As tech moves in on mental health, how effective is online therapy?

More than 43 million adult Americans suffer from mental illness, but fewer than half reported receiving help.

That’s according to a 2015 survey by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. A portion of these untreated cannot afford professional guidance, while some lack access to quality healthcare. And for some, there still stigma attached to seeking therapy.

As reported by Capital and Main and Fast Company, there’s recently been an increase in online therapy that claims to fill the void of traditional office visits. But is online counseling just as effective as an in-person session? Does the treatment depend on the condition of the mental health issue? Larry speaks to two clinical psychologists about the pros and cons of seeing a virtual therapist.


Sonya Bruner, Psy.D., licensed clinical psychologist and clinical director of BetterHelp.com, a California-based online counseling website

Todd Essig, Ph.D., clinical psychologist practicing in New York City and training and supervising psychoanalyst at William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry; he is also a contributor at Forbes where he writes Managing Mental Wealth, a mental health column; he tweets @ToddEssig