Comparing Therapies Used For Online Counseling Services


Although online therapy and traditional therapy services share many therapeutic benefits, there are a few key differences between the two options, which we'll explore in more detail below. Both offer psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) with licensed mental health providers or with a therapist or therapists.

Understanding Traditional Online Therapy

Traditional therapy simply means in-person therapy, or face-to-face therapy which isn't the same as online mental health services. If you prefer to speak to your licensed therapist about potentially sensitive topics face-to-face, then traditional therapy may be the most suitable option for you. Some people report feeling more comfortable with their psychotherapist in person when receiving therapeutic services and having those conversations.

If you ever find yourself wondering if this solution is right for you, try asking yourself these questions:

  • Will it be more convenient for me than going into an office?
  • Is it easily accessible to me, more than traditional therapy?
  • Will I be comfortable talking to a therapist via video, text chat, and messaging?

However, in-person therapy requires clients to travel to meet their licensed therapists. People generally need to book appointments during their busy workdays, which means taking time off work to drive through traffic. Another drawback to traditional therapy is that many times clients are required to sit in waiting rooms together, and not everyone feels comfortable with the general lack of privacy when deciding to use these services. In addition, people may not have access to reputable therapists or other licensed mental health providers nearby, which can create challenges when it comes to meeting with licensed mental health providers on a consistent basis. 

Understanding Online Counseling

If you feel nervous about speaking with your therapist or licensed mental health providers face-to-face, then talking with a licensed therapist here may be the best option for you. You can access our platform from the comfort and privacy of your own home. You don't need to waste any time getting to your appointment; you can connect with your licensed therapist right away (as long as you have an internet connection) using the services we provide via our BetterHelp platform. 

counseling session online

Source: rawpixel.com

Another benefit of online counseling is the frequency of communication with your licensed therapist. In traditional therapy, clients meet with their therapists or licensed mental health providers once a week. You can enjoy weekly live sessions with your licensed therapist (via video chat), but you also have unlimited messaging. This means if you're experiencing any symptoms of mental health issues in the middle of the night (like panic attacks or negative thoughts and behaviors due to PTSD or depression) you can message your licensed therapist in the moment, which can provide therapeutic value in itself. The next morning, you can see what your licensed therapist has replied.

telephone counseling
Source: rawpixel.com

However, not everyone enjoys speaking with their therapists or licensed mental health providers via video chat. As mentioned above, some people prefer to speak with their therapists face-to-face. This applies to therapists as well, that may prefer communication in person. Some therapists might be more effective one way or another. 

Selecting The Best Psychotherapy

The choice is ultimately yours; research and personal stories show that therapy with a therapist is powerful a tool for healing from mental health issues. 

Both counselors and traditional therapists face the necessary education, exams, and training requirements before becoming licensed therapists. For example, all BetterHelp counselors and therapists possess at least three years (and 1,000 hours) of hands-on experience. Psychotherapy (talk therapy) may include meeting with marriage and family therapists, counselors, psychologists, social workers, or other licensed mental health providers. All BetterHelp providers and therapists have been certified by their state's professional board.

 

How Can You Talk To a Counselor Online?


email communication with the BetterHelp app
Email. Emailing allows both parties to write a detailed message. The client can write all their feelings, and the counselor can write a detailed solution. This allows both parties to think about what they are trying to say. However, there is no tone of voice or body language, and the client may try to present himself or herself in the best light when it would be more effective for them to slip up.
text communication on the BetterHelp app
Texting. A messenger app may be used. Instant messages are quick and are good for those who need instant gratification. While quick, they are usually less thought out than email.
video chat using the BetterHelp app
Video Chatting. Having a face-to-face conversation through your computer or smartphone allows you to have an experience that's like traditional counseling. Body language and tone of voice is fully allowed. Live video chatting has improved quite a bit as well, so there is lesser lag. However, there is always a chance for technical difficulties.

Testimonials


"I really feel a connection with Lauren. There's so many things going on in my life at this time. She helps me to focus on what I can work on for the week. She's great at talking with me and listening to me. Which has made me aware of some things in my life I didn't really pay a lot of attention to. She's a great counselor. I'm thankful for her and this online counseling. Thank you."

Written by Y.V.

"I was ready to give up on finding an online counselor, Jessica was my last try, and she has really been everything I was looking for in a therapist here. I never wait long for a reply, if she won't be able to respond for a day or two she lets me know. It's just incredibly comforting to know your therapist is considering you on that level. I am so pleased with our sessions and progress so far and I'm so glad I tried that one more time."

