Online therapy, also known as online counselling or teletherapy, has been gaining popularity in recent years, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic. It has emerged as an effective way to seek help for various mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. However, many people may still resist seeking online therapy because they have doubts about how it works. In this article, we’ll explore the workings of online therapy.

Understanding Online Therapy

Simply put, online therapy is a mode of therapy where mental health services are provided through digital means such as a website. Online therapy allows people to access therapy in various forms, such as video calls, audio calls, texts, chats and even emails. Online therapy is fast growing due to its accessibility and convenience.

What To Expect From Online Therapy?

As mentioned earlier, online therapy is provided in various forms, such as video calls, chats, audio calls and emails. Out of these modes, the experience of video calls comes closest to that of in-person therapy sessions. 

An online therapy session is quite similar to an in-person therapy session, the main difference between the two is that online therapy is delivered through the Internet or phone calls. Hence, people can expect the same level of confidentiality and care that they get in an in-person session from an online session as well. 

A major advantage of online therapy is that it removes the limitations of physical boundaries and allows people to reach out to therapists or platforms in various parts of the world. However, this can make it challenging for many people to find the right therapist from so many options, especially if they are seeking therapy for the first time. So, to make things easier, many therapy platforms ask people a few questions and match them with a therapist based on their answers. People are also allowed to switch therapists if they feel that the therapist assigned to them is not the right fit. Some platforms allow people to choose therapists from their database as well.

What Happens In An Online Therapy Session?

As mentioned earlier, an online therapy session is similar to an in-person session. Thus, the first session is typically focused on understanding the client and their challenges. The therapist might ask clients questions about their issues and also allow clients to ask questions about the process of therapy. The therapist will then discuss safety and confidentiality. 

The first online therapy session typically ends with a discussion of the client’s goals and expectations from the process. Some therapists may also share a brief overview of their interventions and treatment plans with the client.

Understanding The Pros And Cons Of Online Therapy

Like every mode of therapy, even online therapy also comes with it’s set of benefits and challenges. Let’s understand some of them through the table below

Advantages Of Online Therapy
Disadvantages Of Online Therapy
It makes therapy more convenient and accessible for people Access can be limited in areas that have no access to the internet.
Scheduling appointments is much easier and more flexible Sessions might be disturbed due to internet or technology issues
Some people may find online sessions more comforting Some people may find it difficult to build rapport, as they may feel that online sessions are less personal
Online therapy has been effective in the treatment of various issues. It’s effectiveness is backed by research It may still not be able to help people with severe psychological issues or those who require in-patient care
People can access sessions from the comfort of their homes Sometimes sessions may be interrupted by family members, children or external sounds


In summary, online therapy is a convenient, accessible, and effective alternative to traditional in-person therapy. It uses technology to break geographical barriers, increase flexibility, and provide tailored mental health support to people seeking help. In terms of effectiveness, video calls are the closest to in-person therapy sessions and are the most effective means of online therapy.

Feeling doubtful or wondering whether online therapy really works? click here to learn more


  1. Does Online Therapy Work? (n.d.). Choosing Therapy. Retrieved March 22, 2024, from
  2. Team, R. (2023, July 24). How does online therapy work? UK Therapy Guide – Your Trusted Online Therapy & Counselling.
Dhruva Koranne

Dhruva Koranne has completed his Masters in Applied Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, BALM. He has been practicing as a counsellor since 2020 and works to create a safe space for clients where they can open up. In addition to this, Dhruva loves researching and studying about upcoming theories in the field of Psychology. Connect with him on Linkedin