Virtual counseling or in-person therapy? A few years ago, this wasn’t even a consideration. Most people hearing the word therapy would picture someone on a couch with the therapist sitting across from them, notebook in hand, listening, nodding, and occasionally asking, “And how does that make you feel?” There was no real concept of “virtual” therapy. It just wasn’t a thing. And then, suddenly, it was. And it’s continued to be. Virtual therapy, also known as telehealth or online therapy, is therapy conducted live (in real-time), using a virtual communications platform. It’s been shown to be as effective as in-person therapy in helping people address mental health concerns and improve their overall emotional well-being.
While in-person therapy is still a very popular choice, virtual therapy has been shown to have many advantages and be the best option for many. Below are five of the primary reasons you might choose virtual over traditional counseling. Virtual Counseling Simi Valley offers you the opportunity to experience these advantages in your therapy journey.
The True Convenience of Virtual Counseling
Perhaps the most obvious advantage is convenience. You don’t have to leave work in the middle of the day or rush to your appointment at the end of a long one. There’s no traffic to deal with, nor the hassle of parking. Got a lot to do? Want to squeeze in that workout? Online therapy means you have more time to do the things you want and need to do and less time driving from one location to another. How about when multiple people in the house have multiple places to be and there are not enough vehicles to get everyone everywhere? No problem. Let them take the car while you happily shut the door and hop online for your scheduled appointment.
The convenience of online therapy speaks for itself. All you need is a smartphone, tablet, or computer and you’re golden.
The Comfort of Online Therapy is Hard to Beat
For many, the perk of online therapy is having access to all the comforts of home. It’s a wonderful option when you just want to curl up with that oversized blanket in your own safe space, dressed in your well-worn, silky soft sweats. Choosing to do virtual therapy from home means you have control over much of the experience. You can use your essential oils, light a candle, and sit on your own comfy couch with your adorable fur baby by your side.
You can mix up some hot chocolate, make yourself a fresh cup of hot coffee, or pour yourself that big, tall, refreshing glass of iced tea to sip while you talk.
It’s therapy on your terms, which reduces the anxiety of the therapeutic experience that some people experience. There’s no waiting room, no awkward moment when you’re not sure which chair your therapist prefers and which chair you should sit in, no random strangers, or worse yet, no chance of running into someone you know on your way in or out. It’s just you (and maybe the dog), connecting with your therapist from the comfort of your own home. It’s a win-win.
Continuity: You Won’t Miss Out on Therapy with All of Life’s Unknowns!
Sometimes things come up in life that make it difficult to get where you’re going or keep appointments. Virtual therapy allows for continuity of services despite those minor inconveniences. For example, you know those mornings when you wake up feeling a little down and out, or you feel something coming on? You don’t want to expose your therapist (or anyone else) to unwelcome germs, but you’ve also been looking forward to your session and you hate to have to cancel.
Online therapy allows you to connect as planned without putting others at risk. Have a sick child at home? Not an issue. Bad weather? No problem. Having a pajama day? No reason to cancel therapy. Stuck at work and can’t get there on time? Cut out the commute and just hop on. Depending on state laws and your therapist’s license, virtual therapy makes it possible to keep your standing appointment when something takes you out of town (but not out of state). For young adults going off to college, virtual therapy allows them to continue seeing the therapist they’ve been connected to in person. In fact, not having to start over with a new therapist simply because you’ve relocated to another area is a huge advantage for anyone.
Accessibility: Virtual Counseling will always be easy and convenient since it’s from a comfortable spot in your home. Our Anxiety therapists in Simi Valley are here to support you.
One of the most significant advantages of virtual therapy is accessibility. Virtual therapy has made it possible for those who might not have access otherwise to receive the mental health support they need. Individuals who lack transportation, those in rural and remote areas, and those with physical mobility issues, for example, now have an alternative to in-person therapy. And, ironically, sometimes the very mental health issue one needs help with can be a primary barrier to receiving it. People struggling with debilitating anxiety and depression, for instance, might not have the emotional and physical energy to commit to in-person therapy, but they’re able to meet with their therapist virtually for support. This may be especially beneficial at the beginning of their journey. The importance of having access to professional mental health services via virtual therapy cannot be understated.
Choice of Providers
Therapy itself can be an overwhelming experience, and finding the right therapist can make all the difference in the world. It has to be the right fit. Virtual therapy makes it possible to widen your search and expand your options. You’re no longer limited to therapists located in your immediate area. This is especially helpful if you’re looking for a therapist who meets certain criteria or has certain areas of expertise. Perhaps you’d prefer to work with a therapist of a specific gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, or perhaps no one in your area has much experience with the issue you’d like to focus on in therapy. Maybe you need a bi-lingual therapist. There may be any number of reasons you’re searching for just the right provider. Having access to mental health professionals from anywhere in your state as opposed to only your town is a huge advantage of online therapy.
Deciding between virtual therapy and traditional counseling really comes down to personal preference. There’s no right or wrong and one is not more effective or better than the other. It is quite nice, however, to know that we now have a choice.
Virtual therapy might have come along as a result of a pandemic, but it continues to be a popular option even post-pandemic thanks to its versatility.
If you’re looking into therapy, talk to your provider about what they have to offer and why. Some therapists offer a combination of in-person and virtual therapy, while others may be online therapists only. A discussion with your provider will help you make the best choice. If you find that any of the five advantages above resonate, virtual therapy might be for you.
Our team of therapists at Simi Psychological Group is here to support you in your therapy needs offering therapy for anxiety, depression, trauma therapy in Simi Valley, and more. Contact us at (805) 842-1994 for more information.