Family Therapy Online: Is It Right For You And Your Loved Ones?

Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Erban
Updated November 20, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

For those who can’t or don’t like to attend in-person therapy, online counseling is an effective alternative. Yet, experts now know that the benefits of online therapy can extend to couples and families.

If you and your loved ones are curious about family therapy online, you may need help deciding if it’s right for you. You may need help choosing between online and traditional therapy. If so, you can read over this guide before you make your final decision and learn about our therapy professionals at Regain.

The Prevalence And Effectiveness Of Online Therapy

In a 2018 study of online therapy, 35% of participants reported they would choose online over face-to-face counseling. Though many participants noted they would be open to either method, the preference toward online therapy was at last partially credited for its ease of access. 

Previous studies looked into the effectiveness of online therapy, finding cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and counseling, especially for conditions such as depression and anxiety, to be the most effective version of the treatment method. These results hint at one of the most significant benefits of online therapy. 

Are You Wondering If Online Therapy Is Right For You?
The Advantages Of Family Therapy Online

With the advent of telehealth, the possibility of offering effective, reliable mental health care from a distance became a reality. Today, hundreds of individuals, couples, and families take advantage of the many benefits of getting counseling online. It's a new form of family therapy that makes access and attendance easier for many.

Here are six key advantages of online family therapy.

Convenience

With online therapy sessions, your family can choose a time that suits everyone’s busy schedule. There are thousands of counselors available, which means you don’t have to worry about competing for spots or making compromises. Plus, many online therapists offer text and email therapy. That means your family doesn’t even have to live in the same area to all get the help you need.

Keep in mind that some states require you to live in the same location as your certified therapist, so limitations do apply when it comes to families located across states.

Accessibility

It doesn’t matter how near or far away your closest therapist is when your family needs counseling.

You can get the help you need without having to leave your home. Plus, if you or one of your loved ones is disabled, you may appreciate not having to make an ordeal of every trip to therapy.

You can save countless hours without having to commute to your therapy sessions, and if there are no therapists with the expertise you need in your area, no problem. 

Affordability

Did you know online therapists tend to be cheaper than traditional ones? Traditional therapists have to pay for an office or building to host therapy sessions. With the lower operational costs of being an online-only therapist, they can charge less to practice. Those savings transfer over to you, meaning you won’t have to pay an excessive amount for family therapy.

Discretion

Sadly, there tends to be a stigma on people who go to therapy. If you need help, you may avoid seeing a therapist in-person for fear of someone seeing you attend. Or maybe the waiting room experience is just too awkward for you, as it is for many people.

The good news is you don’t have to go through that when you choose a therapist online. Only your therapist will see your face or, if you prefer, you can keep sessions to text or email. That way, you can remain relatively innominate (however, you will have to provide emergency contact information in the event of an emergency).

For example, when you seek family therapy online from the professionals at Regain, we don’t ask for your full name. Your therapist only needs to know your first name. 

Flexibility

Traditional therapists often have long waiting lists, which means you might have to wait for care. With online counseling, you can start immediately or wait for a time that better suits your schedule.

Most online counselors offer multiple ways to communicate. You can find therapists who will hold sessions over text or email. If you prefer, you can also find marriage and family therapists who do sessions over the phone or via video chat platforms like Zoom or Doxy.me.

Comfort

When you take advantage of a marriage and family therapist online, you don’t have to leave your home. Many people feel more comfortable at home. That level of comfort influences how safe you and your family feel being vulnerable, which is vital for true healing.

Many people also appreciate that they can stick with the same counselor, regardless of whether they move or go out of town. You don’t have to worry about getting comfortable with your online marriage and family therapist only to have to start all over again when you relocate.

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Why Online Therapy May Not Be Right For Your Family

Despite all it’s incredible benefits, online therapy can have some cons. Here’s what you need to know.

Insurance

Unfortunately, with the relative newness of online therapy, many insurers won’t cover the cost of online sessions.

As we’ve mentioned, though, online marriage and family therapy can be considerably less expensive than traditional counseling. Insurance may not pay for it, but you may not find yourself paying as much for a session out of pocket.

Severity

Depending on the degree of your needs, an online therapist may not be able to treat you. For example, an online family therapist cannot diagnose mental health conditions or prescribe medication. Also, if you need to see a therapist based on a court order, an online therapist may not be the right counseling professional for you.

Limitations Of The Medium

There are some limitations to the online therapy medium. Unlike in-person therapy, your counselor won’t be able to pick up body language or facial expressions over the phone. They won’t be able to hear vocal inflections or hesitations during email or text sessions, either. Family therapy online provided by companies like Regain offers video and audio sessions to reduce some of these limitations.

Another limitation of the online medium is that glitches do happen. Calls may echo, videos may have low resolutions, and calls might drop or freeze, especially if you live rurally. 

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Are You Wondering If Online Therapy Is Right For You?

Some Therapy Is Not Meant To Be Online

If you want animal-assisted therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), music therapy, or play therapy, online therapy is not the appropriate platform for you. These therapies require in-person participation that cannot currently be substituted digitally.

Online therapy also isn’t right as a solo option for you if:

  • You’re currently experiencing thoughts of harming yourself
  • You’re currently experiencing thoughts of harming others
  • You’re currently experiencing physical or mental abuse
  • You need emergency care
  • You need therapy for a severe mental health condition that requires medication
  • You’re otherwise concerned about your safety at home

If you’re experiencing one of these health crises, head to your local emergency room, or please call the national suicide prevention helpline or the national domestic violence hotline immediately.

Takeaway

This new medium has many benefits and some restrictions that should be considered when making your decision. As long as you choose a reputable counselor or online platform, you can be set up to find the help you need. 

The therapy professionals at Regain are waiting to connect with you. Get started with Regain to find the relief your family has been searching for.

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