Resources For Therapy: Guide To Support Groups, Apps, And Worksheets
Many resources are used to help clients seek counseling, receive benefits from therapy sessions, or understand the therapy process. As the psychology industry evolves, internet-based resources are abundant. Videos, apps, websites, and guides are unique resources to help clients understand the therapeutic process or receive extra benefits after therapy.
Note that if your first resource isn't working, many others exist. Consider asking your mental health provider for support if you're looking for a specific therapy worksheet, module, or research material. Many therapists carry books or have studies on hand to support clients looking for education in mental health.
Where to find resources for therapy
Therapy resources include platforms and apps that offer therapy services, worksheets, and workshops where you can learn new skills and receive educational resources to connect with online. Below are a few types of resources you can consider.
Please note that while these resources and tools can be helpful in supporting your mental health, it is a good idea to seek out assistance from health professionals directly. While tools and resources might be helpful in the relief of in-the-moment anxiety, for example, having a therapist aid you in recovering from one of the myriad of anxiety disorders will help you get the specialized treatment you may need. Consider these therapy tools as added support rather than a main source of treatment.
Mental health apps
Smartphones have allowed many to connect with a therapist on the go, use mental health tools, and get guided meditations from specialists. Many apps offer calming music, rain sounds, or white noise to aid in sleep.
If you're looking for mental health education, several apps offer audio lessons and activities, health trackers, and relaxation techniques. Personal safety and emergency apps can also allow individuals to set up a network of family and friends and list coping mechanisms to use during a difficult moment.
Many apps offer a passworded platform to write your thoughts if you like to journal but don't like writing by hand. Some might include daily mood and activity trackers. On these, you can select your mood, check off activities that you participated in that day, and review past mood and activity connections.
These resource apps are available on Apple and Android. Search for "mental health" in the app store of your choice to find options. As many of these resources are free or low-cost, you can utilize them cost-effectively.
Online forums and support groups
Online forums and support groups can allow individuals to connect with others experiencing similar symptoms, diagnoses, or life situations. For those who live in rural areas, these resources offer the value of social connection. In addition, many of these resources are free to use.
Online support groups often target addiction, depression, relationship challenges, and relationships. These groups may meet over a video chat platform or through a social media website like Facebook.
If you join an online forum, you can talk to others experiencing your symptoms and find out what has worked for them. However, be wary that forums may not be moderated or controlled by licensed therapists, and the advice you receive from peers cannot replace the advice of a medical professional.
You may be able to find therapy worksheets or workbooks online or at a local bookstore. Although these worksheets do not replace therapy from a licensed professional, they can guide you in the self-care process and give you an activity to focus on when emotionally distressed. Worksheets might include the following:
- Cognitive restructuring exercises
- Mandalas or coloring pages for mindful coloring
- Journaling prompts
- Pie charts for charting symptoms
- Self-care brainstorming
- Acceptance techniques
- Open-ended questions for self-inquiry
Some therapy modules include worksheets as part of a structured treatment plan, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which includes a workbook with structured activities to use in sessions. Therapy worksheets can also often be reached for free online from various sources. Always verify the source of your health resources before use.
If worksheet tools alone aren’t helpful to you, consider adding a more dynamic visual element. Many licensed therapists offer therapy tips and tricks through a video platform. If you can't afford therapy or are looking for education outside of sessions, you can consider watching a video by an expert. Although videos do not provide personalized support, they can offer short-term guidance and learning.
One common type of therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which encourages individuals to challenge unwanted thoughts to change behaviors and reactions. CBT has been proven one of the most effective forms of therapy for treating various mental illnesses, including anxiety and depression.
CBT resources are often offered through apps, worksheets, workbooks, games, and videos to guide those interested in the therapy modality in standard practices used by therapists. Another CBT resource is the Beck Institute, which offers courses in CBT for therapists and education for individuals.
