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What Are The Benefits Of Face-to-Face Counselling vs Online

Many of us put off or are reluctant about going to therapy for many reasons. It can be daunting to face and directly address our feelings. Online therapy is becoming more popular, especially since the pandemic, which made it virtually impossible for thousands to have access to in-person therapy. The convenience of online therapy has meant that it has kept its presence even after the pandemic. Not only therapy but other areas that had to go online due to the pandemic have still remained, such as teaching and even working from home.

Face-to-face counselling involves going to our therapist’s office, or in some cases, they may do home visits, and opening up about our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Alongside the therapist is how you work on strategies to understand your feelings and better your mental well-being. 

The purpose of online therapy is exactly the same. The only difference is that you communicate with your therapist through a video or a phone call, or any other type of online session.

Online therapy, in most cases, is just as effective as face-to-face therapy, but for people who are experiencing deep and severe mental health issues in person counselling would be more suitable. 

Many private therapists offer a blend of face-to-face and online sessions, depending on your circumstances. For example, if your job requires you to travel often, some sessions can be moved online to accommodate that. 


Learn more about the main benefits of online therapy. 


There are plenty of benefits of online therapy, allowing so many more people to have access to mental health support. Thanks to technology, online counselling removes the limitations and lack of accessibility that people may face that keep them from getting counselling. For example, not being able to travel because of where you live or people with physical disabilities. It also gives those who struggle with language barriers more choices in finding suitable therapists.

• One of the most admired benefits of online therapy is the simple convenience of it. It can be done from the comfort of your own home or from anywhere. It saves people who live busy lives, saves travel time, and makes it much easier to fit into their schedule. Not only that, but it saves money that would otherwise be spent on travel.

• Online therapy can make you feel less seen, as some people are quite reluctant to seek mental health support or private counselling due to the stigmas around it. For example, feeling nervous that somebody could see them, especially if their therapist is local. Online can feel safer and encourages more people to get counselling.

• Social anxiety can be a barrier for those who want to seek counselling but feel overwhelmed and find it difficult to leave the house. Having or perhaps beginning with online sessions can ease them into the therapy process until they feel comfortable enough to come in person. 

• Flexibility is another major benefit of online counselling. Parents might have to deal with a child who is refusing to go to therapy today. A phone call can be an alternative way to ensure the child still gets their session. Or perhaps your car won’t start, or you have suffered an injury. Having the option to have an online session instead keeps the client from missing out.


• Because of the nature of online counselling and because it can be so flexible, it can feel easier to cancel or miss a session because it is online. Perhaps in-person counselling feels like more of a commitment.

• For people, the journey to and from the therapist’s office can be an integral part of their day. It may be the first time they have left their house, giving them time to reflect on their thoughts and consider what they have learned from that session. 

• Internet and technology issues can arise with online therapy, which can take valuable time out of the session, interrupting people’s thoughts or conversations and disrupting the flow of the session.

• In-person interactions with your therapist will help you create a deeper and more meaningful bond, leaving some unable to build that human connection through a screen.


Face-to-face counselling

The importance of physical a presence with your therapist


• Building a relationship with somebody face to face is much easier and more natural than virtually, which helps the client feel ready to open up. The therapist can pick up on more personal observations, giving them a better understanding of you as a person and providing you with more personal counselling. The interactions are more personal, and opening up about sensitive information can feel more meaningful to the client when it is in person. For example, when you have something important to tell somebody, good or bad, it always feels better to do it in person rather than on the phone. Not to say this kind of relationship cannot be built through online counselling; it really depends on the person, and for certain people in person therapy is more effective at creating that bond and trust with their therapist. 

• The emotional experience can be different. Nonverbal communication is limited with online therapy. Therapists can pick up on facial expressions and body language that reveal important information. The therapist doesn’t just observe your words but also how a person acts, which is harder to do on a screen. 

• In a therapist’s office, there are far fewer distractions compared to at home, keeping the client focused throughout the session. For example, if you have children or pets at home. 

• Those who aren’t accustomed to operating technology can find it stressful and frustrating to undergo online therapy. These people may be the same kind who also struggle to build a bond virtually because they are so used to naturally building relationships in person rather than online. Therefore, face-to-face counselling is more comfortable for them. 

• The therapist can use different types of therapies that are more beneficial when the client is physically present, e.g., art therapy, or they may use physical resources. 


If you are considering finding a private therapist for in-person counselling or online therapy, don’t hesitate to contact My Solution Well-being. One of our experienced therapists will be happy to assist you. 


Written By Ria Kaur 



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By MSWB Team on 26/03/2024 in Resources

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