3 Tips for Finding the Best Online Therapy Sites

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telehealth with virtual afro American doctor appointment and online therapy session. Black doctor online conference. High quality photo

Now, more than ever, is the best time to take care of your sanity. Are you facing a significant crisis such as going through a serious life transition, a troubled relationship, work, and career challenges, or a combination of anxiety and depression? Or maybe the pandemic left you exposed to stressful financial times and you don’t know how to cope? Dealing with a long period of anxiety and uncertainty can result in mental instability and even depression. 

If this is your current situation, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a trained therapist. Perhaps, just a few years ago, you had to visit a psychologist or a therapist in their physical clinic in order to get help. But times have changed because today, you can get a therapy session in the comfort of your home or office. These top therapy sites provide the best and most passionate professionals who can help you live better and become happier. But with so many online therapy sites to choose from, how do you pick the right one? 

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Let’s Start by Defining What Online Therapy Is.

Online therapy also referred to as cyber counseling, e-counseling or e-therapy or teletherapy happens when a patient receives mental health services through the internet. The services are provided through emailing, video conferencing, chatting, and even text messages. Online therapy can also occur in real-time where the patient speaks directly to the therapist on the phone.  

For online therapy to work, several rules and ethics must be applied. Online therapists must work within their scope, and adhere to all the rules and regulations. They must also seek out training so that they are able to stay up to date with all the latest technology and best practices. Even though online therapy can help you a great deal, it is very important to understand what it entails so that you determine if it’s the best for you or if your situation requires in-person intervention. 

Here are three important tips for choosing the best online therapy sites.

1. What Are Your Goals?

Once you have determined that you will need a therapist, the next thing you need to do is to sit down and do your research. Start by writing down your expectations for online therapy. Have you tried going for therapy in the past? If not, what has made you hesitant of going to therapy? Do you have a specific challenge? Or are you just curious and want to know what happens during an online counseling session. 

When looking for a therapy website, you need to check if that particular platform accepts your health insurance. You also need to confirm if you can choose your own therapist or the therapist is selected for you. Are you looking for a subscription service, or do you need one where you pay and schedule a therapy session when you need it? These are some of the questions you need to write down before you start looking for an online therapist. 

2. What Type of Therapist Do You Need?

There are several types of online therapists and each of them is trained to deal with specific mental issues. For example, a clinical psychologist can diagnose mental health issues such as severe schizophrenia and ADHD, and offer the best individual therapy. A counseling psychologist on the other hand focuses on issues that are less severe such as career and work difficulties. Psychiatrists are medics with psychiatric training and they can diagnose mental health issues and give prescriptions and also provide psychotherapy. Clinical social workers work in the communities and provide low-cost mental health services but there are those who have private clinics.

When looking for an online therapy site, check if they help patients match the right therapist. Also check if they have specific counselors for different groups of people such as teenagers, married couples, gay, widowed, and religious. 

3. Check Their Licenses and Security

Licensing protects you as a patient. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who claim to be therapists and offer services online but they do not offer evidence-based psychotherapy because they are not legitimate. 

Before you sign up for any web service, find out who is on the other side of the computer and if they have a license and also ask for their license number so that you can do your own search using the professional’s searchable directory. It is also important to check if the app or the website they use is secure. All the information you give them should be kept confidential, and the online space should be safe and private.  

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