technical difficulties. If the internet cuts out, your device dies, or you simply cannot figure out how to work the site, it can become a major inconvenience. While everything is online, there is a real threat of hackers and concerns over privacy. Although an online therapist still must uphold confidentiality, everything being transmitted online could mean privacy leaks and hacks.
Con: Unable to Readily Respond in a Crisis
Even when openly seeking help and treatment for mental health issues, there can be moments of crisis during a therapy session. Online therapists are put at a major distance from their patients, making it nearly impossible to respond in times of crisis. For instance, if a client begins to have suicidal thoughts or threatens to cause themselves harm, it is near to impossible for the online therapist to respond and help them. In order to respond quickly and effectively at a time like this, it is more beneficial to have a traditional face-to-face therapy session.
For more information, check out the New Horizon Counseling Center!