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Busy professionals often face unique barriers to therapy.

What has stopped you from seeking out therapy before?

Don’t want to block out 2 hours to go to therapy and then face a hectic commute as your reward?

Aren’t sure how you can make time for therapy for yourself when you already feel terrible missing soccer games, math homework, or bedtime routines sometimes?

Dread the inevitable late cancels and late arrivals?

That feels like something other than self-care. Just saying.

Busy professionals often face unique barriers to therapy.

What if therapy hasn’t worked in the past?

When a potential client or a loved one tells me “therapy” has never worked for them in the past, it seems like there is a sense of guilt—like they have personally failed.

I ask them to explain more. I’m curious yet confident—because, in many years of practicing, I’ve never seen a person be solely responsible for their therapy experience not working.

Maybe it wasn’t the right time for therapy. Maybe they weren’t ready. Maybe therapy wasn’t the right thing?

>>Which professional should you see—a therapist or a coach? We’ve tackled that in another post here.

It’s also important to remember that not all therapies or therapists are created equally.

So, when someone says that “therapy” hasn’t worked for them, it could mean the problem wasn’t therapy but the factors that go into it. Yes, the client is part of that, but not all.

And clients are coming to therapy with internal and external barriers that they might not have the awareness or ability to overcome. That’s why they’re coming to therapy in the first place!

Common factors that are associated with positive outcomes include:

  1. Therapist factors
  2. Therapist-client relationship and fit
  3. Evidence-based methods
  4. Internal barriers for the client (e.g., lack of awareness of internal experience and how to manage it, lack of knowledge or skills)
  5. External barriers for the client (e.g., time, convenience, work and life demands).

>> For information and help tackling the first three, check out our articles on: finding the right therapist and questions you can ask a potential therapist.

Online therapy can help people—especially busy professionals—better manage some of those challenging internal and external barriers to therapy.

Therapy can also be delivered in different ways–in-person or online, or some combination of both.

Technically, virtual/remote therapy may look like a written chat, a video meeting, or a phone call.

For the purposes of this article, we mean only online therapy that is delivered via secure video meetings. Our psychologists don’t provide chat or text therapy.

There are pros to doing therapy online or remotely compared to in-office visits, and there are cons. There are definitely certain people who are better suited to this form than others.

What Are Some of the Pros of Online Therapy for Anyone?


Research has shown that online therapy can provide the same quality of care as in-person therapy.

However, online therapy may not be suitable for all clients based on individual values and preferences or as a member of a specific population, clinical conditions, or problems.

According to the American Psychological Association, online therapy or telepsychology is just as effective as in-person therapy for treating various mental health issues. Specifically, online and web-based therapy options using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), specifically, have been shown to be effective in treating:

For example, online therapy is typically inappropriate for people struggling with problems like severe mental illness, which could require more intensive care and in-person observation by the therapist.

Online therapy may also be inappropriate for certain populations, like children, especially those with severe behavioral or inattention problems.

Many evidence-based therapies are as effective at addressing mental health issues when delivered online as they are when delivered in person, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), CBT, and DBT.

When I work with clients in therapy for PTSD or certain anxiety disorders, we will include physical movement in our plan. Online therapy can actually really help with this. Many clients are more willing to engage in proprioceptive exercises online.

Proprioception is our sense of awareness of our body’s movement and posture. This sense is inextricably linked to our nervous system. Rewiring and reprogramming your nervous system is a common target in trauma treatments. >> Check out a podcast episode on this sixth sense here.

For example, suppose a person’s trauma involved being confined to a space—effective imaginal exposure could include movement.

Perhaps, it would be helpful for the person to do the opposite—stand, move, or walk around. Relatedly, suppose someone is starting to dissociate. In that case, movement could be used to gain more awareness and recalibrate the nervous system.

If you are working with a therapist online, it would be essential to check with him or her whether the model they are using has been studied to consider any differences in effectiveness when delivered online vs. in person.

Method of Communication

The main difference between online therapy and in-person therapy is the method of communication.

In-person sessions take place in a therapist’s office, and you can meet with your therapist face-to-face. This can be especially helpful, as in-person sessions make it easier to pick up on body language, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues.

Online therapy is a lot like face-to-face therapy, with one major caveat.

Instead of meeting at your therapist’s office, your therapy sessions are held over a video meeting. Online therapy platforms must use a secure HIPAA-compliant platform to communicate with clients. You won’t have to worry about risking privacy or confidentiality during a teletherapy appointment.

