Online Counseling Vs. Online Counselling: What’s The Difference?

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated June 13, 2024by Regain Editorial Team
Content warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that could be triggering to the reader. Please see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

Many people may see research about mental health with either the term “counseling” or “counselling” and wonder what the difference between the two may be. There is no difference other than spelling—both refer to treatment from a mental health professional, also called therapy, talk therapy, or psychotherapy. Many people living in the UK prefer to spell it as counselling, though both spellings reference the same thing. Read on to explore the many benefits of online therapy and how you can work on your mental health with the support and guidance of a licensed therapist from the comfort of your own home.

Do you know how online therapy can benefit your life?

What is counseling?

No matter whether you call it counselling, therapy, or even visiting the shrink, it amounts to the same thing. According to the American Psychological Foundation, psychotherapy is a branch of mental healthcare in which a trained professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor helps you work through stressors, addictions, grief, heartbreak, depression, anxiety, anger, or a wide variety of emotional and mental health conditions and disorders that can impact how happy and functional you are in daily life. 

You may explore your past experiences to understand how you form and maintain relationships based on what you were taught as a child. Therapy could help you explore the connection between how you think and your emotions or identify patterns that cause problems in your life. A therapist can also help you discover the underlying issues that lead to conflict or interfere with your ability to function. 

“During psychotherapy, you learn about your specific issues and how your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors affect your moods. Talk therapy helps you learn how to take control of your life and respond to challenging situations with healthy coping skills.” The Mayo Clinic

When can therapy help someone?

One of the common misconceptions about therapy is that only people with mental health conditions should talk to a therapist. Anyone can benefit from the support and guidance of a mental health professional. Someone trained to help you explore your emotions and their connection to your behavior may guide you toward realizations about yourself that you couldn't have made alone, help you find healthier ways to relate to the people in your life, or regulate your emotions and reactions. 

Managing symptoms related to mental health conditions

Psychotherapy is often one of the primary methods to treat various mental health conditions, and recent research indicates that online treatments are just as effective as working with a therapist in the traditional in-office setting. Teletherapy offers the additional benefit of controlling your environment, and many patients said the physical separation from their therapist made sharing personal details easier. 

Mental health issues online therapy can help treat

  • Mood disorders like depression
  • Stress and anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Personality disorders like sociopathy
  • Anger management
  • Individual, family, couple, or group dynamics
  • Relationship problems
  • Identifying and reshaping problematic behavior or thought patterns
  • Processing emotions related to past experiences
  • Bereavement and processing of grief
  • Many other emotional and mental health problems

How online counseling (or counselling) can benefit you

If you’ve been having trouble regulating your emotions, working through the feelings related to a recent experience, or maintaining healthy relationships, you may find that online therapy is an excellent tool that offers numerous benefits.


Building stronger, healthier relationships

Learn how to form and maintain strong, healthy relationships—and recognize unhealthy relationship dynamics—in online therapy by understanding how to communicate, reciprocate, and validate the feelings of the one you’re with, whether the bond is romantic, friendship, or family.   

Learn how to communicate with important people in your life

Many people may not realize that communication is a multi-layered, two-way channel in a relationship. You can’t always rely on the other person to initiate contact, and if they consistently don’t feel valued, seen, or appreciated, you may find that the bond between you fades. Online therapy can teach you healthy ways to form and maintain open communication between yourself and those in your life who matter most. Studies show that communication is often at the heart of healthy, balanced relationships

Working through issues as a couple

Virtual couples counseling can help you recognize problems in your relationship and work through them together, reestablishing emotional intimacy, improving communication, and providing practical conflict resolution. 

Learn emotional intelligence, awareness, and literacy

One of the essential benefits of therapy is how it develops your sense of emotional intelligence, awareness, and literacy, which helps you identify your feelings, understand how they affect you, and communicate your experiences to others. 

Process traumatic experiences and move forward

Many people struggle to examine and process their emotions after going through a traumatic experience. Whether or not you develop PTSD after something traumatic, you will likely have lingering feelings about the situation, and online counseling can help you work through it and move forward with your life. 

Conveniently fit treatment into your busy schedule

Life gets busy, and it's not easy to commit to a regular treatment schedule if you have to physically travel to and from the therapist's office when they have an available time slot. Online therapy allows you to schedule sessions at your convenience, and all you need for treatment is a phone or internet connection with video calls, online chat, and phone calls among the versatile options.

Find the right therapist for you

One of the most prevalent misconceptions about mental health treatment is that you’re stuck with a therapist who isn’t a good fit or doesn’t seem to understand you. For your treatments to be effective, you must have an open, trusting relationship with your therapist and shouldn’t work with someone if you don’t feel comfortable talking about your feelings to them.

Do you know how online therapy can benefit your life?

Develop healthy coping skills

Life can be extremely stressful, presenting situations you struggle to get through on your own or without experiencing intense distress. Online counseling can help you develop an array of healthy, practical coping skills that help you manage your stressors and emotional reactions so they don’t interfere with your daily life and functional ability. Virtual therapy can also help you develop coping strategies to manage the symptoms of mental health conditions, making it easier for you to function in and interact with the world around you. 

Other benefits of online counseling

  • Unmatched convenience, since you don't have to travel, makes it possible to participate more reliably. 
  • You control your healing environment.
  • Access to a comprehensive network of licensed mental healthcare providers makes it far more likely that you will find the right match. 
  • More cost-effective than traditional treatments
  • Shorter wait times to speak with a provider
  • Accessibility to mental healthcare, even in areas without psychiatric offices

Reach out for help

If you’ve been having trouble managing your emotions recently, your distress makes it difficult to function in one or more areas of your life, or your symptoms persist for two or more weeks, you may benefit from speaking to a therapist or other mental healthcare provider about assessment for a mental health condition or assistance with emotional issues. 

How online therapy can help you feel emotionally balanced

Many people struggle to identify, understand, and regulate their emotions independently. Consider working with a licensed mental health professional online through a virtual therapy platform like Regain to help you work toward emotional balance. Therapy can help you identify negative patterns in your life and reshape them into healthier habits, develop effective, practical coping and communication skills to manage your stress and express your feelings, and help you deal with life's emotional ups and downs while keeping things in perspective. Parents or guardians seeking online therapy for kids ages 12 to 19 can contact TeenCounseling for assistance.  

Versatile, flexible mental health treatment options have become increasingly desirable, and many people wonder about the effectiveness of online therapy. Studies show that virtual and in-person therapy offer similar outcomes, though teletherapy is often less expensive, has shorter wait times, and provides access to a much more comprehensive network of licensed therapists, counselors, and psychologists. You don’t have to settle for a mental healthcare provider with whom you feel uncomfortable or doesn’t fit well with your personality and therapeutic needs. If your first match isn’t right, connecting with another therapist is easy. The data also indicates that couples therapy is equally effective face-to-face and online


Whether you spell it counseling or counselling, it still means the same thing—treatment for a wide range of emotional and mental health conditions and disorders. This article explains how online counseling can help you foster emotional stability, learn communication skills, and build healthier relationships.

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