Get Telephone Counseling When And Where You Need It
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated May 12, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Stephanie Chupein
Find A Therapist Who Offers Telephone Counseling
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. Events at work, with your family or even just purely random occurrences, can leave you feeling anxious, depressed or otherwise at less than peak form. If this is a frequent problem in your life, consider subscribing to an online therapy service. Online therapy, also known as "distance therapy or e-therapy," is an alternative form of traditional therapy.
When you take part in online therapy, you can speak with licensed therapists via live video, telephone, email, or unlimited messaging therapy options using SMS messaging. Online therapy provides the same services for getting individual counseling, couples therapy, marriage counseling, and family therapy counseling online. In this article, we talk about how to get telephone counseling or therapy -- when and where you need it. Let's start by talking about what online counseling services can do for you.
What Can Telephone Counseling With A Qualified Mental Health Professional 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 passive. There are some things you can do to regulate your emotions if only to avoid transferring your frustration onto your loved ones.
Online counseling, telephone counseling, and 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 telephone counseling services using audio are available for everyone -- not only those suffering from serious mental health issues like chronic anxiety or clinical depression.
Subscribing to telephone, email, and SMS counseling services is quite inexpensive (and, in some cases, even free). Free telephone counseling services like marriage counseling and couples therapy are available in the form of peer-to-peer support services and as free telephone consultations with a licensed therapist.
Taking advantage gives you access to a qualified, licensed counselor 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 telephone, email, and SMS counseling are the same benefits that you would receive from in-person counseling, there are some benefits that you can only experience through this option or similar options like online counseling.
Being Able To Avoid Public Stigma
There is a social stigma that surrounds mental illness and mental health. Too many people in society have watched movies like Sybil and then formed inaccurate opinions about those that struggle with mental health challenges. They start to use labels for people seeing therapists such as "crazy," "insane," or "weak." Even people that suffer from more "minor' mental health challenges 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. That's why people are so nosy when they find out that someone is seeing a therapist. They want to know what the problem is because they aren't sure if they should be worried about being around the other person.
People that are struggling with challenges with their mental health can experience deep-seated shame because of this stigma. The shame stops them from getting the help that they need which causes them to spiral further down.
When people can use the telephone, email, and SMS counseling services, they don't have to go into an office and face others finding out about their appointments.
Easy To Access
Most people have easy access to a telephone 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
- and much more
If the patient is unable to drive and don'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 counseling appointment. However, she can schedule a telephone session during nap time and not have to worry about leaving the house at all.
Avoid Scheduling Conflicts
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 Do It From Anywhere
Well, you can have your telephone counseling session from anywhere that you have access to a phone. That means you can be sitting in your car during your lunch break at work, on the beach while on vacation with your family, or crying in the closet of your bedroom when you don't know how to keep going at the moment. You have access to help in the moments when you need it most.
It's More Affordable
In-person sessions, especially those at private practices, can be expensive. Paying for a telephone, email or SMS 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 Counseling
You may be wondering why some qualified mental health counselors 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, retire 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 over the telephone or by text chat 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. Most people will suffer from some form of mental illness or distress during their lifetimes, and having support on tap can significantly reduce both the severity and intensity of such episodes.
As technology continues to develop our access to medical care for both our physical and mental health continues to expand as well. While you might be hesitant to try it because it's a different concept than what you are used to the fact that there are many benefits and reasons why you should give it a try.
Whether you need it urgently or can do better with it, a subscription to a telephone, email, or other distance counseling service is certainly worth having at the time when you need it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Telephone Counseling
Does Insurance Cover Phone Therapy?
This depends on your health insurance provider. Some large group health plans provide benefits for free telephone counseling options and telephone counseling sessions with a licensed therapist under the federal Mental Health Parity Act. You can learn more about your health plans free telephone support options by contacting your provider directly. Many large providers also now provide mental health support via telephone, email, and live video as covered components of behavioral health.
What Is Phone Therapy?
Phone therapy is telephone counseling with a licensed therapist. Telephone counseling can refer to distance therapy, online therapy, unlimited messaging therapy, or video chat with a therapist who is in a remote location.
Is Telephone Counseling As Effective As Face To Face?
According to psychology researchers and experts -- telephone counseling 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 telephone counseling, take advantage of free telephone counseling options for free telephone consultations with therapists or get free telephone support from peer-to-peer counseling networks.
How Does Telephone Counseling Work?
Telephone counseling is a form of counseling that takes traditional counseling sessions online. People who get telephone counseling services have access to the same traditional counseling services available in an in-person setting. People connect to distance counseling 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 counseling services. The only difference is that your support services are available by telephone, email, and online.
What Is Home-Based Counseling?
Home-based counseling is a form of counseling where clients connect with free telephone support services or paid counseling services via telephone, email, and unlimited messaging therapy options. Counseling clients login to participate in their counseling services from home where they are connected to licensed therapists via telephone, email, and other online counseling services. People interested in home-based counseling have a variety of options to choose from that range from free telephone support services for couples therapy to unlimited messaging therapy sessions with licensed therapists -- available 24-hours a day.
How Long Is A Counseling Session?
A typical in-office counseling session will last between forty-five minutes to an hour. Using distance options like unlimited messaging therapy in real-time 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 telephone or introductory sessions may last shorter than a regular session. (Your free telephone consultation with a counselor may last between fifteen to forty-five minutes.)
Is Online Psychotherapy Effective?
Yes! Psychology researchers show that clients who receive mental health support services via telephone, 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 telephone support services and peer-to-peer counseling services report a positive mental health effect and overall improvement (vs. people who don't use counseling 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 telephone crisis intervention hotlines or in peer-to-peer counseling settings where they respond to clients via telephone, email, and video chat.
How Do I Prepare For Counseling?
The best way to prepare for counseling (whether you choose free telephone counseling, in-person therapy, or online therapy) is to write down your questions and concerns in advance. This way, when you meet with your therapist or counselor for a free telephone 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 free telephone support options listed below.
How Do I Approach My First Counseling Session?
Approach your first counseling or therapy session with an open mind. Be prepared with your written questions to make sure that all of your issues are addressed. Take advantage of free telephone consultations and opportunities to contact your counselor via telephone, email, and phone if you have any questions about what is required to prepare for your session.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Therapy and Therapists
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.
How Can I Find a Therapist in My Area?
Finding the best therapist in your area is important, because not only does it allow you to get help nearby, but it also gives you a local connection. In order to find a therapist in your area, you can first begin by doing a bit of research. Chances are, when you Google a therapist near you, you can read some reviews.
Asking your friends and family members for a recommendation can help as well. Some people want their therapy to be private, and there's nothing wrong with that, but if your friends or family members will open up about what therapist they see, then you can get a good recommendation. If not, then we recommend a doctor.
Also, public health clinics are a good recommendation if you don't have much money.
How Do I Find a Therapist Online?
If you need to find a therapist who can provide services, BetterHelp is your option. In the event that you can't do that, seeing if any local therapists can do remote sessions may be recommended.