In traditional forms of talk therapy, a client and counselor may agree to meet at the counselor's office at a given time for 30 minutes to an hour. If the client cannot make the appointment, there may be cancellation fees, or the counselor may cancel future appointments. Additionally, traditional counseling costs, on average, around $100-$200 a session or more without insurance.
These platforms may cost less than in-person therapy and offer accessibility to those who face barriers to treatment. Although the logistics may differ, online counseling can be as effective as in-person counseling.
How Counseling Websites Work
Online therapy services may employ therapists or serve as a platform for contractors to find clients. Often, they must ensure mental health professionals are qualified and licensed and have a safe location to perform therapeutic practices. They may also provide technical services through online software, allowing therapists and clients to meet in an encrypted online chat room through phone, video, or live chat sessions.
These services are often not covered by health insurance. However, they can range from $30-$100 per session, which is cheaper than the rate for traditional in-person therapy. Financial aid may also be available depending on a client's needs. However, you may need to live in their state.
Obstacles To Traditional Counseling
Many individuals may hesitate to consider counseling due to barriers. If you relate, you are not alone. Finding a therapist who works for you can feel stressful and time-consuming, and you might not get responses from all you are interested in. Online counseling may remove barriers from many areas, like the ones below.
When feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or busy, you might struggle to know when to find time to fit in weekly appointments with a therapist. Commute time may be factored in, plus the time it takes to pick up children, run errands, or attend other appointments within the nine-to-five work hours. You might work during these times and struggle to find a therapist to see you after hours or on the weekend.
Online counseling may alleviate this problem. Online counselors might set a flexible schedule to work with you to find a time you're both available, even in the evenings or weekends. You can factor out any commute times and attend therapy from home. You might also be able to message your counselor at any time and receive a response within 24 hours instead of waiting until your next session to ask a question.
There may be mental health stigmas that make it feel embarrassing or difficult to reach out for support from a professional. In some cases, you might worry that others will find out you're seeing a therapist if they see you leaving home or checking your insurance.
Speaking to an online therapist can feel more discrete and less disruptive. You may participate at home away from others, allowing you to get care without worrying whether you're being watched. It might also feel more natural. If you are used to using online forums or social media to talk about your issues, using the live chat features available on many therapy platforms could make you feel more comfortable starting out.
If you struggle to turn your thoughts into words or feel anxious when meeting with an in-person counselor, online counseling may remove this barrier. If you're uncomfortable talking to someone on the phone or over video chat, you can also use live chat, where you message back and forth with your counselor for an allotted time.
Many people feel they can express their thoughts in writing more honestly. Other people feel more comfortable starting therapy through written messages and switching to video or phone sessions over time. In in-person therapy, you may be limited to seeing a therapist personally.
Limits Of Online Therapy
Online therapy often empowers individuals by eliminating many of the barriers of traditional therapy. However, there are some things telepsychiatry is not capable of, like prescribing medication. In some cases, online counselors are not allowed to give a diagnosis based on platform terms and conditions. It can depend on the platform and professional. Some online platforms may offer online psychiatrists who can prescribe medications but do not offer therapy.
Finding An Online Therapist
Whether you decide to use an online platform or a private practice therapist who offers telehealth, you may be able to find many forms of therapy online. Popular forms include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and trauma therapy. You can also see a therapist whether you are diagnosed with a mental health condition or not.
Studies show that online therapy effectively treats common mental health conditions like anxiety and depression and symptoms of loneliness or long-term stress. If you're interested in trying an online platform, sites like BetterHelp for individuals, ReGain for couples, and TeenCounseling for those ages 12-19 are available.
Commonly Asked Questions
Below are a few commonly asked questions about traditional counseling.
What Is Traditional Therapy?
Traditional therapy may be a term used to describe in-person talk therapy, one of the most historically common types. In modern psychology, many therapists and clients choose to utilize online therapy because of the convenience of virtual sessions. However, some techniques may only be utilized in person, such as massage therapy, acupuncture, equine therapy, or some forms of EMDR.
What Are The Types Of Therapy?
There are many types of therapy. Some of the most commonly known and practiced include:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Rapid Eye Movement And Desensitization Therapy (EMDR)
Exposure And Response Prevention (ERP)
Music And Art Therapy
Many therapists specialize in certain forms of therapy or focus on a specific condition or group of symptoms. In addition, therapy may take place in the form of individual counseling or group sessions. In group counseling, the therapist often acts as a group leader, facilitating discussions between participants.
What Is Traditional Talk Therapy Called?
There are many different modalities and forms of talk therapy. Among other options, talk therapy types include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy
Family therapy/Family counseling (focused on the issues facing families)
Couples therapy/couples counseling
Many of these types of therapy can be done online or in person.
Is CBT Traditional Talk Therapy?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of several types of therapy that fall under the umbrella of talk therapy. CBT generally takes place over the short term. It focuses on helping a client understand and replace negative thought patterns. The process is a proven treatment for mood disorders, personality disorders, and several other mental health conditions. It can be done in individual or group sessions online or in person.
What's The Difference Between DBT And CBT?
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of psychotherapy focused on healing symptoms of emotional dysregulation. It is a common approach for treating personality disorders. While the two modalities are similar, they have different approaches. Dialectical behavior therapy sessions focus more on acceptance and controlling emotions, while CBT may focus on specific behaviors and thoughts that can lead to mental health concerns.
How Can I Do CBT On Myself?
While scheduling sessions with a licensed therapist is recommended to get the most out of cognitive behavioral therapy, there are ways you can use the principles and process of CBT. You can start by identifying areas of concern in your life. These can be past events, diagnoses, or other mental health issues. Next, think about the thoughts and emotions associated with these aspects of your life and try to find ways to challenge them.
What Does "Counseling" Mean?
Counseling in psychology is when a therapist meets with a patient to work through any psychological issues. It is often used as a synonym for therapy. Counseling might target issues ranging from mental health conditions to low self-esteem or stress. Those interested in becoming psychologists or professional counselors enroll in higher education programs and receive advanced psychology degrees. Social workers may also provide counseling.
What Are The Three Types Of Counseling?
The three main types of counseling are psychodynamic, behavioral, and humanistic. These three approaches can differ in their emphases when providing treatment, focusing on the unconscious mind, behavior, and emotional processing of prior events. Within these approaches exists a broad range of sub-disciplines.
What Are The Seven Types Of Counseling?
The seven types of counseling may include the following:
Marriage and Family
Substance Dependency Counseling
Guidance and Career Counseling
What Is The Purpose Of Counseling?
The purpose of counseling may be to ensure the mental health and wellness of the patient. However, the goals of counseling may vary per client.
Can Counseling Be Harmful?
Counseling may be harmful if the psychologist oversteps the boundaries of their professional relationship with their client or is not licensed. Look for a counselor accredited by the American Psychiatric Association.