Is online therapy legit? –  Insights from a psychotherapist with a 25-year career

Used to video meetings and the convenience of online communications, you might have been wondering if online therapy is legit and more importantly if it can help you get on top of your mental health needs.

Why even consider online therapy?

As the world becomes increasingly digital, online therapy is becoming a popular option for those seeking mental health support. It offers you the flexibility and convenience to receive therapy from the comfort of your home. But what exactly is online therapy, and is it a legitimate option for those seeking mental health support?

From my personal experience meeting patients in person for 20 years and the last 3 years working exclusively online, I can attest firsthand that the therapeutic alliance between me and my patients is as effective as it is in person. In other words, yes, online therapy is legit because it works!

The proven effectiveness of e-therapy according to research

A study published in the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Journal found that online therapy was just as effective as in-person therapy for treating depression. The study also concluded that this therapeutic approach had a higher completion rate, suggesting that patients were more likely to stick with the treatment. 

Another study, published in the Journal of Technology in Human Services, reviewed numerous studies on the effectiveness of online therapy and found that it was as effective as face-to-face therapy for treating a range of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

A more recent meta-analysis of 64 studies published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders in 2018, also found that online cognitive behavioral therapy was effective for major depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and general anxiety disorder.

These findings endorse online therapy as a legitimate and effective option for individuals seeking mental health support and can provide benefits such as greater accessibility, privacy, and convenience.

In short, what is online therapy?

Online therapy, also known as e-therapy, or virtual therapy, is a type of mental health counseling that is conducted via the internet. It can be delivered through various mediums, including video conferencing, phone calls, messaging, and email. 

Personally, I don’t recommend doing virtual therapy other than via video meetings, it is important for your therapist to see you in order to read your non-verbal cues. In my opinion, therapists that propose sms, e-mail, or phone treatments aren’t serious.

In Singapore, online therapy has become an increasingly popular option for individuals seeking mental health support due to its availability, accessibility, and convenience.

Get a feel for online therapy with me

Because not everyone is sure online therapy is legit, I decided to offer a special 20 min. intro session so you may ask me all your questions about e-therapy, working with me, and my recommendations for your situation.

The benefits of online therapy

There are numerous benefits to online therapy. Firstly, it is more accessible than traditional in-person therapy, particularly if you are working long hours, travel frequently, or want to work with a therapist with particular expertise. 

Secondly, with online therapy, patients are more likely to stick with their treatment. The convenience of attending therapy sessions from home, the flexibility to schedule appointments that fit their needs, and the increased sense of anonymity and privacy all contribute to a higher retention rate. 

Thirdly, e-therapy offers greater flexibility in terms of scheduling, as sessions can be conducted outside of traditional office hours. 

Additionally, patients who may have been hesitant to seek in-person therapy due to stigma or who are seeking privacy find online therapy to be a more approachable and comfortable option, leading to a higher likelihood of starting and completing treatment.

Any drawbacks to in-person therapy?

While in-person therapy is a valuable option for many individuals, it does have some drawbacks. For some patients, in-person therapy can be expensive, particularly for those who require frequent sessions. Some therapists also price their sessions higher to make up for the higher operating costs of a brick-and-mortar office.

Furthermore, in-person therapy may not be as accessible for patients with a busy schedule and a lot of responsibilities. 

Personally, I started as a traditional psychotherapist, meeting patients in my office. After 2020, the reason I decided not to go back to the office and to only work online was the increased flexibility for patients and myself. Seeing how effective online therapy is, I only see benefits for my patients.

Some benefits of online therapy vs in-person

E-therapy offers numerous advantages over in-person therapy.

  • Your therapist can be available very quickly. With Psychology Experts, you can book your appointment for the next day via our scheduling page. Simply select the time that works for you.
  • Access to quality care, even if you are traveling, living in a remote area, or have a hectic schedule.
  • A huge benefit for patients who might be nervous about in-person office appointments, e-therapy offers more privacy and anonymity.

Related: Shocking: the depression drug scam designed to sell more drugs

Is online therapy legit? – Takeaways

In conclusion, online therapy is a legitimate and effective option for individuals seeking mental health support. The growing popularity of virtual therapy is backed up by research and my own successful experience in my practice. 

Online therapy offers numerous benefits, including greater accessibility, privacy, and convenience. Patients are more likely to stick with their treatment and can schedule sessions outside of traditional office hours. I particularly appreciate how it offers more flexibility and quick access to quality care, making it an increasingly popular option for those seeking mental health support in Singapore and in Asia.