What is online therapy?

Online therapy is the delivery of mental health counseling via the Internet. People also know it as e-therapy, distance therapy, Internet therapy and web therapy. Web therapy offers benefits compared to in-person psychotherapy.

  • Convenience. Online therapy can take less time away from the office or worry about getting stuck in traffic. No need to travel to meet with your psychologist or counsellor. Dial a number or log in to a site, and the session can happen wherever you are most comfortable.
  • Less expensive. The online session can be significantly lower than in-office visits. If you’re not interested in using health insurance for psychotherapy, this can be a benefit.
  • Comfortable because familiar, especially for younger adults or those who use technology often. It can seem more comfortable or easier than talking to someone in person, especially when revealing personal or private information.
  • Access. In some remote communities, the nearest psychologist’s office may be an hour or two drive away. Those suffering from chronic illnesses or disabilities may not be easily able to leave their home. In these situations, Web- or telephone-based therapy may be their only option for help.

A growing number of clients are using online counselling as a replacement for office visits.

See: Mallen, Michael J.; David L. Vogel (November 2005). “Introduction to the Major Contribution Counseling Psychology and Online Counseling”. The Counseling Psychologist33 (6): 761–775. doi:10.1177/0011000005278623