Top 3 Myths about Virtual Counseling, Online Therapy, and Online Psychotherapy in NYC

myths online therapy nyc

What questions do you have about the realities of online therapy in NYC?

As a busy, driven, successful person navigating the demands of a life in NYC, you have figured out that there are certain “short-cuts” or methods of facilitation that make your life a helluva lot more manageable. Like groceries, for example; does anyone you know even consider going into a grocery store, spending an hour pedaling a cart around, waiting in line forever to check out (USQ Whole Foods? WHAT?!), and then schlepping 5 heavy bags home? No, you order up some delivery or some FreshDirect and call it a day. Or laundry, I mean, seriously, do you do your own laundry? Who has time for that?! Time is money, after all, and there is a lovely little pickup and delivery laundromat just up the block where they know exactly how you like your shirts folded, and which items need special handling.

So, why are you still stressing out about trying to make it below 14th street from your midtown office in time for your 5:15 therapy session? Rush hour therapy commute? MISERABLE. Maybe you really have found exactly the right therapist for you right now and you don’t want to fix what ain’t broke, or maybe you’re just anxious about exploring a new method of psychotherapy, virtual therapy, even though it could be so much more convenient, because you’ve had some false beliefs about whether it can work for you.

Here are the top 3 myths about virtual counseling and online psychotherapy:

1)    It’s impersonal! How can a person really get to know me through a computer screen?

It is true that with some of the online therapy mills popping up these days you might get a less than personalized experience, as turnover for their therapists can be quite high and result in your having to start with a new person frequently, or they might have a predetermined set of recommendations or protocols for approaching a specific issue. If you are able to find an individualized practice wherein the therapist you are working with is the only therapist you will work with throughout your treatment for anxiety or depression or relationship challenges, however, the relationship you develop should be as connected and personalized as it would be if you were in the office with that provider. If it’s not, you just haven’t found the right therapist for you, which could happen in person just the same.

2)    The technology will be a pain in the @$$. I’ll have to download an app or something, or internet connectivity issues will be a problem.

Not true. Most virtual therapy sessions nowadays only require you to have an internet connection, a video camera (the one already in your laptop or phone is perfectly fine), maybe a set of headphones (completely optional) and the capacity to click on a link to join a meeting with your therapist. Also, your online therapist should have a plan for how to connect with you if the technology, simple as it is, fails to get you connected. 9 times out of 10, it all works just fine after a very short and slight learning curve

3)    It’s not as effective as meeting with someone in person.

While this may hold true for some, the vast majority of people who engage in online therapy find that once they have developed a rapport and therapeutic relationship with the right virtual therapist, their experience of growth and capacity for progress is just as profound as if they were meeting in person. In fact, in some circumstances, virtual counseling may even be more effective because it allows the sessions to actually occur! If you can’t actually get yourself into a therapist’s office consistently for therapy sessions, then that is guaranteed to be ineffective. For busy people in NYC, for example, or those who travel frequently or who work challenging hours, online therapy might be exactly the right solution.

If there are other thoughts or ideas you have about what online therapy is (or is not) like, and you want more information, please contact me here to schedule a free consultation or click here to read more about my practice. I’d be happy to answer your questions about whether online therapy is the right modality for you, whether you are suffering from anxiety or depression or trying to cope with the stress and demands of your career or even trying to navigate the challenges of dating and relationships in NYC. If you’ve been considering virtual counseling but have been put off by the above myths, or for any other reasons, reach out to me today and let’s talk about what the best therapeutic framework would be for your specific needs.