Online vs. Traditional Therapy

(January 5, 2022)

Online vs Traditional Therapy

If you are a consumer of media, you are likely familiar with online therapy platforms. At first glance, there does not seem to be a downside. What are the benefits and drawbacks to traditional therapy? What can traditional therapy do, that online therapy cannot? 

Let’s break down some of the key differences:

Online Therapy

  • Advertised as less expensive but is often a subscription. Can be $90 per week or more.
  • Access your therapist any time, up to 5 days per week. 
  • All virtual- no in person option
  • Cannot guarantee a diagnosis
  • May sell consumer data to third party platforms such as Google and Facebook
  • Does not offer crisis services
  • Does not guarantee you will be matched with someone who specializes in your needs.
  • Not necessarily a person from your area

Traditional Therapy

  • Copay can be as little as $10-$40 per session, depending on your insurance plan. 
  • Clear boundaries, all therapeutic communication is done in a 45-55 minute session, usually weekly or twice a week.
  • Can be in person, but also many insurances cover teletherapy, which can be done from your home computer or phone.
  • Licensed therapists can provide a diagnosis.
  • Will never share data with third parties due to HIPAA
  • Does not usually offer crisis services
  • Allows the client to seek out someone who specializes in their mental health needs
  • Always a person from at least your state, due to licensing laws. Can provide local resources.

The important thing, when looking for a therapist, is to find someone with whom you connect and feel comfortable. We, at Champaign Counseling, aim to provide you with therapists who specialize in a variety of different areas, but we also are aware of what areas are beyond our scope. We will never try to treat someone that we are not qualified or equipped to help, and our first priority is you. Email or give us a call today at 217-203-2008 to schedule an appointment. 

Like traditional therapy, online therapy is not meant to be used in crisis situations. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, there are a variety of resources available to you, such as the Text Crisis Line (Text HOME to 741 741), and the  Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1800-273-8255). Central Illinois offers a local crisis line as well (217-359-4141), and you can always call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency room.