When looking for a new therapist, there are a lot of decisions to make. One of the most important first decisions to make is choosing the format for seeing your therapist. Should you see a therapist virtually or in person? You might feel so overwhelmed by all of the options that you close out all of the website tabs and decide to stop looking for a therapist.
This article will walk you through deciding if you should see a therapist via teletherapy or in-person.
There is no one right way to attend therapy, and there may not even be one right way for you to attend sessions. Maybe teletherapy is best for you now, but you want to choose in-person sessions in the future. This article will help you decide what therapy format is best for you now.
Research has shown that teletherapy is just as effective as in-person therapy, so it’s really up to your preference and needs, which you choose.
- Teletherapy is convenient and accessible. Teletherapy has become more widely available in the past few years and can be convenient. Some reasons that you may want to consider teletherapy are if you have a hectic schedule, are at high-risk for COVID-19 or want to fit in a therapy session while your baby is napping.
- Teletherapy requires less time. It can also feel like less of an investment to try an appointment with a new therapist if you can do so from your home. You don’t have to drive or find parking.
- Teletherapy requires a private space and technology. To join a teletherapy session, you typically need a device with video conferencing capabilities (like a smartphone, tablet, or laptop), cellular service or an internet connection, and a space where you can be alone and have privacy.
- Teletherapy can help mitigate anxiety. If you are anxious about therapy or experience social anxiety, it can be comforting to be in a familiar place during your session. You can control the environment by burning a candle or using a fuzzy blanket when you are in your home. A bonus perk might be having your cat or dog there with you for the session.
- Teletherapy can reduce concerns about COVID-19 exposure. Especially if you are immunocompromised or live in an area with high COVID rates, teletheray can be a helpful option.
- In-person therapy provides privacy. In-person therapy can be a great option if you don’t have the needed privacy in your living space. Especially with the pandemic, you may have more people at home and might not feel comfortable attending therapy with other people nearby.
- In-person therapy provides a therapeutic atmosphere. Going to an office provides a space that a therapist created to be therapeutic.
- In-person therapy can become part of your routine. Going to therapy might involve creating a routine or ritual. There can be something special about going to a therapist’s office, getting coffee, and taking the long way home to process any thoughts or emotions that therapy brought up.
- In-person therapy may be a good fit if you prefer building relationships in person. One component that can feel significant is how you build relationships. Do you find that you can make authentic, meaningful relationships over a video call, or does it feel like the computer creates some distance? You can see more of someone’s body language and nonverbal cues when you are in person.
The Choice between Teletherapy and In-Person Therapy is Yours
There is no right or wrong choice.
This decision is just one component of your therapeutic journey. And although some therapists may only offer one mode of therapy, some therapists (including some of our therapists at Here) offer teletherapy and in-person therapy. This means that you could potentially change how you meet with your therapist if one mode of therapy isn’t a good fit for you!
If you’re ready to sign up for a phone consultation, learn more about our therapists here.
Teletherapy vs. In-Person Therapy Worksheet
Want these questions in an easy to use free downloadable worksheet? This worksheet will help you take steps forward in dealing with anxiety. You’ll also get access to all our worksheets in Here Counseling’s Resource Library!