Situations Where Online Counseling May Benefit You
You may benefit from working with a therapist if you're struggling with stress, interpersonal conflict, emotional concerns, or major life challenges. However, you might consider online treatment modalities if you feel intimated or unsure about visiting a provider in person. Many platforms offer online therapy, and many providers may accept telehealth appointments. Knowing the situations where online counseling could benefit you may help you make an informed decision on your care plan.
Situations Where Online Therapy May Benefit You
Below are a few common situations where individuals may reach out for online therapy services instead of traditional in-person options.
You Have A Busy Schedule
Driving to see a therapist in person may seem counterproductive if you are a college student, a parent, or have a busy schedule. For many hardworking individuals, taking time off to see a therapist can be stressful and time-consuming.
By choosing to receive online services instead, you may talk to your therapist during your downtime when it is convenient for you, potentially taking the stress out of therapy. Online counseling services could also allow you to message your therapist any time, often receiving a response within 24 hours. Some therapists may have openings in the early morning, late at night, or on the weekends for those who can't make a 9 am to 5 pm schedule work.
You Travel Frequently
For individuals who frequently travel for work or pleasure and may be on the road for days or weeks, a more traditional therapy structure may not be a suitable fit. Since online counseling is not dependent on physical meetings, therapy can travel with you, taking place wherever you have a smart device and a solid internet connection.
Additionally, the flexible nature of online counseling may help individuals with variable schedules stick to the therapy process without committing to a rigid schedule. This option can benefit digital nomads or travel workers if your health insurance plan does not carry over state lines. You can also attend therapy on some platforms if you're in another country.
You Feel Stressed Or Intimidated By In-Person Therapy
Many people may believe they would benefit from therapy but don't like the idea of talking to someone in person about their concerns. In these cases, past adverse experiences or specific mental health symptoms may be a cause. For example, many individuals experiencing social anxiety or depression might struggle to leave home or commute to an office. You may feel more comfortable with online counseling if this sounds familiar.
Online therapy can take away some of the intimidation factors. For example, some online platforms offer live chat therapy sessions where clients can type their responses and questions without talking over the phone or via video chat. If you struggle with phone calls or video chat, you might feel more comfortable opening up with someone who cannot see or hear you. Additionally, you may be able to message your therapist throughout the week and receive responses, often within 24 hours.
The various communication modalities available in an online counseling platform can allow individuals to begin with the form of communication with which they are most comfortable, and progress to a more direct form of communication when they feel ready. Since online therapy is not necessarily reliant on direct contact, those worried about the process can ease into it with time.
You Benefit From Regular Check-Ins And Immediate Support
Online counseling can benefit individuals with more frequent check-ins with a mental health professional. In traditional therapy settings, individuals might have to wait until their next session to explore, discuss, or process feelings and experiences with their therapist. However, with online therapy, an individual may message their therapist to vent or express their stress, thoughts, and feelings. The therapist can respond when they are able, offering support throughout the week.
Online counseling can also be a valuable alternative for engaging in mental health services if you can't meet a therapist in person because you reside in a remote or rural area. Instead of driving long distances to see a counselor, you can schedule online sessions that are convenient for you without the need to commute or spend travel money.
You Like Being At Home
Studies have found that most people prefer to be or feel more comfortable at home. Some individuals may also stay at home due to accessibility concerns, mental health conditions, or disabilities. Online counseling can be done from your home, as long as you have an internet connection, making it a comfortable option for many people who prefer to stay at home.
You're On A Budget
Therapy can be expensive if you don't have insurance or experience financial insecurity for any reason. Forbes found that the average cost of in-person therapy in the US is $100 to $200 a session. The cost of therapy may sometimes hold people back from seeking the help they want.
While there are still fees associated with counseling online, they can be much lower than what you might pay for in-person counseling services. Online therapy platforms may not accept insurance coverage.
You Want Variety
While ease of accessibility and convenience can be among the top reasons people may prefer online counseling, the ability to browse and select a professional that best fits your needs can be another benefit. Online counseling services often offer the option to browse potential therapists and find the proper fit. Additionally, reviews from current and previous clients could aid in your decision when selecting a therapist.
The Efficacy Of Online Therapy
Several studies have been conducted to determine if online therapy is as effective as in-person counseling. Online therapy has been effective in treating various mental health conditions. Research has also shown that patients are as likely to stick to participating in online therapy as they are to in-person therapy. If you're interested in trying this form of therapy, consider reaching out on a platform like BetterHelp to connect with one of the 30,000 counselors offering various therapy modalities and specialties.
Online counseling services may feel intimidating for some. However, these services can be a convenient, accessible, and effective option for those who face barriers to treatment from in-person providers. Consider reaching out to an online platform or provider to learn more about their services and how they can support you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are several frequently asked questions on the topic of online therapy.
Can I Talk To A Counselor Online For Free?
