Exploring Some Potential Benefits Of Telehealth Therapy

Medically reviewed by Nikki Ciletti, M.Ed, LPC
Updated April 29, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Telehealth therapy has changed the landscape of mental health care, and it has become a valuable option for therapists and clients alike. For example, these clients are no longer limited to healthcare professionals in their immediate area, and therapists don’t have to be restricted to office schedules. Below, we’re going to discuss what telehealth is (specifically as it relates to behavioral health), the benefits of telehealth for clients and therapists, and how you can utilize virtual therapy to connect with the right professional for you.   

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What does telehealth look like?

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, telehealth refers to “the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, health administration, and public health”. Telehealth, or virtual care, involves connecting with a health care provider remotely through a use of technology and without the need to visit an in-person office. Virtual health has affected many different types of health care, including mental health treatment. Virtual health has expanded options for how mental health professionals provide services to clients and how clients can receive care. 

So, what exactly does it involve? It means meeting through video calls, phone calls, or even in-app messages. This way, people can attend sessions without having to travel to an office, and even without having to leave their homes. 

While virtual care may not replace traditional therapy completely, online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be an effective. In fact, research has demonstrated the effectiveness of online therapy for mental health conditions such as depression, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, substance use disorders, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and more. 

Benefits for providers

Telehealth services can circumvent several common obstacles to providing in-person care. Virtual care has several potential benefits for counselors, including the following.

1. Flexibility and comfort

Virtual care can allow counselors to be more flexible with scheduling and work from their home or their office. This can be especially helpful during severe weather or when other issues make in-person appointments difficult to get to these offices. 

2. Increased demand

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the demand for virtual services. As counselors switch to or supplement their in-person practices with online offerings, they can reach a broader population.

3. Reduced "no-show" rates

Teletherapy may help reduce missed appointments due to travel time, illness, or other problems that can prevent the patient from attending an in-person session. 

4. Efficient use of time and resources

By having sessions online, counselors can reduce the time and resources spent on travel, therapy office space, and other in-person needs. Additionally, many online therapy platforms offer subscription-based pricing that does not involve health insurance, which can save a therapist's time that they may otherwise spend working with an insurance provider. This increased efficiency means online providers can use the extra time and resources to focus on helping clients, doing research, and spending time with their family or friends to have a better work-life balance.


Benefits of use by clients

Virtual care can also provide several advantages to the clients. The following are potential benefits for clients, which may involve cost or time savings with improved care. 

1. Improved availability and convenience

One of the main advantages of using virtual care is that it can be easier and might be more convenient than in-person therapy. With online platforms, clients can connect with mental health experts when and where it works best for them. Unlike with in-person therapy, clients do not need to commute to a therapist’s office. Often, all that is needed is a reliable internet connection. 

2. Low-cost and affordable options

Another benefit of speaking with an online therapist is the potential for lower costs. Virtual care can save counselors money on things like office space, savings they can even pass on to clients. Many online therapy platforms offer subscription plans for a monthly fee. Such plans are often as affordable as traditional in-person therapy through a health insurance provider.

3. Overcoming stigma

Some people who want to seek mental health services may feel deterred by any stigma surrounding getting help with mental health. Clients may feel shame or embarrassment around attending therapy. Virtual care lets clients get mental health services from home or quiet places.

4. Wider range of therapeutic experts to choose from

Online therapy can also give people a larger pool of mental health professionals to choose from without the limitations of physical proximity. This can help clients connect with a mental health professional who will be the right fit. Online therapy platforms often work with psychologists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and other types of providers. 

Considerations when seeking mental health services online

With so many online therapy options, it can sometimes be confusing trying to figure out where to start. 

Types of online therapy services

Synchronous, asynchronous, and remote monitoring are three different types of virtual therapy services used in counseling. Synchronous telehealth is when a counselor and a client communicate in real time, such as through video or phone calls. 

Asynchronous telehealth doesn't happen in real time. Instead, counselors and clients exchange messages or information, such as progress updates or questions, at different times. This method can be useful for reviewing a client's concerns and providing thoughtful feedback. 

Remote monitoring involves using technology to track a client's mental health progress from a distance. This type can be helpful to keep track of their clients' progress and provide support when needed, even if they can't meet in person.

It’s also important to note that many online therapy services cannot provide mental health diagnoses or medication management. However, online providers can connect clients with valuable mental health resources, such as informational articles on various disorders and exercises that help address challenging symptoms. 

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The process of choosing an online mental health platform

Counselors and clients may want to consider a few factors when choosing a virtual care platform, such as how easy it is to use, equipment that might be needed, and any features it offers. 

Clients may also want to research each platform's cost and if it offers any types of counseling clients want to engage in. For individuals interested in seeking online therapy from a licensed therapist, BetterHelp is one option to consider. Choosing online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp allows you to connect with the right therapist. BetterHelp works with licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and several other types of professionals—who all have at least three years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience. 


Virtual care has changed how mental health care can be provided, offering flexibility and convenience for both clients and counselors. Some potential benefits of virtual care for counselors include reduced no-show rates and efficient use of time, while client benefits include overcoming stigma and a wider range of experts to choose from. With online therapy through platforms like BetterHelp, individuals can connect with a licensed therapist wherever they have the internet.

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