The Match Lab

Finding Healing Through Words: How Online Text Therapy Can Make a Difference

Medical care, including mental health care, has been revolutionized thanks to many innovations and technological advancements. Due to the Internet, the popularity of conducting online sessions and appointments for various ailments has skyrocketed in the past years.

Particularly, online therapy has been on the rise as many people choose it at the expense of traditional in-person sessions. Some of the main reasons why people opt for online therapy include time and cost savings, a higher sense of privacy, and nearly unlimited flexibility.

Finding Healing Through Words: How Online Text Therapy Can Make a Difference

Online text therapy, whether asynchronous or synchronous, refers to texting your therapist, just like you would do with a friend. This type of therapy is more popular than ever, but can it truly make a difference? Below, we’ll introduce you to online text therapy, how it works, and its benefits and uses.

What Is Text Therapy?

Online text therapy is one of the most convenient tech innovations in the medical care world. It is a form of counseling available through phones, other portable devices like tablets, or desktop solutions, like a personal computer or laptop. It is changing the way the world understands online counseling, and helps to destigmatize the idea of getting mental health support, no matter your age, your location, or your availability.

This innovation is extremely popular due to its convenience. Whether you are going to work, or you are at home, or on your way to a work meeting, you can simply text your therapist at any time. As our life becomes more intertwined with technology than ever, this type of counseling means that your therapist is one text away from you, without having to schedule appointments ahead of time and making sure they don’t collide with your other responsibilities. This takes the pressure off people, allowing them to access the support they need, whenever they need it.

Text therapy is essentially a form of online counseling where the patient and therapist communicate only via texting. This could be in the form of a scheduled live chat, or it can be unlimited daily texting, so your therapist is always one text away.

Anyone can opt for text therapy, but it is prevalent among those who are familiar with technology and are comfortable with texting. This is also a good choice for people that experience social anxiety or don’t feel comfortable with in-person or video/audio therapy.

Can Text Therapy Make a Difference?

Although it’s relatively new, preliminary research indicates that text therapy can be as efficient as in-person therapy. In general, studies have concluded that people undertaking text therapy noticed improvements in symptoms of anxiety and depression in about 12-15 weeks and is as effective as in-person therapy.

Text therapy can help with symptom management for a variety of issues, including anxiety and stress, panic attacks, grief or trauma, relationship problems, eating disorders, insomnia, and many more.

However, online text therapy is most efficient when treating mild symptoms. If you need a diagnosis and prescriptions, in-person appointments are recommended. People who suffer from severe conditions, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe depression may find that text therapy helps when it is corroborated with other types of treatments, such as video sessions and medication.

4 Advantages of Text Therapy Over Traditional Therapy

Although there are some definitive advantages of online therapy over traditional therapy, they depend on each person’s needs or preferences. For example, if you are not comfortable with texting altogether, this may not be the best type of therapy for you – a case in which you may have better results with video or phone calling therapy instead.

This being considered, here are some of the main benefits of text therapy over traditional therapy:

1. Flexibility and Time

Perhaps the best feature of text therapy is the boundless flexibility it offers. If you have a busy lifestyle and many responsibilities – which most people do – text therapy can help. For example, asynchronous texting means that you can text your therapist at any time during the day, and they will get back to you when available. This way, you can share your concerns at the right time and feel unburdened.

Also, you don’t need to schedule fixed appointments with asynchronous text therapy. You can integrate texting therapy into your busy lifestyle at any time that feels convenient to you.

2. More Focused

When going to in-person therapy or video/audio counseling, you need to be focused throughout the entire session. For some people, this may be difficult. It may have just been a really bad day, or you are too tired to pay much attention.

With text therapy, this is not a concern. Also, you don’t need to remember everything or take notes, since you can go through the texts and previous discussions some other time when you are well-rested or more relaxed.

3. Time to Think It Through

Similarly, when you are in a live session with your therapist, you may be less able to come up with the right answers or questions. With texting, you can take your time and think it through. When talking face to face, pressure can build since you know time is running out.

4. Privacy

Finally, text therapy is a great choice if you favor privacy and confidentiality. Some people may feel judged if others know they are seeking mental health help. With texting therapy, you can keep this part of your life entirely private.

Who Is Online Text Therapy Best For?

Text therapy is excellent for people who are comfortable with texting and who are suffering from mild distress or problems in their life. For more severe conditions, text therapy can supplement weekly in-person or video sessions.

Also, text therapy is a great solution if there are no other options – such as if there is no available therapist in your area, or you’re too busy to schedule weekly appointments. Overall, text therapy can help many people, as long as they don’t mind using technology.

It’s important to know that most online counseling platforms do not offer therapy to children or teenagers, although some of them may do with parents’ or guardians’ consent. This depends on the platform, so make sure you check their policies before signing up.


Finding healing through words is an innovation that changes people’s conceptions of mental health care. Undoubtedly, text therapy makes a difference in many people’s lives. Although less personal than traditional therapy or video/audio sessions, some help is better than no help at all. For some, the somewhat impersonal feature is what makes text therapy a better solution for them, especially as it’s more affordable and convenient than traditional therapy.

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