The Cognitive Therapy Institute now offers psychotherapy online or by telephone for some individuals or couples, throughout California, who are not going through a crisis or at significant risk for suicide. Online group therapy options and classes are also being planned and will likely be available in the near future.

This option for online therapy or teletherapy provides some clear advantages but may also present some limitations or disadvantages. 

Possible advantages of online or phone therapy may include:

  • Convenience: The client does not have to leave their home and spend time driving or dealing with traffic. This may expand the hours when the client could fit in a therapy appointment, and could allow some clients to have therapy in spite of a busy life with work and/or family.
  • Privacy: The client does not have to be concerned about running into someone they might know in the hall or waiting room of the office.
  • Saving Money: There is a savings of the cost of travel and time away from work, and in some cases from childcare expenses.
  • Location: Individuals who live in rural or small town areas at a distance from our center have access to our specialties and expertise.

Possible disadvantages include the following:

  • Face to face therapy most likely allows the therapist to better recognize some important nonverbal indications of a person’s current mood and feelings, and to detect reactions to topics discussed and explored in therapy. Thus, the therapist may not be quite as able to notice or respond to subtle indications of a client’s needs with teletherapy.
  • Face to face therapy may provide a sense of emotional support and caring conveyed in the therapist’s facial and physical responses, and this may not be experienced as deeply or meaningfully when the therapist is not physically present in front of the client. 
  • Insurance companies or plans may not reimburse for online or teletherapy (you can check with your insurance company directly or request our assistance in helping to clarify whether they will or will not reimburse for these forms of therapy).

Often an initial face to face session may be required, and also could be quite beneficial, to establish a more personal connection and provide opportunity to assess the appropriateness of this form of therapy for an individual. A combination (e.g. every other week) of teletherapy and in-person sessions may be appropriate or preferred for some clients.