In the recent years, mental health care has introduced the option of telehealth services. Rather than solely relying on in-person sessions with psychologists, individuals now have the choice to engage in online sessions. This sparked a debate about whether telehealth or in-person services are better. Let’s explore the advantages of both options.
Benefits of Telehealth:
Convenience & Accessibility
Telehealth serves as a valuable resource, offering support to individuals who may encounter difficulties accessing in-person mental health services. The ability to have therapy over the phone from any location enhances accessibility for everyone and is particularly convenient for those facing time constraints due to full-time jobs or caretaking responsibilities. It is also beneficial for individuals with health concerns, living in rural areas, or lacking access to transportation. The flexibility of telehealth extends the reach of mental health services, making them more inclusive and available for a wider audience.
As you don’t have to attend sessions in person, therapy via telehealth creates a sense of perceived anonymity (makes the experience feel less identifiable). This can make people feel less worried about being judged,
creating a more comfortable space for therapy.
Feeling in Control
Telehealth gives you the power to end a call whenever you want. This autonomy can make people more honest and open during sessions,
leading to better treatment outcomes.
Telehealth can be a cost-effective alternative to in-person sessions. Having sessions virtually can reduce expenses related to travel and parking. The ability to attend a Telehealth session from the comfort of
your office can also reduce the amount of time needed to take off from work. This financial efficiency contributes to a more sustainable and long-term healthcare model.
While telehealth boasts numerous advantages, traditional face-to-face services still hold a unique place in mental health care.
Benefits of in-person therapy:
Enhanced Therapeutic Alliance
Being in the same physical space often nurtures a more immediate and personal connection between the psychologist and the client. The in-person setting makes some people feel better understood and supported.
Being physically present allows the psychologist to directly observe their client’s body language (posture, eye-contact, facial expressions). These non-verbal cues provide valuable information which helps psychologists better understand their client’s emotions and thoughts. This helps psychologists tailor the session to better meet the client’s needs.
In-person sessions can offer a more controlled and focused environment with fewer distractions compared to telehealth sessions (no Facebook or Instagram tabs open on the side!).
Commitment & Accountability
For some people, the act of physically attending a therapy session provides a sense of commitment and dedication to their mental health journey.