If you struggle with emotional problems and you’re looking for more than what your friends and family are able to offer, online therapy may be the answer. Online therapy is not a new concept, but it has grown in popularity in recent years as therapists have internet access at their fingertips.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of online therapy and how it can help you manage your mental health without leaving the comfort of home.
What is online therapy?
Online therapy is a form of therapy that is conducted online. Online therapists conduct sessions via email, chat rooms, video calls, such as Zoom, or voice-over-IP services like Skype.
Unlike face-to-face counseling, online therapy sessions can be recorded and saved for review at a later date. So long as you meet with your online therapist once a week for at least three months, you can access the information afterward with no problem.
What are the benefits of online therapy?
Online therapy can be a good choice when you have difficulty leaving your home for therapy sessions. If you have a disability that keeps you from being able to easily get around, online therapy can allow you to work with a mental health professional without risking your physical health.
Online therapy is also convenient if you travel frequently or are stationed in another country. It’s ideal for veterans with disabilities and service members who are recovering from war-related injuries.
For working professionals, online therapy can help them find effective treatment without taking away too much time from their career.
Who is well suited for online therapy? Who isn’t?
The following types might find themselves benefiting from online treatment. Online therapy can be an effective treatment for people living with generalized anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, insomnia, and other behavioral health conditions.
People who respond well to a structured form of therapy will also likely benefit from online sessions. If you’ve tried traditional face-to-face counseling and it wasn’t a good fit for your needs, online therapy may be the right option for you.
Is online therapy legitimate, compared to regular therapy?
In general, online therapy is not considered legitimate, although that is changing. In terms of providing services to people with disabilities, the National Association for the severely mentally ill (NAPSI) has approved internet-based care to be a valid treatment.
Also, state law might allow online therapy as an alternative to face-to-face sessions. If you’re willing to give online counseling a try and meet with your therapist once a week for three months, you might be eligible for discounted treatments at some clinics.
How much does Online Therapy cost?
It depends on how long you have been a client of your online therapist and what type of treatment plan they are offering.
If you are unable to afford ongoing treatment, there are several free online therapy options available to you.
Betterhelp.com is known for its inexpensive prices when compared with some other sites. It hosts a number of free online therapy websites for people with various mental health needs. It also provides coverage for people who want insurance through their employer or who have health insurance that includes mental health services. Although it is free, some experts say that the website is not as intuitive as it could be and frequently has communication problems with other browsers and platforms.
Another option is Talkspace, which offers online therapy at no cost but does keep a portion of any money you pay your therapist through the site for administrative costs, etc.
e-therapy is another good option for those who have any type of insurance that covers mental health services, which includes behavioral health coverage under Obamacare.
Each site offers a number of therapists for you to choose from based on your location and treatment needs.
Online therapy is not right for every person in need of counseling or therapy, but it is a valid form of treatment that can help some people recover more effectively than traditional face-to-face sessions can.