Written by P.A.

"I was in a panic when I joined online counseling because I needed someone to talk to me and tell me they are there. Few minutes later, Mary came through. I typed out my worries and problems and we got right to it. Mary offered a lot of insight and hit the nail on the head as what was going on. Mary has helped me see things that my anxiety wasn't letting me. I'm thankful for Mary and the time she takes to answer my questions and encourages me to keep moving forward. I don't regret joining better help."

Written by J.U.

"When I began my sessions with BetterHelp I was skeptical of how well online counseling would work for me, but after almost a month working with Lauren I feel better mentally than I have in a while. It was reassuring to receive her messages and helped me make peace with the issues that I was having. Lauren was relatable and overall a great counselor!"

Written by K.A.

What To Expect With Best Online Therapy Platforms


Counseling With Licensed Providers: Online Therapy

The first session with your therapist is usually the icebreaker, but is still an important first step for effective therapy services. You talk about yourself, your problems, and what you want out of the session. The therapist, over time, will teach you how to handle your problems by coming up with a plan. For example, with CBT, there may be exercises that are given to you to help you think more positively that other licensed therapists frequently recommend to help people. Your therapist may also offer behavioral therapy, which can help people gain insight into why they think the way that they do and help foster change.

How Long Do Online Therapy Results Take?

One thing you should expect from couples therapy, faithful therapy, teen therapy, online counseling, and therapy in general, is that results are not instant with these mental health services. It may take months for your therapy to be effective. The therapist that you work with can't force you to do anything but instead offers suggestions and strategies.

Does BetterHelp Psychotherapy Really Work?

If you do not see improvement from certain therapeutic approaches, licensed mental health providers will try different methods to find the right fit for you. Often, everyone's solution is a little different, and the therapist will work diligently to find the best solution for the job. An effective therapist (and good therapists or good licensed mental health providers in general) will often think outside the box if needed.

What If Counseling BetterHelp Doesn't Help Me?

Your sessions are meant for you to deepen your understanding of yourself and what you need to create a healthy, fulfilling life (or process and recover from any mental health issues). If you do not feel comfortable opening up to your therapist during your session because they're not the right fit for you, do not worry. That is completely valid. At BetterHelp, if you request a different therapist, we will rematch you as soon as possible. 

What Are Common Onlne Therapy Methods?

Licensed mental health providers (including psychologists, therapists, and counselors) typically employ the following techniques: cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, and humanistic therapy during online counseling sessions. Ask questions and find out what your potential therapist may offer.

What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Online Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is widely recognized as a powerful therapeutic treatment option for a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias. CBT enables people to reframe their negative, destructive thoughts into empowering thoughts. This reframing leads to positive emotions and behaviors in situations that previously would have provoked the cycle of negative thoughts.

Psychodynamic therapy explores how past experiences affect your current feelings and decisions. By uncovering how you may have learned to protect yourself in the past (whether knowingly or unknowingly), you become more aware of your tendencies. This makes it easier to approach decisions rationally, instead of from a place of automatic reactions.

What Is Humanistic Online Therapy & Counseling?

Humanistic therapy focuses on how your perceptions influence the decisions you make. Humanistic therapists aim to offer support by understanding your past experiences, and operate on the assumption that you are the expert of your own needs.

example BetterHelp session

The Benefits of Online Counseling


1
Counselling online allows you the chance to connect with a counselor who isn't in your local area. They have a wealth of experience treating clients who are from all over the country and sometimes in other countries. The counselor you speak to may have a diverse cultural competency that a local counselor may not have.
2
When you work with an online counselor, you can directly tell them what your communication needs are and work together to find the best way for you to feel understood. It's not always easy to express your feelings with a stranger. However, a therapist online is patient and realizes that this may be your first experience with virtual counseling or mental health treatment whatsoever. You're free to tell them how you best show your feelings and they're there to hear you.
3
Sometimes it's hard to open up to a counselor in person about sensitive issues. If you've experienced severe trauma, for example, such as sexual assault or domestic violence you might feel vulnerable or scared to reveal your experience to anyone. An online counselor is used to working with clients who are frightened due to trauma. They can help you work through that fear in the privacy of your own home, or anywhere you feel the most comfortable.
4
Couples therapy online is one of the many forms of treatment available online. There are many relationships where one member of the couple is frequently traveling for work or has trouble committing to a regular counseling time. With online therapy, treatment is more flexible than working in the office with a provider and has the potential to save a marriage or long-term partnerships. If you're seeking a relationship counselor, it's worth considering working with a mental health professional online.

