In the age of digital connectivity, we have more options than ever for seeking therapy and mental health support. Virtual therapy (online sessions) and traditional face-to-face therapy each have their merits, but they also come with their unique set of considerations. As a therapist, I personally prefer face-to-face sessions as I need to observe the gestures and nonverbal expressions that I may “miss” if I’m doing online sessions. But of course I’m open to seeing clients virtually too, as some (for example, highly anxious clients or clients with phobias) may not be able to meet face-to-face.
I’m just wondering:
- Have you ever tried virtual therapy, and if so, what was your experience like? Did you find it more convenient or felt that something was missing compared to in-person sessions?
- On the other hand, if you’ve had in-person therapy, what made that experience special for you? Did the personal connection with your therapist or the environment play a significant role in your journey?
Let’s share our thoughts and experiences on this topic. It’s a decision many of us might have to make at some point in our lives, and your insights can be incredibly valuable in helping others make informed choices when it comes to their mental health.
Remember, the most important thing is to seek help when needed, regardless of the format. So, which style of therapy resonates with you, and what has worked best in your mental health journey? Share your thoughts, and let’s learn from each other’s experiences!
I’ve tried both in-person and virtual sessions. I personally prefer in-person because I tend to get emotional and a lot of times I would end up crying and one thing that my counsellor used to do that was comforting and touching was to grab tissues and help me wipe my tears and she’ll comfort me by patting me on my back. The physical contact helped a lot
Throwing back the question to you @cottonsoul
If you were to ever try therapy, would you prefer an in-person or virtual session? Why so?
Thanks for asking!
Back when I was a very young trainee counsellor, I remember that it was part of the course requirement to go through 3 sessions of therapy ourselves, so that we can experience what it’s like being in therapy. I still remember what it was like and I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 sessions because it was very insightful (although I could not find any solutions, which is normal!) I guess I just needed someone to be with me, sit with my feelings while I expressed everything out.
I really liked face-to-face sessions for therapy, because I remember I could just express myself without worrying that my counsellor couldn’t understand me and I am someone who uses hand gestures a lot (haha) so that was helpful for the counsellor too. I also liked that I could sit in the space safely infront of the counsellor in silence, and it still felt warm and comfortable. It was something about being in the presence of another caring and empathetic person that made me feel like opening up, even if the other person didn’t say anything for a moment.
I don’t think an online session would be able to convey so much of my feelings and the depth of my emotions out accurately the person on the other side, because of the lack of “warmth” and presence, I think it’s just difficult to do so online.
Professionally as a counsellor, I also prefer seeing clients face-to-face as it helps me to fully understand their emotions… from the gestures and non-verbals, the tiny shifts in position, the little feet tapping, all those things that I could have missed if I were to do sessions online!
I always love face-to-face sessions but I do have clients who struggle intensely with social anxiety and they’re not able to leave the house, so we usually have online sessions instead! I think it’s also about having the flexibility to accommodate to the client’s needs I wouldn’t push for either options to the clients, it’s really up to their comfort level.
Thanks for asking me the question, it was fun to share my point of view.
What about everyone else?
I’ve only ever done online sessions before. Not sure if it counts as “therapy” but I really like the convenience of just going on Zoom instead of having to travel.
I guess I also like the fact that I can hide behind a screen and leave the session anytime if I feel uncomfortable compared to being face to face where you can’t really “run away”.
What I love about online sessions too is that I don’t have to travel, it can be tiring to do so.
When I was still seeking treatment at IMH, I had to travel weekly for my f2f therapy sessions (cause I was considered high risk) and the travelling took a toll on me (cause I took 1.5 hours to travel 1 way so 3 hours for both ways cause I stay very far from IMH). Travelling took longer than how long the session is.
Sometimes I admire myself for having travelled to IMH weekly for a few years, thank god I transferred out of IMH to a general hospital that is nearer my house.