Many forms of therapy can be expensive. However, there are affordable and free sources of support available online. Online counseling may entail signing up for an account, getting paired with a counselor, and chatting via live messaging, phone, or video chat. Although counseling from a licensed professional is not free, it can often be hundreds of dollars cheaper per month than paying out-of-pocket for an in-person provider.
You might find free support from specific hotlines, online support groups, faith-based life coaching, life coaches, or training clinics through a university or college. However, check the credentials of any person you talk to for support. Note that guidance from someone without a degree, license, or experience does not replace advice from a licensed professional.
You can also check with your current health insurance provider to discuss mental health coverage and treatment options. You may be covered for a certain number of sessions or specific providers in your area for no cost or an affordable rate.
How Can I Overcome Counseling Problems?
When deciding on a therapist, discuss your concerns and ask if you can have a quick initial consultation to see if you're a suitable fit. It may take a few sessions to determine whether a provider is offering practical support, so try to give it some time. If issues arise, let your counselor know. They may be able to provide a support plan to address your concerns. If you continue to struggle, consider finding a new provider.
Is Online Therapy As Effective As In-Person Therapy?
Online therapy can be as effective as in-person therapy, and multiple studies support that claim. One study found that online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helped treat low self-esteem and anxiety disorders. Another study found that online treatment for depression was as effective as in-person therapy.
A third study found that online cognitive-behavioral therapy was equally as effective as in-person options in treating symptoms of major depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Further research concluded that users of BetterHelp experienced significantly reduced depression symptom severity after engaging with the platform.
How Do I Get Advice Online?
There are many online counseling platforms available where you can speak with a licensed professional counselor from the comfort of your home. These providers can advise on mental health symptoms, conditions, stress, and life concerns. You do not have to have a mental health diagnosis to meet with a therapist.
What Is The Best Online Counseling Service?
Many online counseling services are available, and deciding which one to utilize can be personal. BetterHelp is the most comprehensive online counseling platform worldwide and makes counseling available anytime, anywhere. It is an affordable option that can allow users to connect with counselors through their computer, tablet, or smartphone without leaving the comfort of their home or space. BetterHelp currently has the largest platform of online therapists and frequently supports communities worldwide with social causes.
What Are The Problems With Guidance?
Often, when people start counseling, they may expect their therapist to offer guidance on solving problems. However, some therapists may not offer direct guidance or advice. Therapists may aim to present clients with a comprehension of what motivates or causes them to act or think as they do. They may present support materials or research-based facts to aid in any support given.
Therapy may be used to guide individuals to make their own decisions. Helping clients learn how to make their own life choices can give them empowerment, confidence, and positive self-esteem.
How Do You Overcome Academic Problems?
Academic concerns affect many students throughout their academic careers at university. Academic concerns may negatively influence a student's classroom performance and future professional path. Particular concerns might place undue stress on students, leading to goal interference. If you are a student, speaking to a counselor about academic problems may allow you to overcome symptoms and find healthy coping strategies unique to your situation.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Counseling?
While you may find benefits in online counseling, some individuals also experience disadvantages. Meeting with a counselor online might feel impersonal or scary for those who prefer to sit in a physical office. Additionally, due to the terms and conditions, some online counselors can not provide diagnoses or medication through online platforms.
Is BetterHelp Worth It?
BetterHelp is the largest online counseling platform worldwide and makes professional counseling available anytime, anywhere, through a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
BetterHelp has counselors who are specialized in specific issues such as managing stress, anxiety, relationships, parenting, life changes, depression, eating disorders, grief, sleeping, trauma, anger, family conflicts, LGBT matters, grief, religion, self-esteem, and more.
However, the following are instances where BetterHelp might not be beneficial: :
You have thoughts of hurting yourself or others*
You are a minor (under 18)
You are in an urgent crisis or emergency
You hope to find a medication management provider
You require psychiatric hospitalization
You are required to undergo therapy by a court order
You do not have a device that can connect to the internet or do not have a solid internet connection
You are seeking diagnostic testing or a diagnosis
*If you are experiencing thoughts or urges of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text 988 to talk to someone over SMS. They are available 24/7 to offer support.
Is BetterHelp Or TalkSpace Better?
When finding a therapist, consider the therapist's credentials, availability, approach, and experience in your area of concern. BetterHelp's base plan includes weekly live video chats, phone calls, or chat sessions and unlimited messaging. BetterHelp also offers financial assistance who can't afford therapy.
TalkSpace is another online therapy platform where individuals can choose the therapist they would like to work with. They are a smaller platform. Before choosing a therapist, research their credentials and ensure the company you choose has policies you agree with.
What are the situations that needs counseling?
How can counseling help you in your daily life?
What is a common reason for counseling?
What are the counseling needs of student?
How can counseling help individuals in stressful situations?
- Previous ArticleYour Options In Receiving Counseling Help
- Next ArticleCouples Therapy: Does It Really Work?