Telemedicine and Mental Health - Are Virtual Sessions as Effective as Traditional?

Telemedicine and virtual consultations have been around for quite some time, but they are now seeing a significant growth in popularity due to concerns surrounding the spread of coronavirus. These virtual appointments are ideal for those simply looking to renew a prescription or discuss symptoms with their healthcare provider, but how effective are virtual therapy appointments when compared to traditional in person sessions? Should you consider opting for virtual sessions with your therapist on a permanent basis?

When it comes to receiving medical consultations virtually, at first glance therapy sessions lend themselves to this technological alternative - they primarily consist of verbal communication between the clinician and patient with no physical examinations required as part of the treatment. Virtual sessions may even be preferable to you for reasons other than risk of infection, as telehealth removes the necessity of travelling to your therapist’s office and waiting for your allotted time. And, obviously, the comfort of your own home is always a better option than a doctor’s office!

What, then, are the downsides to virtual therapy appointments? For starters, your therapist’s ability to pick up on your mood will be severely hampered by the lack of in-person interaction. This nonverbal input could be an important clue to some sort of underlying issue you are going through that you may not be aware of on a conscious level, and virtual sessions could leave this stone unturned. Similarly, you may be actively concealing a topic of conversation that should be processed but is uncomfortable or scary for you to think about. Deception is much more difficult to accomplish in person, as your body language will certainly give you away to an experienced therapist. This language is lost in translation in a virtual session, leaving you feeling victorious in your subversion but harmed in the long run by this lack of progress.

Online medical appointments are just one of the seemingly infinite innovations built on the back of technology. While this revolution in patient care offers many benefits to the population, upon closer examination it may not be an ideal solution when it comes to mental health appointments. In light of the shortcomings of videoconference appointments when compared to traditional in-person sessions, you should seek to return to these traditional sessions as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. At Evolutions, we have taken every precaution concerning the spread of CoVID-19, striving to alleviate our clients’ concerns regarding their risk of contracting the virus. If you are struggling in early sobriety but are hesitant to engage in this face to face style of therapy, call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 so we may set your mind at ease and provide you the care you need to keep you on track in your recovery!


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit