Frequently Asked Questions About The Difference Between Online And Traditional Therapy

With the quarantine in place, many individuals who need urgent mental and emotional help have shifted from traditional therapy sessions to newer online methods. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, at least 70 percent of countries today are embracing teletherapy services. And with more and more people trusting digital media nowadays, online therapy is slowly becoming a good mental health option along with Traditional Type.

While both types of therapy aim to address mental health issues adequately, they are very different in many ways.


One obvious difference between traditional and online therapy is the methodology or material being used to communicate.

In traditional therapy, you get to see your therapist inside his clinic or hospital room often. You may address your issues and matters face to face. Through that, you hear your therapist’s responses right away. In this method, you also have to book an appointment and be physically present yourself, which can be a hassle for many people with busy schedules.

In online therapy, many digital mediums are in use. Today, teletherapy expands its service via texts, email, phone calls, chats, or video conferencing. The variety of methods allow people to have more flexibility and control over their time. Meanwhile, there are online therapies conducted through real-time phone or video calls. Sometimes, this particular type may result in limited responses and untimely delays due to connectivity issues. 

Generally, both in-person and online therapy costs the same, especially if acquiring services from the same medical institution or private clinic. Although sometimes, online therapists charge their clients not by the number of sessions held but through the subscription method. It means you have to pay them weekly or monthly, depending on your plan. If opting for this scheme, you might incur higher fees than per-session charges in traditional therapy.

Additionally, you must also consider the amount of money you would use before acquiring the service. An in-person therapy requires physical attendance, which entails costs for driving or transportation. Teletherapy may charge you greater internet fees or network costs for using digital mediums such as phone calls and video conferencing. 

In this time, where a need for mental health therapy is booming, one must not fall short in taking note of their privacy. In-person therapy sessions ensure privacy through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Online therapy can be risky and daunting for your confidentiality. What makes teletherapy sessions prone to these risks is the medium of communication used. Make sure that when acquiring service from an online provider, they use a video platform that is HIPAA-compliant.

If you want to know how to differentiate online and traditional therapy and discover which type suits your needs, the following set of FAQs can surely help.

Is there a difference between counseling and therapy?

Generally speaking, there is no difference between counseling and therapy. Both treatment approaches can help those who have psychological disorders. However, counseling is usually short-term. Meanwhile, therapy requires more skills and qualifications for its provider.

What are some possible advantages and disadvantages to online therapy?

Online therapy has been a significant help with the ongoing pandemic. Some sites and applications offer free and affordable mental health services. However, some people see factors of privacy concerns as a disadvantage to online therapy. There is also an issue with unreliable technology or internet service providers.

What is traditional therapy?

Traditional therapy is in-person consultations with a licensed mental health provider. Traditional therapies usually take place in the therapist’s office.

Is online therapy as effective as in-person therapy?

There is not enough evidence of online therapy’s effectiveness. However, individuals who underwent teletherapy have shown significant improvement and progress in their conditions. This evidence renders the treatment approach convenient and functional.

What type of doctor is a therapist?

Practicing therapists are not medical doctors. Instead, they have a doctoral degree in psychology. They also have supplementary and extensive training in providing therapy. Some possess a different degree but also have secondary skills in therapy and certification. These qualifications allow them to work as a therapist.


How do I choose a counseling theory?

Therapists will recommend the right treatment approach for you. There are various counseling theories to choose from. However, they are often dependent on the kind of situation or condition a patient has.

Is online therapy cheaper?

Many find online therapy cost-effective. Some online therapy applications and sites even provide their services for free. Others have a subscription plan. Not to mention that individuals do not have to worry about gas or transportation money. These factors usually contribute to the expenses.

What is online therapy called?

Online therapy is also sometimes called e-therapy, teletherapy, or cyber-therapy. All of these terms mean the same. It means getting mental health services through the internet.

What are the benefits of online therapy?

One of the benefits of online therapy that many people like is its convenience and accessibility. With it, anyone has access to psychological services in the comforts of their home. It is also cheap, as some online therapies are available at no cost. Patients can also schedule each session at their own time and convenience.

Is online therapy any good?

Yes. Recent studies show that online therapy can be as equally effective as traditional therapy. Many patients had seen progress with their condition when they started receiving treatment through the internet.

Which is better, BetterHelp, or TalkSpace?

Depending on your needs, both applications offer quality mental health services. However, if you are more into video conferencing, you might find BetterHelp more helpful. On the other hand, if you prefer chatting or messaging, Talkspace may be the right option for you.

Does Blue Cross cover online therapy?

The majority of Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance does cover teletherapy. However, it is still best to ask your mental health service provider if they have a partnership with Blue Chapters. You can also find a list of BCBS-covered online therapy sites on the internet.

What are the 3 types of counseling?

First, you have directive counseling, wherein the counselor or therapist plays an important role. The therapist has authority over counseling sessions. There is also non-directive counseling, which offers freedom of expression for the client. The third one is eclectic counseling. It is a combination of the two types mentioned earlier.

What is the best counseling approach?

The best counseling approach depends on an individual’s condition. Research finds that a behavioral system is more suited for mood disorders like depression and anxiety.

What are the three theories of Counseling?

The three main counseling theories include:

  1. Psychodynamic, which focuses on an individual’s conscious and unconscious minds
  2. Behavioral, which aims to understand how cognition affects a person’s behavior
  3. Humanistic, this approach emphasizes one’s unique characteristics and abilities.


You don’t have to worry about the effectiveness of either therapy method. According to a recent study, online therapies are just as helpful and beneficial as in-person therapies. Moreover, a 2014 research revealed that cognitive behavior therapies held through an online mode are as effective as traditional therapies in combating anxiety disorders. 

In choosing between traditional or online therapies, what you must consider instead is the therapist. If you see that a therapist fits your preferences, you can be more motivated to follow up and continue your progress. A good therapist can take care of your condition, especially if you have a more comprehensive treatment plan.  Considering your therapist’s health institution or clinic is the first step in finding the best healthcare service you deserve.


In choosing online therapy, pick a platform that employs qualified therapists. Most online therapy providers let you choose who you would want as a therapist based on your preferences, such as your present mental or emotional needs.

In this way, you can be sure that your journey to wellness, even remotely,  is still achievable.