What Problems Can An Online Counselling Service Fix?
Content/Trigger Warning: Please be advised that this article contains mentions of suicidal ideation. If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 and is available 24/7. You can also reach them over text by texting any message to 988.
Online treatment methods have become a modern form of care in many industries. Telehealth sessions can be held with a doctor from home in the medical field. You might also be able to talk to a psychiatrist and have medication prescribed from some services. Other services focus primarily on mental health services and mental health care, which can target various symptoms, concerns, and stressors. The best online therapy provides flexibility and the ability to find a therapist that meets your specific needs and who you feel comfortable working with.
What Issues Can I Work Through In Online Counseling?
Counseling is often a tool used to learn healthy coping mechanisms, release emotions, and gain professional advice. You can talk to a counselor about mostly anything. You do not necessarily have to have a mental health diagnosis to meet with a therapist, and therapy can be valuable for those with varying backgrounds.
Many online therapy websites offer virtual counseling or virtual therapy for marriage or family related concerns. Marriage and family therapists are mental health counselors with expertise and training in working with families or couples. A licensed marriage and family therapist can help facilitate discussion and provide strategies for improving communication and relationship skills.
There are no gender, sexuality, race, ability, age, or class requirements to visit a counselor or to use online therapy services. Although mental health myths and stigmas around treatment can exist, reaching out for help can be a brave step. Individuals, couples, families, and groups can attend therapy. Below are some common reasons someone might reach out for support from a counselor.
Depression And Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are both mental health conditions referred to in the DSM-5 as major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). There are other depressive disorders and anxiety disorders also listed in the diagnostic and statistical manual, which can be discussed with your diagnosing provider or therapist.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, or both of the conditions, talking to a therapist help you find coping mechanisms for daily life. Many individuals experiencing these conditions may struggle to leave home, set appointments, or socialize with a therapist in person. Online therapy may be beneficial in these cases because you can choose whether to attend a video, phone, or live chat session. You can also attend therapy from your bed, couch, or another location with an internet connection. While a therapist may not be able to prescribe medication directly, they can refer clients with depression to psychiatrists or psychiatric nurse practitioners. Psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners have special training in medication management and are able to write prescriptions.
You can discuss trauma and past experiences in online therapy with licensed therapists, as in traditional counseling. Many forms of therapy are offered by online therapy providers, including EMDR, online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
Research has shown that online therapy is highly effective in treating long-term exposure to stress. You can learn stress management techniques with your counselor and receive take-home worksheets after sessions to further your knowledge of coping mechanisms for everyday life stressors.
If you are experiencing significant life changes, you might benefit from discussing them with a therapist. As you do not necessarily need a mental health condition diagnosis or symptoms to talk to a counselor, counselors can offer life advice and work as a coach as you consider a specific short-term situation, such as marriage, a new career, or moving. Working with a licensed social worker may help provide resources during periods of change.
Other Mental Health Symptoms And Conditions
Online counseling is not limited to any specific mental health condition or symptom. You can also find support for other conditions, like bipolar disorder, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, and other conditions.
Online counseling should not be used in a crisis or mental health emergency. If you are in crisis, consider reaching out to the following hotlines or websites:
If you are facing or witnessing the abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 for support. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788.
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.
If you are struggling with substance use, contact the SAMHSA National Helpline at (800) 662-4357 to receive support and resources.
If you’re a teen or child experiencing or witnessing the abuse of any kind from a family or caregiver, reach out to the Child Help Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 or use the online chat feature.
Many online counseling services studies have found that online mental health treatment effectively addresses various concerns and the best online therapy services meet client needs as effectively as in person therapy. An online therapy provider can offer a wide variety of services including group therapy and couples therapy.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition or want to reach out to an online therapist for support, consider signing up for a platform like BetterHelp for individuals or ReGain for couples to find affordable online therapy with a licensed therapist. Both platforms offer a matching system for therapists and clients. You'll be matched within a short period of time after signing up. While BetterHelp and ReGain do not accept insurance many online therapy users find the prices to be affordable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few commonly asked questions about online counseling.
Is Online Counseling Effective?
Online therapy is effective for many symptoms. It can successfully treat mental health conditions anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, and others. An online therapist can also help you work through other concerns, such as life changes and transitions. Studies indicate that online counseling is, at times, more effective than in-person therapy.
Is BetterHelp Counseling Legit?
BetterHelp only works with licensed, accredited mental health professionals who have had over 1000 hours of clinical experience. The therapists who practice through BetterHelp comply with the necessary state laws regarding licensure and training. If you’d like to do more research, head to the BetterHelp FAQ page.
Can An Online Therapist Diagnose You?
While many therapists have the training and licenses necessary to provide a diagnosis, many online therapy platforms do not allow therapists to provide a diagnosis. If you meet with a non-public practice therapist online, they might be able to provide a diagnosis based on their policies.
What Is The Best Online Counseling Platform?
The best online counseling platform can be one that works best for you. Online therapy may be a personal and individual process, so a treatment method that works for one person might not work for another.
The American Psychological Association published several telepsychology guidelines for teletherapy providers to follow. A professional service may offer services that fall under these ethical guidelines. You can research e-therapy and telehealth on the APA’s site.
How Do I Get Advice Online?
If you want mental health advice online, you can connect with an online counselor, meet with a life coach, or connect with a medical provider, depending on your concern.
Can I Chat With A Therapist Online?
Many online therapy platforms offer software to allow you to connect with your therapist over the phone, via video, or through a live chat session. The live chat session can involve messaging back and forth with your therapist for an allotted period.
How Long Does It Take For Counseling To Work?
Therapy can be a personal process, so it may vary in time depending on the individual and their needs. Your therapist will work with you to identify the type of therapy you need and design a personalized treatment plan. Depending on your preferences, you might decide to utilize therapy weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
Is BetterHelp Worth The Money?
BetterHelp is the largest online therapy platform in the world. The cost of online therapy through BetterHelp ranges from $60 to $90 per week (billed every 4 weeks) and it is based on your location, preferences, and therapist availability. You may be eligible for financial aid by contacting the BetterHelp customer service team. For traditional, in-person therapy sessions outside of BetterHelp, the average cost in the US is $100-$200 per hour without health insurance. BetterHelp can save a few hundred dollars each month in therapy costs.
Can You Cancel BetterHelp At Any Time?
Yes. You can cancel your BetterHelp subscription at any time for any reason.
How much should online therapy cost?
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