• Gregory Gannon, LCSW

Is Online Therapy Right for You?

The short answer: yes.

The long answer came to me today when I met with someone who told me about a sort of family crisis that has been going on for years.

The person I spoke with explained they have a middle-aged son who keeps losing jobs because of anger management issues. Not only that, but their child is also a single parent. So, every few months, the parent has to send money to their child to help pay rent, bills, and buy food. Not only was this frustrating, but they also felt stuck between a rock and a hard place because there is a three year old grandchild involved and they do not want to see them suffer.

Normally, I would suggest setting firm boundaries about what they will and won't pay for or what other forms of help they intend to give. Or, I would suggest communicating timelines about when this on again-off again support will stop, but I could tell this parent struggled with the idea that their grandchild could go without food or would be raised in and out of shelters.

I said, "It sounds like your child needs a therapist."

Then I remembered how judgmental it can be to suggest a therapist, so I followed with:

"And let me explain why that will be a good thing for your son and for you, too."

I went on to explain that helping to pay for a therapist would be a good investment for him, as a parent, because their son will finally get the help they need for their anger management issues. Once that happens then their child can get out of the cycle of losing jobs and stand on their own two feet. This will have the added benefit of terminating the endless cycle of supplying survival funds.

Then it dawned on me and I said, "This is a perfect situation for online therapy, too."

In that moment, I truly recognized the benefit of online therapy. Here was a parent, concerned about their middle-aged child who, when they are working, doesn't have the time to visit a therapist's office during the day, but they certainly have the time to log onto their computer and have a full session.

Because online therapy is flexible like that.

It's easy to say that online therapy is convenient. I say it all the time. In fact, that's why I started the site. I recognized there is an entire population of people who could benefit from that convenience. So, it's easy to say, but it's another thing to actually talk to someone who has a family member who is in a position to benefit from the flexibility my practice offers.

Think about these questions when considering online therapy:

1. Are you a working professional who can't meet with a therapist during normal business hours?

2. Are you a parent with a full schedule of work, family responsibilities, and taking care of a home?

3. Do you travel a lot or have a schedule that is constantly in flux and need someone who can be flexible with your times?

4. Do you live in a rural area or small town where providers are scarce? Or are all the providers in your town booked up solid with long wait times?

5. Do you value privacy and would rather avoid sit in your own home than a waiting room full of clients?

6. Do you like technology and the thought that they connect with their therapist quickly?

7. Do you like reading blog posts and following social media campaigns that can help give you a boost or some inspiration?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then I would say online therapy will be of interest and a help to you.

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