Therapy and metal health are things that more and more people these days are willing to talk about. Thanks to the internet though, it is now easier than ever to get connected to an online counsellor without ever having to leave your home.
The Definition of Online Therapy
Also known as e-therapy, e-counselling, or cyber-counselling, online therapy can be defined by any kind of therapy that is performed with the use of the internet. In reality, remote therapy has been around for a while. Due to the nature of being deployed abroad, the military has used telepsychology in the past. Now that the world wide web is accessible to a large number of people, it’s become far more convenient to participate in online therapy. Whether that’s through the use of video conferencing or online chat, all it takes is a computer or a smartphone.
In-Person Therapy vs Online Therapy
As most will probably already know, in-person therapy refers to physically meeting a therapist. This is either by driving to a therapist’s office or by hiring someone who is willing to travel to your home. With online therapy, it presents a third option that is beneficial for those who have busy schedules. On top of that, online therapy is cheaper on average.
Something about therapy that many people find uncomfortable is the stigma of being seen as “mentally ill.” For these individuals, it can be especially difficult to leave the home in search of a psychologist. Due to cheaper prices and convenience, it’s easier to take that first step with an online option.
Reasons Why People Prefer Online Therapy
As more people become aware of online therapy, studies have shown that it has become the preferred method of meeting with a therapist. Among the reasons why are:
1. Saves Time
Because you no longer have to plan a trip to an office, you save a lot of time. For anyone who lives away from the city, this can represent a significant chunk of their day. Not only that, but sessions become easier to schedule as well.
2. Saves Money
Traditional therapists usually charge around $100-$200 a meeting. The cost for an online service is much cheaper, especially since many charge per week instead of by session.
3. More Comfortable
Some people are just more comfortable having sessions with an online therapist. Some services don’t even require you to give a real name. It’s easier to start opening up when you can do so anonymously.
4. More Selection
With in-person therapy, you are restricted to hiring people who are close enough for a session. By selecting online therapy instead, you open up your possibilities to meeting many different professionals. This way, you can find the best fit for your particular situation.
Options for Online Therapy
It can be kind of daunting sorting through the myriad of options available on the internet. Instead of wading into the deep end blindly, here are four of the top recommended services.
Talkspace is an excellent place to start looking. They offer free assessments to help guide you before you decide on what plan to go with. Thanks to several choices, different budgets can be satisfied depending on what you are looking for. In addition, there are options for teenagers, adults, or couples.
BetterHelp is a platform that helps connect people to licensed professionals. Among the services they can help with are depression, anger management, grief, eating disorders, or relationship problems. Like with Talkspace, a questionnaire is used first to best match you up to a therapist that can best suit your personal needs.
3. Teen Counseling
While the other sites on this list have a broader spectrum, Teen Counseling focuses on individuals who are between 13 and 18 years old. Because they specialize on working with teenagers, the therapists are better suited to communicating with younger clients. Sessions are confidential, even from the parent or the caregiver. Only the teenager has access to the therapy room.
Like with the previous entry, ReGain has a particular specialization instead of offering a variety of services. In this case, they focus on relationship therapy for both individuals and couples. For the latter, two people share a single account to speak with a therapist at the same time.
If you’ve never tried therapy before but would like to give it a shot, online therapy is a way to ease yourself in. Remember to do your own research ahead of time so you can find the perfect fit. This also prevents you from getting fooled by online scams.