Online therapy, also known as e-therapy, teletherapy, or virtual therapy, has grown increasingly popular in recent years. However, despite its growing acceptance, many people still harbour misconceptions about online therapy and how it compares to traditional face-to-face therapy
In this article, we'll address some of the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding online therapy, and provide you with a better understanding of how it works, its effectiveness, and the potential benefits it can offer to clients.
Myth #1: Online Therapy is Less Effective Than In-Person Therapy
One of the most prevalent misconceptions about online therapy is that it's less effective than traditional in-person therapy. However, a growing body of research suggests that online therapy can be just as effective as face-to-face therapy for a wide range of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and OCD . In some cases, online therapy has even been found to be more effective, as it allows clients to access therapy more easily and regularly, leading to better outcomes.
Myth #2: Online Therapy Lacks Personal Connection
Another common concern is that online therapy lacks the personal connection and warmth of in-person therapy. While it's true that the virtual format may be different, many clients report feeling just as connected to their therapist during online sessions as they do in person. In fact, some clients may feel more comfortable opening up and sharing their thoughts and feelings from the privacy of their own home, which can foster a strong therapeutic relationship.
Myth #3: Online Therapy is Not Confidential
The issue of confidentiality is often a significant concern for those considering online therapy. However providers are required to adhere to strict privacy and confidentiality standards. This means that your personal information and therapy sessions are protected by encryption and other security measures to ensure your privacy is maintained.
Myth #4: Online Therapy is Only for Minor Issues
Some people believe that online therapy is only suitable for minor issues, while more severe or complex mental health concerns require in-person therapy. However, research has shown that online therapy can be highly effective for a wide range of mental health issues, from mild to severe. In some cases, online therapy may even be more appropriate, as it allows clients to access specialised treatment that may not be available locally.
Myth #5: Online Therapy is Not Covered by Insurance
The belief that online therapy is not covered by insurance is another common misconception. While this may have been true in the past, many insurance companies now recognise the value and effectiveness of online therapy and have begun to offer coverage for telehealth services. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to determine your specific coverage for online therapy.
Online therapy has come a long way in recent years, with numerous studies demonstrating its effectiveness for a wide range of mental health concerns. By debunking common myths and misconceptions, we can help to increase awareness and understanding of the potential benefits that online therapy can offer to clients.
 Andersson, G., & Cuijpers, P. (2009). Internet-based and other computerised psychological treatments for adult depression: A meta-analysis. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 38(4), 19-206.
 Carlbring, P., Andersson, G., Cuijpers, P., Riper, H., & Hedman-Lagerlöf, E. (2018). Internet-based vs. face-to-face cognitive behaviour therapy for psychiatric and somatic disorders: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 47(1), 1-18.