We live in a digital world where everything, from food to clothing to socialising, is just a click away. The mental health industry has been quick to adapt to this digital revolution as well, with the rise of online therapy, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many might wonder if online therapy is helpful or effective. In this article, we’ll explore the effectiveness of online therapy

Understanding Online Therapy

Online therapy, also known as teletherapy, allows people to connect to a trained therapist online. Video sessions are the most popular form of online therapy, as they are closest to the experience of an in-person session. Besides video sessions, online therapy is also available in other forms, such as calls, chats and online support groups. Sometimes therapy may also be provided through channels such as WhatsApp or emails.

Does Online Therapy Work?

Several studies have been conducted to test the effectiveness of online therapy. Most of these studies involve video sessions. Most of the available studies suggest that online therapy can be as effective as in-person sessions. A few of the research studies have been mentioned below

Research on Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

  • Earlier research also had similar findings. In 2018, a group of researchers analyzed 20 studies to compare the effectiveness of online CBT to in-person CBT sessions. for depression and various anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety. The researchers found that online CBT was as effective as in-person CBT in treating anxiety and depression.
  • Another study in 2019 focused on testing the effectiveness of CBT in the treatment of depression. The study concluded that online therapy can help reduce symptoms of depression. In addition, researchers also found that both online and in-person CBT are equally effective for the treatment of depression, and a longer therapy duration increases therapeutic benefits.
  • A 2018 study found that online CBT was as effective as in-person therapy in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

Research on Other Therapies

  • A study published in February 2022 suggests that online psychodynamic therapy is almost as effective as in-person therapy. They found that online therapy successfully reduced the symptoms of depression, OCD and anxiety among university students.
  • Another study published in April 2023 had similar findings, where it was found that digital psychotherapy can be useful in reducing symptoms of psychological distress among students. They also found that implementing video conferencing along with other methods of digital psychotherapy can enhance the effectiveness of these interventions.
  • A study conducted in 2020 explored the effectiveness of online and in-person Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) in the treatment of mild anxiety among students. They concluded that both in-person and online therapy were equally effective in reducing anxiety levels. 

Thus, there is a lot of research to suggest that online therapy can be as effective as in-person therapy in the treatment of various issues such as anxiety, depression and PTSD.

The Benefits Of Online Therapy 

Online therapy has many advantages, such as:

  •  It is easily accessible and convenient
  • Online therapy eliminates the restrictions of geographical boundaries. One can easily consult therapists from all over India or around the world
  • Online therapy can help reduce the stigma around mental health by allowing people to consult a therapist from the comfort of their homes.


In summary, research findings suggest that online therapy can be as effective as in-person therapy sessions. Online therapy brings the benefits of accessibility and convenience as well. However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of online therapy also depends on one’s own comfort and preferences. 

If you want to learn more about online therapy, click here to read our article on how online therapy works


  1. Does Online Therapy Work? (n.d.). Choosing Therapy. Retrieved March 6, 2024, from https://www.choosingtherapy.com/does-online-therapy-work/
  2. Does Online Therapy Work? (2020, October 15). National Center for Health Research. https://www.center4research.org/does-online-therapy-work/
  3. Ierardi, E., Bottini, M., & Riva Crugnola, C. (2022). Effectiveness of an online versus face-to-face psychodynamic counselling intervention for university students before and during the COVID-19 period. BMC Psychology, 10(1), 35. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-022-00742-7
  4. Sriati, A., Kurniawan, K., Senjaya, S., Khoirunnisa, K., Muslim, R. N. I., Putri, A. M., Aghnia, N., & Fitriani, N. (2023). The Effectiveness of Digital-Based Psychotherapy in Overcoming Psychological Problems in College Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scoping Review. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 08980101231162990. https://doi.org/10.1177/08980101231162990
  5. The Pros and Cons of Online Therapy. (n.d.). Verywell Mind. Retrieved March 6, 2024, from https://www.verywellmind.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-online-therapy-2795225
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