Is Online Therapy Treatment Effective & The Best?


online therapy session

Here are a few studies that have proven counselling's effectiveness.

Discover more below:
    • One study revealed that Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy and therapy services could help individuals who have moderate bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety; one of the many things this type of therapy offers. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a commonly used therapy technique that involves replacing behaviors or thoughts that can fuel one's bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety with more positive thoughts or behaviors.
    • Another study reveals that online therapy is just as effective as in-person; which is why a growing number of people are using our therapy services on the BetterHelp platform (all therapists are licensed) and are OK with using this method of receiving therapy using therapy programs like BetterHelp.

 

Who Will Be Helping Me?

All BetterHelp licensed mental health providers possess at least three years of hands-on experience. In addition, all licensed mental health providers with BetterHelp have been certified by their state's professional licensing board. BetterHelp providers include marriage and family therapists, social workers, psychologists, counselors, and other licensed mental health professionals who are trained to help people process emotions, face challenges and struggles, and recover from mental disorders (such as depression, anxiety, addiction, or eating disorders). If at any point you're concerned, on our online counseling platform it's pretty easy to switch therapists; which is one of the many benefits of online therapy at BetterHelp.

counseling session online with laptop
Source: rawpixel.com

It can be scary to start therapy mental health services with a licensed therapist, but taking this step means you're ready to start (or continue) your healing journey. That deserves recognition-well done! Working with your licensed mental health professional typically entails meeting with them during weekly scheduled visits. Each meeting is an opportunity for you to discuss what you would like to gain from psychotherapy. Perhaps you want to process and heal from a past traumatic relationship. Maybe you need gentle guidance while grieving a loss. You might be looking for ways to increase self-confidence. You might simply need an unbiased consultation to determine next steps in your career path. There is a range of struggles and related situations that people face in life, and as humans, we benefit from interacting with providers who understand and can offer unbiased support at a reasonable therapy cost.

Take a moment to think about what you would like to gain from psychotherapy and telehealth services; which is not the same as psychiatric services. Each meeting is an opportunity for you to advocate for your needs. If you're not sure, that's completely okay too. Everyone starts at different places in their healing.

BetterHelp Counselors

All Therapists Are Licensed & Experienced With 1,000 Hours of Hands-On Experience

Lindsay provides counseling online

Therapists Specialties: Relationship issues & marriage therapyFamily conflictsParenting issuesCareer difficulties, Pride Counseling

Therapists Years of Experience: 8

 
Eric provides counseling online
 

Therapists Specialties: AddictionsRelationship issues & marriage therapyFamily conflictsTrauma and abuse, Pride Counseling

Therapists Years of Experience: 7

 
VaKendall provides counseling online
 

Therapists Specialties: Stress, AnxietyTrauma and abuseAnger managementSelf esteemDepression, Pride Counseling

Therapists Years of Experience: 6

Doctor on demand coverage that accepts insurance not needed; aka, you don't need health insurance.

 
 

Therapists Specialties: Stress, AnxietyRelationship issues & marriage therapySelf esteemDepressionCoping with life changes using traditional therapy, Pride Counseling

Therapists Years of Experience: 12

Doctor on demand coverage that accepts insurance not needed; aka, you don't need health insurance.


Carla Noto-Vencill - Therapist
MA,LMFT - Live chat, phone and video sessions & video conferencing, online chat rooms, unlimited messaging therapy
Therapists Specialties: Stress, Anxiety, Addictions, Relationship issues, Family conflicts, Parenting issues
Therapists Years of Experience: 29

Doctor on demand coverage that accepts insurance not needed.

Gina Found - Therapist
MA,LMFT - Live chat sessions, phone and video sessions & video conferencing
Therapists Specialties: Stress, Anxiety, Addictions, Relationship issues, Depression, Teen Counseling
Therapists Years of Experience: 11

Doctor on demand coverage that accepts insurance not needed.


Dr. Jonathan Dunlap - Therapist
DPC,LPC-S,BC-TMH - Live chat sessions, live video chat, unlimited messaging therapy
Therapists Specialties: Stress, Anxiety, Parenting issues, Anger management, Self esteem, ADHD, Teen Counseling
Therapists Years of Experience: 13

Doctor on demand coverage that accepts insurance not needed. Experience an easy sign up process with one of the best online therapy programs online.