Ideally, your therapist should have some training in delivering online therapy and using techniques to improve communication and cut down on the negative aspects of online therapy we all associate with “Zoom overload.”

For example, therapists may have to:

  • Check in more regularly to make sure they are tracking the client accurately
  • Demonstrate attention more clearly by leaning in to the screen, using body posture more intentionally, and making facial expressions, intonation, and body gestures more obvious than they might when in-person
  • Position the camera at the top of the screen to convey virtual eye contact better

We would encourage you to ask your therapist about this issue:

  • How do they make online therapy NOT feel like a Zoom meeting?
  • What do they do differently when communicating with clients via videoconferencing vs. in person?
  • Do they have training in providing online therapy?

Therapist-Client Relationship

Online therapy can help facilitate the therapeutic alliance.

Considerable research supports the clinical effectiveness of videotherapy, with strong therapeutic alliance ratings by both clients and therapists.

According to a 2021 paper, videotherapy can provide “a powerful pathway for clients to experience enhanced opportunities for self‐expression, connection and intimacy, with potentially a greater sense of agency over their therapeutic journey.”

After doing therapy only in person for so many years, it seems counterintuitive to say this. Yet, online therapy really feels more personal to me, in many ways, when compared to in-person.

Because of online therapy, I know what my client’s living or working environment looks like. I see their favorite room, outdoor space, or chair. I know the names of pets. I usually know their names, and yes, I’ve spoken to a few. They didn’t talk back. 🙂 Clients might meet my two dogs and cat, who loves to sleep in the sun on the chair behind my camera.

Many clients seem more relaxed and comfortable, which, in turn, connects therapy and the therapist with that. (Although being comfortable can help the relationship, the therapist must be careful to ensure that he or she is maintaining helpful boundaries, so these positives don’t inadvertently compromise therapy.)


Seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of, but the social stigma can still remain. People work to decondition themselves from it at their own pace.

For some clients, logging in online from home or the office can provide safety and comfort to bridge this gap. There’s no awkward waiting room with other patients, receptionists, or pedestrians outside the office.


Most people find it easier to open up in familiar and reassuring surroundings.

Meeting from home can make you feel more physically and emotionally comfortable. It’s essential that therapy feels as approachable as possible to those who are apprehensive. Doing it on their terms and in a comfortable environment is a great way to achieve this.

As an aside, this factor could weigh differently if your problem is social anxiety. Suppose you want to do online therapy solely to avoid social situations, could online therapy still be helpful?

Yes, especially, if the therapist is skilled in exposure therapy and you are willing to go to various other social situations in person. In fact, online therapy may be a helpful way to get you participating in therapy so you can learn the skills you need to take those steps.


Suppose you are struggling with a busy schedule due to work and childcare demands. In that case, online therapy can be much more convenient than traditional in-person therapy.

You save a car trip for the babysitter who covers childcare for your appointments, too, while you’re at it since you can stay at home with the kids (if you have any). You’ll skip parking fees, traffic jams, detours, travel time, and all of the stress that goes with driving to your therapist’s office.

If you work at home, you can stay in your workout clothes (yoga pants or PJ bottoms anyone?), drink some tea, run the diffuser, and dive right in from the comfort of your office chair or sofa. If you are working in the office, you can timebox your therapy appointment as is.

You don’t need to include hours for a commute and downtime. Block your schedule. Hold your calls. Close all of your extra screens and put on your headphones, and boom, you’re working on yourself for a change.

For people struggling with chronic pain, health care conditions, or recent surgery, online options help you keep your therapy appointments consistent. You can work on your life while prioritizing the health of your body and brain, which is fundamental to your mental health.

As professionals juggling work and family demands ourselves, working with clients online helps to lower our stress levels by taking a hectic commute and office politics off the table. This change can help increase our presence, attention, and attunement.

Some therapists offer flexible scheduling options earlier or later in the day. If your times match, you can do them from home if you have transitioned back to the office.


Online therapy is ideal and even preferred for some individuals (not everyone can go to an office). People with the following will benefit greatly from convenient and comfy online access:

  • physical disabilities,
  • remote properties far from transit,
  • busy working professionals (entrepreneurs, executives, creatives, lawyers, doctors, etc.) who have difficulty leaving for appointments
  • social anxiety or agoraphobia (who are willing to work on exposure to social situations, and it doesn’t require the in-vivo or in-person with the therapist)


In the end, online therapy can be cheaper for some clients than in-person appointments. Online therapy can saves on indirect fees like parking, childcare, etc.

