The Benefits Of Mental Health Counseling Online

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated August 2, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Despite the increased awareness of counseling and mental health services over recent years, many people do not have an opportunity for talk therapy or personal counseling, which is where the best online therapy can be a convenient and available option. Barriers to in-person treatment can include cost, distance, and availability of licensed. For example, some Americans living in rural areas may not have therapists, such as a licensed clinical social worker or a licensed professional counselor, nearby. As mental healthcare can be an essential service for those seeking it, many US adults are turning to virtual counseling, which cuts down on some of these barriers and may even accept insurance, helping to save money.

Feeling Like You Don't Have A Therapist Who Can Help?

Benefits Of Online Counseling Sessions 

According to the American Psychological Association (APA) and various online counseling service studies, therapy delivered via telecommunication devices is often referred to as telepsychology. You might also hear it referred to as web therapy, phone therapy, text therapy, or online therapy.

The availability of virtual therapy, including couples counseling and evidence based therapy, has provided unique opportunities and a safe space for clients to receive support of the same quality they might find in person, which is one of the ways a licensed marriage and family therapist can help those who need help but don't have enough time.

In addition, online therapy provides opportunities for online communication and connection that may not be present in other forms. Below are several expected benefits of online counseling, such as an initial visit, for those seeking support. 

Flexibility In Scheduling 

One of the most common benefits of online therapy is that it allows clients to meet with their providers, such as a clinical social worker or licensed psychiatrists, at a time that works for them. Many internet-based providers have early morning, late night, or weekend hours for clients to take advantage of. In addition, clients can schedule their appointments without being put on a waiting list for mental health diagnoses or medication management. 

Through specific online platforms, unlimited messaging might be a possibility. In these cases, clients can message their therapist at any time of day and receive a response within 24 hours from their therapist. Individuals can also attend sessions comfortably with flexible session formats (phone, video, or live chat).  

A Wider Reach 

Physically attending an appointment might not be possible for everyone. Online mental health counseling provides a viable option for those living in remote areas, people who travel for their jobs, and Americans living abroad. In addition, online counseling is often cheaper than conventional therapy sessions. Forbes found that the average price of in-person therapy is $100 to $200 a session. Online counseling costs significantly less per month. 


Some clients might avoid therapy, including substance abuse counseling or working with a family therapist, due to a disability. Physical health challenges, a lack of mobility, or difficulty getting out of bed may cause barriers to treatment. With online therapy, clients can attend counseling from home, even if they're working with medical doctors for their conditions. If they don't want their provider to see them when they're not feeling well, they can choose the live chat therapy session option.


There are several stigmas associated with mental health, and attending therapy can feel shameful or embarrassing for those experiencing them. Those who seek online counseling may appreciate the fact that their identities are hidden. Instead of visiting a provider in person or at a public location, they can attend sessions from home. They can choose a live chat session if they don't want to talk out loud with the therapist. In addition, some online platforms offer the possibility to go by a nickname instead of your real name. 

The Ethical Considerations Of Online Counseling

All therapists are required to adhere to ethical guidelines. With online counseling, the text-based interactive communication between therapists and clients might lead to misinterpretation in tone and intent. If you are concerned with how your therapist communicates, try asking for clarification. In addition, you can switch therapists if you find that one therapist is not working out for you. 

You can also read the terms and conditions of any platform you apply to use for mental health therapy. The policies a platform uses are in place to safeguard you, your therapist, and the platform from harm. Your counselor may be able to answer questions about a platform's policies. 

Feeling Like You Don't Have A Therapist Who Can Help?

How To Find An Online Counselor 

There are many online therapists available. You can find one online through a special practice or sign up for a platform to get matched with a therapist without extra work. Online therapists practice the same types of therapy as in-person professionals and are licensed, trained, and vetted for quality. If you're looking for a therapist that takes your insurance, you may fare best with a special practice therapist in your area that offers telemental health counseling services.

If you're unsure about the effectiveness of these processes, you can also check out what the APA has to say about online therapy. You can also read about the 17 studies that found online therapy more effective than in-person counseling in treating specific concerns like depression. 

With the low cost of online therapy and the increasing availability of telehealth services, more individuals can find the support they seek. If you're interested in signing up for this type of treatment, consider a platform like BetterHelp, which offers over 30,000 licensed therapists specializing in various areas of mental healthcare. 

By choosing an online therapy service, you may be able to avoid extra costs and save money while still receiving quality mental health support.


Some of the BetterHelp benefits that in-person therapy does not provide, include increased services, flexibility in scheduling, and a low weekly cost. You can learn more about online counseling by signing up for a platform or contacting a therapist for specifics. 

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The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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