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How to Decide Between In Person or Online Counseling?



Deciding whether to see your counselor in person or online is not always an easy decision. It's important to consider the pros and cons of both options before making a choice. While I feel in person gives me more insight to a person, I also believe there are benefits of online counseling. With its increased accessibility and flexibility, it allows people to have the opportunity to receive counseling when they wouldn't otherwise be able to.


Here are some reasons to see your counselor in person:

  1. In-person counseling allows for a more personal and direct connection with your therapist. This can help to build trust and rapport, which can be beneficial for the therapeutic process.

  2. Being in the same room as your therapist can allow for more effective communication and nonverbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions, can provide additional information and context.

  3. In-person counseling can also provide a safe and private space to discuss sensitive or personal issues.

  4. Some people find it easier to talk about their problems face-to-face, rather than over the phone or online. This may be especially true for people who feel uncomfortable discussing personal issues over the phone or online.

  5. Some therapies, such as expressive therapies (e.g. art therapy, play therapy) require in-person sessions, because they involve the use of physical materials and/or the therapist's direct observation of the client.



Here are some reasons to see your counselors online:

  1. Convenience: Online counseling allows for therapy sessions to be held from the comfort of your own home, eliminating the need to travel to an office.

  2. Flexibility: Online counseling allows for more flexibility in scheduling appointments, making it easier to fit therapy sessions into a busy schedule.

  3. Anonymity: Some people may feel more comfortable discussing personal issues with a counselor online rather than in person.

  4. Accessibility: Online counseling can provide access to therapy for individuals who have transportation issues or have mobility restrictions.

  5. Cost-effective: Online counseling can be less expensive than in-person therapy due to the elimination of travel costs and overhead expenses.


Ultimately it is your choice on how you receive counseling. You could consider seeing a counselor who offers both options. This would give the most flexibility and assures you'll have the opportunity to get the help you need. I have many clients who start their visits in person and adjust to online care as their life situation gets busier. I also have clients that have a hard time leaving their house due to anxiety. After a few online sessions as they build a rapport with me they feel more comfortable and then make the switch to in person. If you're considering counseling, start by choosing the path that is a good fit for you.

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