CBT was developed in the 1960s by Dr. Aaron Beck, a man internationally recognized as the father of CBT and one of the world's leading scientists in psychopathology. In 1994, along with his daughter Dr. Judith Beck, he established the Beck Institute in Bala Cynwyd, Philadelphia. Their facility has trained clinicians, researchers, and academic students from all over the world. Their website offers free resources such as tools and handouts for individuals looking to learn more about the therapy modality.
If you have tried using CBT resources at home and are struggling to understand them or find benefits, you can also consider reaching out to a therapist. Therapists keep up to date on new treatment methods each year and are qualified to offer suggestions personalized to your symptoms or needs. They can help you understand the various worksheet tools and handouts associated with CBT and use them to maximum advantage.
Online therapy websites
Many individuals seek the support of online tools or resources due to barriers to acquiring in-person therapy. As resources can be free or low-cost, they can provide a short-term alternative to no treatment. However, if you're seeking therapy and feel it might not be available to you in person, consider online counseling.
Online platforms like BetterHelp offer similar benefits to other resources, with the added benefit of licensed, experienced therapists. Online therapy platforms are often more cost-effective than traditional providers. In addition, you can choose an appointment time that fits your schedule, whether in the morning, late at night, or on the weekends.
In one review of 17 studies, researchers found that online therapy was more effective than in-person methods for certain conditions, like depression. Working with a therapist to navigate mental health concerns instead of working alone can ensure you receive the most benefit from treatment and understand each technique in detail.
There are various resources available to support you in your mental health journey out of all the best therapy websites online. If you're looking for short-term guidance, education, or information, consider utilizing online apps, websites, or worksheets to learn more. You can also reach out to a therapist through an online platform and receive a personalized match within 24 to 48 hours.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Below are several of the most frequently asked questions about counseling resources.
Does online counseling work?
With the rise of technology, online counseling has become a popular alternative to traditional in-person sessions. Having the ability to chat with a therapist at any time has proven valuable for many, but some may feel unsure whether online sessions are effective.
Despite these worries, various studies have shown that mental health professionals operating online offer treatment as effective as their in-person counterparts. Online counseling can treat mental illness, distressing symptoms, or relationship challenges, among other concerns.
How can I get resources if I can't afford counseling?
In-person counseling can be expensive. However, you're not out of options. Before meeting with a provider, contact your insurance company to check your coverage. They might be able to refer you to an in-network provider. You can also check with your employer, as many HR departments offer free short-term mental health counseling lines. Some individuals also attend support groups for mental health support, as many are free to attend.
Alternatively, community counseling programs at local clinics may be more affordable than one-on-one practice counseling. Many universities offer low-cost counseling through their student psychology program. If you still struggle to find an option that fits your budget, online counseling might prove valuable.
What kind of notes do counselors take?
Therapists often write down significant names, dates, or descriptions of symptoms to review after sessions. This information can help a professional create a client file and ensure the treatment plan works. If a therapist notices similar symptoms coming up long-term, they might change their treatment approach.
What are popular types of counseling?
Three popular forms include psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and humanistic therapy. Psychodynamic focuses on a person's unconscious mind and actions that may result from suppressed emotions. CBT focuses on how thoughts can drive actions and beliefs, whereas humanistic takes a holistic approach and creates a unique approach individualized to each client.
Is online counseling safe?
It can be overwhelming to divulge personal details online. However, online counseling is usually safe. All therapists on platforms like BetterHelp are licensed, experienced, and vetted. Through coded software, many platforms offer the option to meet with a therapist in a personal video chat room or phone call. If you're uncomfortable meeting your therapist this way, you may also have the option of a live chat session.
When should you see a counselor?
You do not need to have a mental illness to see a therapist. Therapists support clients with relationship concerns, distressing thoughts, work stress, school plans, and significant life occurrences, among other concerns. If you are feeling overwhelmed by a situation, experiencing fatigue, or struggling with your symptoms, a therapist can help.
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