Does Online Therapy Work Well?
(also called telementalhealth, distance therapy or teletherapy)
We’ve learned from the coronavirus pandemic that health and safety are our highest priorities. Stress, anxiety, depression, grief and relationship struggles have increased. People need convenient access to therapy. I didn’t like the idea of sitting in my office with masks covering half our faces, so I started providing more online therapy. I found out that it works just as well.
Now, I only offer counseling via Zoom video conferences.
Some of the benefits of online counseling include eliminating the hassle of taking off from work, finding a sitter for the kids, navigating traffic, fighting bad weather, and spending money on gas. If you are sick, you can still have a session. Just open the Zoom link on your computer, ipad, tablet, or phone.
We meet from the convenience of your home, your office, your car, your yard or even while you are walking in the beauty of nature. There’s greater anonymity because no one will see you walking to and from the office.
You can live anywhere in Georgia and North Carolina and receive online counseling from me. I’m a licensed psychotherapist in both states.
If you are a highly sensitive introvert, you can receive Life Coaching and Spiritual Counseling if you live anywhere in the world.
Watch my book video: The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self
Online Therapy FAQs
Can I expect the same level of success as compared to meeting in the office?
Yes. Research indicates that online therapy is just as effective as meeting in person. In some cases, it is even more effective. Clients feel safer to open up so the healing progresses faster. Clients feel more comfortable in their home environment … or wherever they choose to be for their therapy session.
Online therapy allows me, the therapist, to see you within the context of your real life so I can understand you better. You’re not just coming into my environment; I’m joining you in yours. Having a warm caring relationship with your therapist is an essential key to successful therapy.
This is one of the studies that show the effectiveness of online therapy.
Cognitive behavioural therapy delivered electronically to treat people with depression is more effective than face to face, suggests an evidence review led by McMaster University. Based on randomized control trials, the systematic review and analysis revealed that cognitive behavioural therapy that connected therapists and patients through such modes as web-based applications, video-conferencing, email and texting, improved patients’ symptoms better than face to face when measured using standardized mood symptoms scales. As well, there was no difference in the level of satisfaction or function between the two methods of delivery. ~ ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2020 <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200708150156.htm>
Do you offer couples therapy online?
Yes. It’s better if you both can be in the same place, but even if one of you is traveling, we can still meet for couples therapy via Zoom videoconference. Online couples counseling makes it easier for you to have regular weekly sessions which helps you to create the momentum to produce long-term results.
Even with affairs and infidelity, the methods I use (Gottman Couple Therapy and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy) produce success in 70% of the cases. To learn more about my relationship counseling, click here.
What types of issues do you address?
My specialties include psychotherapy and life coaching with adults over 21.
- The Highly Sensitive Person (individual and HSP support group meetings)
- Couples Therapy (including dating, marriage, infidelity and affairs)
- Relationship Issues
- Trauma (PTSD)
- Anxiety and Stress
- Emotional & Spiritual Roots of Disease and Pain
- Pain Reduction without Drugs
- Healing Family of Origin Issues (abuse, incest, dysfunctional families, and emotional neglect)
- Deep Emotional Healing
What types of therapy are available online compared to the office setting?
The same therapies are used online as in the office except for breathwork, which is used in my in-person intensive retreats.
This is my holistic approach to psychotherapy:
Our minds, bodies, emotions, spirits and relationships are intertwined, and I work with them all simultaneously.
My eclectic approach includes Brainspotting, Gottman Method Couples Therapy (by doctors John Gottman and Julie Gottman), Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy by Dr. Sue Johnson, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Stress Reduction, guided imagery, Transactional Analysis, Gestalt therapy, Attachment Theory, Somatic Experiencing, Internal Family Systems, Hypnotherapy and faith-based Christian counseling.
My Certifications: Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in North Carolina, Certified Telemental Health Distance Counseling, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Gottman 7 Principles Leader, Certified Grief Counselor
Is Brainspotting therapy available in online sessions?
Absolutely. Brainspotting is a highly effective body-based therapy that promotes healing more quickly than talk therapy. If you’ve had the type of therapy where you talked and talked but didn’t make the progress you wanted, you might want to try Brainspotting.
Brainspotting helps when you are stuck in negative repeating patterns. It helps when your Inner Critic beats you up and makes you feel like you are never good enough. It helps when you find yourself withdrawing from your loved ones, and you wish you could show more love. It helps when you have experienced trauma that is too painful to talk about, but you know you need to move beyond it. It helps when you have physical pain or dis-ease symptoms, and you’re looking for help beyond drugs and traditional medicine. It can also help you tap into your creative genius and achieve high performance. To learn more, search for Brainspotting by David Grand on YouTube or visit https://brainspotting.com/.
Is Hypnotherapy available in online sessions?
Yes. We can make a digital recording so you can deepen your healing at home between sessions. Like Brainspotting, hypnotherapy accesses the deeper parts of your brain where unconscious emotional memory is stored. We can’t erase what happened in the past, but we can heal the emotional pain connected to memories. Then your body will breathe a sigh of relief. You will no longer need to use protective strategies (flight, fight, freeze) that helped you survive in the past but hinder you in your current life.
What equipment do I need for therapy online?
It’s easy for us to connect for online therapy. I’ll email you the login information for our Zoom meeting ahead of time. You will need three things:
1) a PC, laptop, phone, or tablet with a microphone and camera/webcam
2) a stable and reliable internet connection
3) a quiet place where you can talk confidentially.
What if there are other people nearby, and I don’t want them to hear me?
There are a few things you can do to increase privacy.
- Purchase a white noise machine or play music on a device outside your closed door. You’ll find several models at Walmart or Amazon, for example.
- Use earbuds or headphones to keep our conversation more private.
- Sit in your car near a WIFI connection in your driveway, your garage, or in a business parking lot. Sit or walk outside where you can be alone.
- Please do NOT meet in a public place where other people can hear you.
Is online teletherapy secure and confidential?
Yes. I use a Zoom connection that is secure and HIPAA compliant so your privacy is guaranteed. If you use FaceTime, privacy cannot be guaranteed.
How long has telementalhealth therapy been available?
I’ve been offering distance counseling for 16+ years. Now more than ever, professional counselors rely on video-based online conferencing to support their clients.
Can I use my Health Savings account or insurance for online therapy?
Probably. Distance counseling is accepted by most programs, but you will need to check with your policy to be sure this is covered for you.
Do you provide therapy by email, chat or text messaging?
No, I don’t offer this.
When is online therapy not advisable?
If you have a mental health emergency such as suicidal behavior, self-harm behaviors, or domestic violence, please call 911. I do not provide emergency services.
I do not see clients with severe disorders such as untreated bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder. Please seek in-person help from another therapist who specializes in those conditions.
I do not provide counseling for people with alcohol or drug addiction, or eating disorders, or any of the above problems. If I discover that your situation is outside my scope of practice, I will do my best to provide at least three referrals to qualified professionals.
Are you ready to schedule your first online therapy appointment?
Please complete the Contact Page to schedule a complimentary 10-minute Discovery Call to get acquainted. We first want to make sure that we are a good match to work together. If we are, we’ll find a mutually convenient time to meet Monday-Thursday between 10am-6pm Eastern. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
About Benita A. Esposito, MA, LPC, LCMHC
Benita A. Esposito is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in North Carolina. I have practiced psychotherapy full-time for four decades helping adult individuals and couples in private sessions, groups and intensive retreats. I earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology (1976) and a bachelor’s degree in psychology (1973) from Illinois State University.
I do not work with children or teens.
Click here to read about “Benita’s Uniqueness.”
Click here to read “Benita’s Story and Teaching Tips.”