iQuanti: Finding the right mental health professional can be a big decision, and there’s more than one way to receive support. For example, do you want a therapist in Austin who offers in-person therapy, telehealth, or a mixture of both? Let’s break down the pros and cons of each option.
What is in-person therapy?
In-person therapy is when a licensed therapist meets with you face-to-face. Sessions are held at the same place every time, usually in the therapist’s office.
Pros of in-person therapy:
- Meeting in a quiet, neutral office might offer fewer distractions, allowing you to focus on mental health goals.
- Establishing a connection and trust with your therapist may be faster or easier in person.
- Your therapist may be more likely to spot nonverbal cues, which could help them understand your needs.
- Severe mental health disorders that require more urgent care can be more responsive to in-person therapy.
- Certain types of therapy, such as art or play therapy, can be easier to conduct in person.
Cons of in-person therapy:
- The number of mental health professionals in your area might be limited. This could make it hard to find a therapist or schedule an appointment.
- Traveling to your therapist’s office might be inconvenient or take a long time.
- In-person therapy can sometimes be more expensive than telehealth.
What is telehealth therapy?
Therapists who offer telehealth provide support to their patients either over the phone or through virtual video sessions. Instead of meeting in a therapist’s office, you might have a video conference from your living room, or anywhere else you have an internet or phone connection.
Pros of telehealth:
- Since location is less important, you may find a larger pool of therapists available to you by telehealth than in person.
- You can have a therapy session from anywhere there’s phone or internet service. This could be a big plus if you have social anxiety, physical limitations, or live in an area with unreliable transportation.
- You might feel more at ease talking to a therapist from a quiet space of your choosing rather than in an office.
- If privacy is a concern, there’s no risk of anyone seeing you going into a therapist’s office.
Cons of telehealth:
- Telehealth won’t work if you don’t have access to a computer or phone, or if you’re in an area with poor internet service.
- It may be harder for therapists to pick up on body language or other nonverbal cues, which might limit communication.
- You may feel self-conscious if you don’t have access to a private space where you won’t be distracted or overheard.
- If you have a severe mental illness or are in a crisis where your safety is at risk, telehealth might not be the best option.
Making the right choice for you
So, which is better? Teletherapy and in-person therapy both provide regular sessions with a licensed therapist and can provide effective treatment. However, when it comes to therapy, personal needs and circumstances are important factors to consider when deciding.
Note that some therapists offer a hybrid approach—they have an office location with the option for telehealth if needed. In the end, one of the best ways you can figure out if in-person or telehealth therapy is right for you is to reach out to a local therapist. They can help you decide which type of therapy best suits your needs.