Online Therapy vs. Traditional Therapy – Pros & Cons

Everyone can benefit from therapy, and if anything, all the changes this year have led to an increase in the need for good mental health options. So let’s explore online therapy vs. traditional therapy:

Here’s what I know from having done both:

Online therapy allows not only for social distancing, but it offers a great deal more flexibility in terms of when and where you have your appointments. Traditional therapy requires going to a set place at a set time every week whereas you can do online therapy from any location where you have Wi-Fi. 

But there are a lot more things to consider with either route. And with the current situation, it can be increasingly harder to even find good in-person therapists.

So in this article, we’ll review some of the pros and cons of both in-person therapy and online therapy. I’ll answer all the top questions, and we’ll take a look at BetterHelp who is the leading provider of online therapy options.

Let’s get started.

What are some possible advantages and disadvantages of online therapy?

Online therapy isn’t for everyone.

However, it does allow for a lot of flexibility. Where I live, in the small town of Wimberley, Texas, we might have half a dozen therapists. In fact, one of my daughters who wanted to see a therapist has to drive to another nearby town to see hers.

If anything, 2020 has seen a huge increase in demand for online therapy.

With online therapy, you can literally choose from dozens, if not hundreds of therapists. And it makes no difference where you live or where they live.

But these therapists are still just as qualified and just as dedicated as any in-person therapist.

And because the location doesn’t matter, you can continue your session uninterrupted even while on vacation. You just need a good Wi-fi signal. But once you have that, you can go anywhere in the world and still stay connected to your therapist.

But on the flip side, you aren’t looking directly into this person’s eyes. 

You aren’t there with them physically, you’re looking at one another through a computer screen, and that is less personal. And if your Wi-Fi is spotty, your session could get glitchy or completely interrupted.

But many feel this is a small price to pay for the safety and convenience of online therapy.

Is therapy over the phone effective?

Let me be clear. Any type of therapy with a good therapist is better than no therapy.

And you don’t have to be in a bad situation to benefit from therapy. You also don’t have to go to therapy for months on end.

There have been times in my life where I’ve gone back to my old therapist for just a session or 2 to help with something I was feeling. Or just to help me collect my thoughts.

But I will say that therapy is better when you and the therapist can see each other.

That doesn’t mean phone therapy is worthless. It’s just a little less personal than online or traditional in-person therapy. And you and your therapist will have to work harder to connect with each other.

How does BetterHelp work?

BetterHelp is the leading company performing online therapy. They are also the largest company providing this service.

They offer therapy for:

  • Individuals
  • Couples
  • Teens

And you don’t have to just do Zoom sessions. BetterHelp also offers phone or messaging options too; whatever works best for you.

You first sign up with BetterHelp.

Then within 24 hours, you’ll get matched up with a licensed professional therapist. The therapists available range from accredited psychologists (Ph.D. / PsyD), marriage & family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), and licensed professional counselors (LPC). 

And the best part is that no matter which of those titles they possess, they all have a minimum of 3 years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience working as a therapist.

And if you aren’t happy with your therapist, you can switch anytime.

Is BetterHelp worth the money?

The best part is that BetterHelp is WAY cheaper than traditional therapy.

Traditional therapy costs, on average, between $100-$200 per session (source). BetterHelp, by comparison, ranges between $60 to $80 per week and billed on a recurring monthly basis.

And unlike traditional therapy, your online therapy price won’t vary significantly just because you live somewhere like Los Angeles or New York. After all, an in-person therapist in those cities could easily be $250/session or higher!

Just be aware that online therapy isn’t usually covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.

Still not sure therapy can help you? I have a recent article that goes into great detail and answers all the top questions about counseling.

While my article is geared towards marriage counseling, most of the information still applies no matter what kind of therapy you want.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned at the beginning, getting any kind of professional help is better than none at all.

But for me, having done a lot of in-person traditional therapy, but also some recent first-hand experience with online therapy, I have to say, the pros of online therapy greatly outweigh the cons.

You can find a great therapist for less, change therapists quickly and easily if need be, and do your sessions from anywhere in the world where you have Wi-Fi. And the days and times available are usually a lot more flexible too.

Click here to check out BetterHelp and their options and see if it’s right for you.


Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

Recent Posts