Elizabeth Carr - Therapist
LPC,NCC - Live chat sessions, video chat, unlimited messaging therapy
Therapists Specialties: Stress, Anxiety, Depression Family conflicts, Parenting issues, Self-esteem, Teen Counseling
Therapists Years of Experience: 6

Doctor on demand coverage that accepts insurance not needed to cover online therapy here. Experience an easy sign up process with one of the best online therapy programs online.

Sam Jenkins - Therapist
MSW,MFA,LCSW - Live chat, live sessions, phone calls, real time chat sessions
Therapists Specialties: LGBT, Intimacy-related issues, Self-esteem, Anxiety, Depression, Teen Counseling, Emotional Support, Peer Support
Therapists Years of Experience: 25

Doctor on demand coverage that accepts insurance not needed to cover online therapy here. Experience an easy sign up process with one of the best online therapy programs online.

Zach Johnston - Therapist
LCSW - Live chat, live sessions, real time phone calls, chat sessions
Therapists Specialties: Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Family conflicts, Parenting issues, Self-esteem, Teen Counseling, Emotional Support, Peer Support
Therapists Years of Experience: 5

Doctor on demand cover that accepts insurance not needed to cover online therapy here. Experience an easy sign up process with one of the best online therapy programs online.

Karie Leduc - Therapist
LICSW - Live chat, live sessions, real time phone calls, chat sessions
Licensed Therapist Specialties: Stress, Anxiety, Family conflicts, Depression, Coping with life changes, ADHD, Teen Counseling, Emotional Support, Peer Support
Therapists Years of Experience: 17

Doctor on demand cover that accepts insurance not needed to cover online therapy here. Experience an easy sign up process with one of the best online therapy programs online.

Common Concerns With Online Therapy


Do Concerns Have You Worried?

Therapy should be private.

  • If you or your therapist is outside in public while you're in the middle of a session, you may want to reconsider rescheduling the appointment since therapy with a licensed therapist is usually best suited with a measure of privacy. With our service here at BetterHelp, therapists can access you through phone or video. You can also connect with them using unlimited messaging therapy, which is your doctor on demand; they can usually be accessed through mobile apps.


psychotherapy via counseling services online
Source: rawpixel.com

When would traditional therapy be more appropriate when working with online therapists?
  • Studies have shown that talking to someone in person is more effective if your problems are severe. If your depression or anxiety is intense, or if you are feeling suicidal, you may want to speak to someone in person during a traditional therapy session and not using a platform like this.
Where can I view additional information about related topics?

Want to see more information on the online counseling topics listed above? Please see:

  • Want to find more information about our services with a licensed mental health professional? Discover more information from the variety of articles in our advice section here.

 

FAQ


We know you want to get help, and that's why we make sure you're matched quickly with a licensed therapist who suits your individual needs. We'll match you with the right therapist for you within 24 hours. Rest assured that you don't have to wait long at all. We're working hard to get you started with online therapy as soon as possible.
If you feel more comfortable being anonymous, we honor that need. BetterHelp (leading online therapy services globally) wants you to feel comfortable sharing your feelings with your counselor, and you don't have to disclose your full name; and remember, all therapists are licensed. You can even have a nickname if that makes you feel comfortable. What's most important is you getting help from the best online therapists available, feeling comfortable, and secure. Of the more than online sessions our licensed counselors have had with people dealing with things like depression, anxiety, stress, getting marriage counseling (aka... couples therapy) with a family therapist, family relationship counseling, or simply an alternative to traditional face-to-face therapy.
Depending on what your goal is, your counselor can teach you a lot. You might be interested in learning how to cope with depression. An online counselor who specializes in Cognitive Behavior Therapy can teach you strategies to deal with negative thought patterns and reframe your thinking so that you can cope with depression and start to feel better. You might work through a traumatic experience, learn your triggers and start to heal. There are so many skills you can acquire during online therapy sessions; which is why taking the time you need to find a therapist who best suits you is worth the effort. Start learning what those skills are today!
The relationship with your counselor is unique. You can see your licensed therapist as long as you want to so that you get the support you need. Everyone's journey is different, and there's no timeline for healing. You have the right to take your mental health into your hands. You and your counselor can collectively decide how frequent you meet and how long your relationship continues.

