What's Telephone Therapy? Support By Phone

By Stephanie Kirby|Updated May 25, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Stephanie Chupein, LMFT

Whether we like it or not, our mood and state of mind change throughout the days and weeks. This is, at best, only partly under your control with the help of free over phone counseling that allows you to speak to a psychologist. A phone therapy call can help with events at work, issues with your family, medication management, relationship issues, or even just purely random occurrences can leave you feeling anxious or depressed. If this is a frequent problem in your life, consider researching an online phone counseling service or life coach, which can include sessions on the phone with a licensed professional.

phone counseling, on phone, therapy via phone

Telephone Counseling - Where And When You Need It

When you take part in online therapy, you can speak with licensed therapists on live video sessions, the phone, email, or unlimited messaging. Online therapy provides the same services for getting individual talk therapy, couples therapy, marriage counseling, and family therapy except instead of having to travel to a therapy office, you can get treatment online. In this article, we talk about how to get phone therapy — when and where you need it. Let's start by talking about what online therapy services can do for you.

What Can A Telephone Counseling Session Do For You?

Just because events aren't always under your control doesn't mean that you have to accept how they make you feel. There are some things you can do to regulate your emotions, if only to avoid transferring your frustration onto your loved ones.

Online, phone, or distance therapy are part of the wider field of telepsychiatry. These distance-based mental health support services can include elements such as text chat or video conferencing for online therapy. Online therapy, live video therapy, and counseling on the phone are available for everyone—not only those experiencing serious mental health issues like chronic anxiety or clinical depression.

Subscribing to on the phone, email, and messaging therapy services is quite inexpensive (and, in some cases, even free). Free therapy services for marriage and couples therapy are available in the form of peer-to-peer support services and as free call consultations with a licensed therapist.

Taking advantage gives you access to a qualified, licensed therapist at any time of the day or night. Whenever you hit a rocky patch and need some objective advice, support, and someone who can provide a little perspective on life's events, they will be there for you.

Typically, you'll be assigned to a particular therapist who will keep track of your progress and history. If the first mental health professional you're put in touch with doesn't suit you for whatever reason, requesting a different counselor is no problem at all.

Why Telephone Counseling With A Licensed Therapist May Be Right For You

While many of the benefits of on the phone, email, and messaging therapy are the same benefits that you would receive from in-person sessions with licensed therapists or family therapists, there are some benefits that you can only experience through this option or similar options like online counseling.

phone therapy, how to get therapy for yourself

Phone Counseling And Telephone Calls Can Help Beat The Stigma Of Treatment

There is a social stigma that surrounds mental illness and mental health. Too many people in society have formed inaccurate opinions about those that struggle with mental health challenges. They may even use labels for people seeing therapists such as "crazy," "insane," or "weak." Even people that live with more "minor' mental health conditions such as anxiety disorder and depression can be faced with these labels.

The stigma is something that many people are aware of, even if they don't realize it. People whoare struggling with challenges with their mental health can experience deep-seated shame because of this stigma. The shame often stops them from getting the help that they need which causes them to spiral further down.

When people can use on the phone, email, and messaging counseling services, they don't have to go into an office and face others finding out about their appointments.

Phone Therapy Is Easy To Access

Most people have easy access to unlimited calling these days. However, not everyone has easy access to getting in to sit down face to face with a therapist for many different reasons. Some of the reasons that people aren't able to see a counselor in their office include:

  • Physical disabilities
  • No access to transportation
  • Busy schedules
  • Anxiety
  • And much more

If the patient is unable to drive and doesn’t have someone that can take them when they need to go, they may have no way of making an in-office appointment.

But even if people can drive there, it doesn't mean it's easy to do so. For example, a stay-at-home mom with young children may not be able to find a babysitter that is available or that she can afford to stay with her children while she goes to a therapy appointment. However, she can schedule a call during nap time and not have to worry about leaving the house at all.

Avoid Scheduling Conflicts With A Busy Schedule

Between having a personal life and business life to balance, it can be difficult to get in to see a therapist for regular appointments. However, for people with mental health challenges, this can be exactly what they need. If you wait too long in between appointments, it can be hard to maintain any momentum in working on getting to the root of the problem and finding a treatment plan to help you on the road to recovery.

You Can Speak To A Counselor From Anywhere

Well, you can have a call with a therapist from nearly anywhere. That means you can be sitting in your car during your lunch break at work, or on the beach while on vacation with your family. You have access to help in the moments when you need it most.

It's More Affordable: Therapy Is A Call Away

In-person sessions, especially those at private practices, can be expensive. Paying for an over the phone, email or messaging counseling service is a lot more affordable, which can allow you the chance to get the help you need. When you have to pay hundreds of dollars for each appointment, it can be discouraging because you might only be able to afford a limited number of appointments. However, with a more affordable option, you could get the help you need each time you need it.

 Additional Benefits Of Telephone Therapy

You may be wondering why some qualified mental health providers and psychologists prefer to work online rather than renting an office to offer their services. Well, just like other people, mental health professionals also have children, are retired, or prefer to work from home for other reasons.

Telepsychiatry allows them the freedom to do so while still providing a valuable service to those in need—in fact, research suggests that counseling via a call or by messaging can be just as effective as face-to-face therapy sessions.

Aside from helping a person through life's inevitable rocky spots, psychotherapy can help to improve your life and relationships when things take a turn for the worse. Many people will experience some form of mental illness or distress during their lifetimes, and having support through various communication options can significantly reduce both the severity and intensity of such episodes.

Online Therapy And Counseling Via The Telephone With BetterHelp

Telephone Counseling - Where And When You Need It

The evidence suggesting that smartphone-enhanced therapy platforms can help address symptoms of a wide range of mental health concerns is mounting. In one comprehensive study, researchers examined the effectiveness and accessibility of mobile treatments, finding that over the phone-based counseling can be a useful form of therapy. The report assessed the applications of smartphone-enhanced therapy for a number of mental health disorders, including schizophrenia, substance use disorder, and bipolar disorder, and concluded that the benefits of these resources were wide-ranging. These findings are in line with those from a number of other studies, including reports on the usefulness of mobile phone therapy when dealing with depression, anxiety, and a number of other mental health issues.

There are also many varieties of therapy available online for you, like teen counseling, pride counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, person therapy, and more. 

As outlined above, therapy is a valuable resource when you’re seeking help with mental health concerns. With BetterHelp, unlike with traditional, face-to-face sessions, you’ll have the option of not only utilizing voice calls, but also videoconferencing, live chat, or messaging. Also, you’ll be able to reach out to your licensed counselor any time, day or night. If you need to discuss something that happened during the day, have a question, or simply want to chat, send a message and they’ll get back to you as soon as they are able. The qualified professionals at BetterHelp know how to remotely guide you through a treatment plan that will put you on the path to better mental health. Read below for BetterHelp reviews, from those who have sought help in the past.

BetterHelp Counseling Reviews

“I love my calls with Cecilia! After every session I feel more empowered, calm, and collected. She gives so many helpful tips on self esteem and self care. Cecilia has such a warm, thrust worthy and serene personality, it is very comfortable for me to confide in her and to open up about my feelings. Many of the situations/issues that I discuss in my sessions make me feel less than, inadequate, and even guilty, but Cecilia does a beautiful job at validating my feelings. She helps me establish healthy boundaries in my personal relationships, encourages me to stand up for myself and gain confidence in the choices I make. Thank you so much Cecilia!” 

“Lissette has provided me with clarity, validation, comfort & strategies to help me get through challenges in my life. Our sessions are grounding & we discuss specific things I am able to reflect on outside of our session while I implement changes. Even through our phone sessions I can tell she is caring, realistic, compassionate, incredibly attentive, and wants what’s best for me. She’s an absolutely wonderful therapist!” 

Conclusion And Parting Thoughts

As technology continues to develop, our access to medical care for both our physical and mental health care continues to expand as well. While you might have hesitations about this therapy because it's a relatively new, speaking with a licensed therapist through any channel can greatly improve your mental health. Whether you need it urgently in the short-term or are looking at its long-term benefits, a subscription to an over the phone, email, or other distance therapy service is certainly worth having at the time when you need it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Insurance Cover Online Counseling?

This depends on your health insurance provider or insurance company. Some large group health plans or insurance companies provide benefits for free over the phone mental health options/sessions with a licensed therapist under the federal Mental Health Parity Act. You can learn more about your health insurance plan and the free support options they offer by contacting your provider directly. Many large insurance providers also now provide mental health support via a call, email, and live video as covered by insurance under components of behavioral health.

Usually, even with in person therapy, the client may have to pay a co pay for each session. This means that their insurance plan will cover part of the cost of treatment while the client covers the other part. Most online subscription plans even offer a payment plan or reduced cost for those afflicted by financial hardship. Overall, there's a variety of subscription options for online therapy to choose from. 

What Is Telephone Counseling?

Phone therapy is counseling with a licensed therapist. It can refer to distance therapy, online therapy, unlimited messaging therapy, or video chat with a therapist who is in a remote location.

Is It as Effective as Face-to-Face Counseling?

According to psychology researchers and experts, over the phone mental health services and online therapy counseling services have proven to be as effective as in-office therapy support services. If you have doubts about the effectiveness of counseling by phone, take advantage of free counseling options for consultations with therapists or get free phone support from peer-to-peer counseling networks.

How Does Phone-Based Counseling Work?

It's a form of counseling that takes traditional client-therapist sessions online. People who receive mental health services this way have access to the same traditional services available in an in-person setting. People connect to distance therapy services for couples therapy, marriage counseling, individual and family counseling services. A session with an online therapist is conducted the same way as in-office mental health services. The only difference is that your support services are available by video, chat or with a call.

What Is Home-Based Counseling?

Home-based counseling is a form of counseling where clients connect with free support services or paid services via phone, email, and unlimited messaging therapy options. Clients log in to participate in their services from home where they are connected to a licensed therapist. People interested in home-based counseling have a variety of options to choose from that range from free over the phone support services for couples therapy to unlimited messaging therapy sessions with licensed therapists—available 24 hours per day.

How Long Is a Counseling Session?

A typical in-office counseling session will last between 45 minutes to an hour. Using distance options like unlimited messaging therapy in realtime makes it possible for people to take part in quick individual and couples therapy sessions that last only a few minutes at a time. Free over the phone or introductory sessions may last shorter than a regular session. (Your free call consultation with a counselor may last between 15 to 45 minutes.)

Is Online Psychotherapy Effective?

Yes! Psychology researchers show that clients who receive mental health support services via phone, email, or in-person sessions report similar or better responses in their quality of life after using counseling support services. Even people who use free over the phone support services and peer-to-peer services report a positive mental health boost and overall improvement (vs. people who don't use therapy or similar support services).

What's the Difference Between a Therapist and a Counselor?

In some cases, the terms therapist and counselor are interchangeable. In other cases, you will find that a therapist is licensed to provide psychotherapy and therapeutic advice. You may find therapists in hospitals, doctors' offices, private practice, clinics, and schools. Counselors (depending on the rules and laws of your state) are generally not licensed to provide therapeutic support services/ Counselors are trained professionals who are certified to provide general advice, resources, and referrals. You may find counselors staffing free call crisis intervention hotlines or in peer-to-peer counseling settings.

How Do I Prepare for Counseling?

The best way to prepare for counseling (no matter what method you choose) is to write down your questions and concerns in advance. This way, when you meet with your therapist or counselor for a free session, you'll have a clear understanding of how they can help you address your issues. If you feel that your issue is an emergency and you or someone else is at risk of harm, contact your local emergency room, authorities, or one of the options listed below:

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

How Do I Approach My First Counseling Session?

Approach your first therapy session with an open mind. Be prepared with your written questions to make sure that all of your issues are addressed. 

What is Individual Therapy?

Individual therapy is a session between the therapist and a client, and no one else. It differs from couples therapy, which is when a therapist speaks to two people in a relationship. Family therapy can involve multiple members of a family. Meanwhile, there's group therapy, which can involve one therapist with a group of people who may have similar problems but have no relation to one another.

For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Therapist
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