However, the therapist’s rates would not be lower for online vs. in-person.

Increased Choice

Online therapy opens up a much wider variety of therapists to choose from because a therapist being “local” is not as relevant.

Some people who live in small or remote areas may like that they can truly start over without someone who knows their background or family.

Clients who are immediately recognizable—prominent citizens, professional athletes and those working in the entertainment industry—may also prefer this option. No awkward stares in the waiting room.

More choices increase the likelihood that client and therapist compatibility will be optimal. There’s no downside to opening up the selection pool and finding the best fit—it could be in a different state!


In the long run, getting frequent and consistent online treatment is easier. It makes scheduling easier and saves so much time, energy, and money, resulting in that excess time, energy, and money being invested back into therapy and one’s well-being.

How is Online Therapy Ideal for Busy Professionals?

Online therapy can be ideal for busy professionals. Some careers require a degree of devotion, pressure, and time. Many jobs are incredibly demanding and intense while still being rewarding and fulfilling.

Clients who work in professions such as law, medicine, and business often can benefit from a tailored approach to building and maintaining a healthy balance in life that recognizes their unique values and strengths.

Many clients seek us out because we focus on treating high-performing professionals. Often, our clients have shared that therapists either didn’t “get” what it was like to be a busy professional with an incredibly demanding job.

For example, suppose a client loves her job as an executive and views it as a pathway to change and forging a path for other women. She also loves and prioritizes her family. Having a therapist try to steer her towards a narrative of “aren’t you sacrificing your family for work” will feel incredibly invalidating and frustrating.

Online therapy provides access to these specialized therapists while also offering a set of other benefits to hardworking professionals, including the following:

Saves Time

Busy professionals need more time—efficiency and convenience are key for them. Hopping on for an online video appointment for quick help, these busy and active clients attend sessions more consistently. Clients can also trade out therapy commute time for time working out or spending with their families.


Busy professionals often have some rigid scheduling obstacles and will need convenience. Online therapy can better accommodate tight schedules and make you less likely to be late for appointments.

When I was in therapy as a busy lawyer, no matter what I tried or how much notice I gave, I struggled to get to my therapy appointments on time. I was always facing a commute from work, and then usually back home. Spending an hour of my time after my busy job in the car. Sadly, my therapist would still often give me a guilt trip about how I needed to manage my priorities better.

Finding the Right Therapist

As the founder of Momentum Psychology, I was a lawyer before becoming a clinical psychologist. Part of my mission in starting this practice dedicated to high-achieving professionals was to provide the most highly trained and skilled therapists who “get it” and can also hold space for, teach, and empower successful people.

Online, professionals can be paired with the right therapist with the right background, one who “gets it .”Someone who gets that the client can’t just take some time off or adjust their hours with the same freedom and flexibility as others enjoy in other careers.

We believe all of our clients have everything within them already.

We’re helping clients increase awareness, identify their values, identify unhelpful behavioral patterns with compassion while building new values-based ones, learn skills that might help them, and take action every single day on what matters to them.


, therapists are trained in facets of corporate hustle culture. They understand the solutions as more complex than as quitting or taking more vacations.  Many have pulled all-nighters, crunched deadlines, reaped the rewards of hard work, and learned some powerful lessons. Hustling for self-worth isn’t what we’re going for.

If you live in a PSYPACT state, you can work with any of our therapists. All use evidence-based, trauma-informed treatment methods that include ACT, DBT, CBT, in North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Georgia, and other PSYPACT states.

We know starting therapy can be intimidating. Find out here if these specialized professionals are a good fit for you!


As well as having extensive training in the treatment of anxiety and its related issues, our team of therapists also offers a wide variety of online therapy services in North Carolina and all PSYPACT states. We work with lawyers, entrepreneurs, students, parents, and teens who are dealing with stress and burnout, trauma and loss, ADHD, depression, and life transitions. Our goal is to help you find success both professionally and personally so you can gain Momentum to excel in a bright future.


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The information provided on this website and in this blog is for educational purposes only. The contents of this website and newsletter are provided solely for informational purposes and are not meant to provide professional medical or psychiatric advice, counseling, or services