Online Therapy - How To Chose The Best One For You?

Damir Regoc

Are You Considering Online Therapy And Counseling? Read This Before You Start

Six out of ten Americans say they would use telehealth services for mental health care, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Around 70% of Americans can’t access traditional, in-office therapy because of various obstacles, including cost, lack of public transportation, and therapist shortages. Online therapy—i.e. therapy conducted virtually through phone calls, video chats, emails, and text messages—can help bridge this gap for anyone seeking mental health support. 

The best online therapy is the kind that’s easy to afford and provides you with a qualified, experienced therapist you resonate with. 

Online therapy is proven to be as effective, if not more effective than face-to-face therapy, with important benefits that bring the experience into the modern era. For some, traditional therapy is their choice because they haven’t yet experienced the freedom that online therapy offers.

Is Online Therapy Even Effective?

If you’re on the fence about whether online therapy is right for you, consider these positive benefits.

With the click of a mouse or the tap of an app, you can have instant and inexpensive access to a therapist, or so make the claims of many new tools and technologies that want to take psychotherapy out of the therapist’s office and into whatever location you are connected to the Internet. Using the internet can be convenient for many people who are comfortable using the Internet and looking for help.

With many new teletherapy platforms appearing in recent years, it can turn into a chore to choose the right one. 

At its core, online therapy’s objective is similar to that of more traditional therapy: to provide tools, solutions, and ways to reframe your current issues, allowing you to overcome challenges in many areas of your life.

Online Therapy Is Much More Affordable Than Traditional Therapy

Online therapy differs, however, in that it puts therapy in the palm of your hand and enables you to share your thoughts and challenges anytime you wish. This makes therapy more convenient and affordable for those who are new to the experience. With traditional therapy, the experience has remained relatively unchanged since psychotherapy’s inception in the late 1800s. You arrive at a location, have a seat on the couch, and talk with your therapist about your challenges. Afterward, you depart and see each other a week or two later. Same time, the same place.

Online therapy opens up new ways to communicate and doesn’t require that you leave the comforts of your home or office. If you want to have a session with your therapist in your pajamas, that’s perfectly fine.

Who Shouldn’t Seek Online Mental Health Therapy

While virtual counseling can come with several perks, it’s not the perfect fit for everyone. If you fall into one of the categories below, you may prefer conventional, in-person sessions instead of online support for mental health:

  • You need immediate support. Remote therapists aren’t the best option if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or another mental health emergency. If you have a mental health emergency, call 911.
  • You’re not tech-savvy. People who aren’t comfortable using video conferencing or smartphone apps may find online therapy inconvenient.
  • You need controlled substance medication. Psychiatrists typically can only prescribe controlled medications — like Xanax or Adderall — during an in-person visit. The only exception to the ban on prescribing controlled substances via telehealth is a health emergency, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • You prefer in-person interactions. Many people want to sit in the same room as their therapist. 

Online Therapy Is Confidential

While Talkspace’s mission is to reduce stigma around seeking mental health solutions, we understand that stigmas still exist on many levels — especially locally. In some communities, being seen entering a therapist’s office will make you subject to gossip or judgment. This is another common, prohibitive reason some don’t seek therapy.

When you first begin online therapy, you have the option to use a nickname or pseudonym with your therapist. While not required, it’s an option that may make you feel more comfortable with the therapeutic process. Therapy is about opening up when the time is right, but you should never feel like you have to share more information than you’re comfortable providing.

From a technological standpoint, online therapy solutions offer a level of security and confidentiality on par with major world banks. Communications between clients and therapists are fully encrypted. Even in the event of a breach, attackers would simply see scrambled characters with no ability to trace the data back to the user.

Beauty & the Broth

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