Can Online Therapy Sites Work For You?

By Sarah Fader

Updated September 09, 2019

Reviewer Kimberly L Brownridge , LPC, NCC, BCPC Counsel The Mind, LLC

Everyone has a bad day or goes through periods of sadness on occasion. However, if you find that you are feeling down for an extended period of time or you just cannot seem to get rid of your anxiety, you need to talk to someone. Many people are either afraid or cannot afford to go to a psychologist or therapist, but by visiting an online therapist and participating in online therapy, you can get the help you need without even leaving your home. Seeing online therapists has become especially beneficial to those who have a hard time talking to people (especially face-to-face) or have severe anxiety or panic attacks.


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Why Choose Online Therapy?

Being able to talk to an online therapist from the comforts of your own home can make a world of difference to a person who has an extremely busy schedule, cannot take off from work, has no insurance, or those who just do not want to be judged. There are many options for someone looking for online therapy such as one-on-one chatting with an experienced therapist, group chats with others who have similar issues, and video conferencing.

Also, an astounding 96% of those who have has sessions with online therapists have reported they were satisfied with their treatment. When it comes to choosing an online therapist for distance therapy, the options for participating in therapy online are endless (unlike in-office therapy.)

Online therapists are licensed to diagnose and treat a variety of mental illness-related issues.

Millions of people are turning to online therapists as an alternative to in-office therapy. There is a huge supply of information available for mental illnesses and mental health-related conditions available online. Online clients can log in and learn about topics including - depression, schizophrenia anxiety, and bipolar disorder. You can find an online therapist that is right for you by typing a few words into your browser. Most websites that offer therapy online have free chat rooms or trial periods that you can try.


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How Do Online Therapy Sites Work?

Online therapy operates similarly to in-office therapy. Online therapists are licensed to provide diagnosis, management, and treatment for mental illness related conditions online. Some health insurance providers are now covering the cost of seeing an online therapist.

For many health insurance providers, behavioral health services now include coverage for video chat sessions with an online therapist in-lieu of in-office therapy. Online therapists who accept health insurance as a form of payment provide individual online therapy, couples therapy, and many other health services for managing veteran's affairs.

Telemental health services that are covered by health insurance plans can have many names for sessions with online therapists. Online therapists practice the same methods of Internet psychotherapy services as in-office therapy providers. Today's online therapist's services include cybertherapy, telehealth, e-counseling, and e-therapy. However, they all boil down to one thing: you can get counseling from home anonymously and at a much lower cost than conventional therapy.

When you sign up for internet psychotherapy services, you will be assigned a therapist or listener right away or you can just browse the group chat rooms. Some websites also have virtual self-help therapy services online where you can work on your own with activities and videos that can help guide you through your journey to better mental health. While there are many services offered for the different subjects and venues, the most common include:

  • One-on-one online chat with a therapist or counselor
  • Group chats
  • Text messaging
  • Live telephone therapy
  • Video sessions
  • Online videoconferencing
  • Email chatting
  • Virtual self-help

Sessions with an online therapist are not intended to replace emergency services. If you feel your issue is an emergency or that you or someone near you is in danger of physical harm, visit your nearest emergency room. Otherwise, make an emergency call to the National Suicide Prevention Helpline to speak with a specialist.


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The Basic Facts

With approximately 43 million Americans suffering from mental health disorders, there are not nearly enough in-office therapists, psychologists, and HIPPA compliant mental health professionals to handle them all. If you have ever tried to make an appointment for an in-office therapy session, you know what I am talking about. You may have to wait six months just to get to your first appointment for in-office therapy.

Online therapists are available online 24-hours a day. Schedule sessions with your online therapist at the time most convenient for you. With online therapy, you (and your online therapist) can communicate anytime, day or night through chat sessions, video chat, or texting therapy.

If you have a few minutes to chat or you are having a bad day and you need to vent, you can just send a text from your phone or other electronic device and your counselor will answer when they get the chance. This is one of the benefits of establishing a therapeutic relationship online.

No appointment is ever necessary to chat with one of our online therapists. While an appointment is not required, online clients can schedule sessions in advance. On average, our online therapists check their messages twice a day and will answer you within 12 hours, which is a lot better than waiting six months for in-office therapy!

At BetterHelp.com, we're therapy people. If you're looking for good therapy online getting started with BetterHelp services is as easy as sending a text message to a friend or family member. Forget the frustration and stress of in-office therapy. Start your free online trial with one of our licensed online therapists today!


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The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.