About BetterHelp Online Therapy


BetterHelp is an online therapy & counseling online service founded in 2013 by Alon Matas and a growing hub for online therapy focused on offering digital therapy sessions when and where you need them. While having confidence that our online therapists are licensed, they're also a group who have worked with clients in their private practices are expanding their careers and accepting clients, which means you're choosing from seasoned, highly-rated mental health professionals who know how to help you and your needs. Currently, over 139,000,000 counseling & therapy sessions have helped over a million people with their mental health online. You can read about our counseling history and some therapy personal stories on our success page.

Does BetterHelp Have Social Media?

 

  • Follow us on Instagram - regularly updated online with motivational content as well as info about our counseling platform.

  • Follow us on Twitter - consistently updated online with uplifting quotes and links, and educational information about mental health & counseling. 

  • Follow us on Facebook - regularly updated with helpful reminders for mental health, counseling, wellness and working with counselors online.

  • Follow us on Pinterest - a web-based bulletin board online that allows viewers to share and discover their interests on topics like mental health, counseling, psychologists and more.

  • Follow us on LinkedIn - learn more about our company and careers as we try to help people get accessible therapy & counseling services online.

 

More Places To Find Us 

Online therapy is a personal journey, and not everyone will go into it seeking the same things. But, keeping these nine things in mind can ensure that you will get the most out of online therapy, regardless of what your specific goals are. If you’re still wondering if our service is right for you, and the cost, please contact us.

BetterHelp specializes in online therapy (with licensed therapists) to help address all types of mental health concerns. If you’re interested in individual therapy, please reach out to contact our Member Success team. For more information about BetterHelp as a company, please find us on 

 

Learn about some of our other websites:

Regain.us - Best for couples, Regain is a platform with licensed mental health professionals (not clinical social workers) that help people deal with common issues within relationships. This platform provides some of the best online therapy services from professional counselors using the mobile app, live chats (via the chat room feature), audio and video sessions; more than typical support groups. Don't worry about having to make trips to your local therapist's office, or figuring out creative ways to communicate with your counselor at a distance; Regain services can help you.

Whether you are looking for premarital counseling services, a free assessment, a short 15 minute session, or someone that best suits your race and identity... Regain.us can help you. These platforms have helped over 1 million people to date in ways that typical health care plans, that might accept insurance, cannot. See how these licensed marriage and family therapists can help you on this platform that is best for couples. Feel free to reach out to our customer service department with your questions or concerns about these services.

PrideCounseling.com - Supporting the LGBTQ community, also best for couples, Pride Counseling is helping a growing audience of users by connecting them to licensed mental health professionals; not your typical licensed clinical social workers. Using the mobile app and services, discover how licensed professional counselors can help with generalized anxiety, trauma, PTSD, race and identity concerns, anxiety, stress, life transitions, coping skills, and other topics affecting the LGBTQ+ community.

If you are looking for a free assessment from one of the licensed professional counselors on this platform consider using a free trial that offers access to the experienced licensed professionals you need. You can connect with them via audio and video, phone, and live chats (using a chat room services). If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our customer service team. Otherwise, don't hesitate to get started using one of the best online therapy platforms & services out there by getting matched with a therapist today for a 20-30 minute session.

TeenCounseling.com - Best for teens, this platform is focused on helping teenagers at a therapy cost that is manageable. Whether you're looking for advice, diagnosis, services or treatment... the mental health professional team here can help. Although it's not a service that insurance companies pay for (depending on the plan), like other psychotherapy online... teenage counseling is worth paying the out of pocket costs to help young people.

This platform can help with subjects including anxiety, depression, relationship counseling sessions, online cognitive behavioral therapy services, and other therapy modalities. If you would like a free assessment or have questions about the services offered here... please reach out to the customer service team to see how you can get set up with a 20-30 minute session. As a platform that is recognized as being best for teens, see how this service is as effective as in person therapy; if not better. Don't let something like generalized anxiety disorder or the inability to set up a meeting with a therapist prevent you from connecting with a licensed professional today using BetterHelp services.

FaithfulCounseling.com - Faithful Counseling provides people with the support and services they need from faith based therapists in your state and beyond. While not connecting people with online psychiatrists that prescribe medication, our online therapy differs from many in-person services many therapists typically offer since it can be done at a time and place that works best for you. While the goal here is not to advertise advice, diagnosis, or treatment (or even medical advice, diagnosis), this platform offers access to faith-based individuals dealing with common issues such as trauma, PTSD, and other concerns that typically cannot be addressed with free therapy services. Setup an account today so you can communicate with a therapist at a time that is convenient for you.

Need a crisis hotline or want to learn more about mental health? For more information on mental health, please see: