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Online Therapy vs Traditional Therapy
In our demanding fast paced world, more and more people find themselves feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and anxious. It has become a new norm to juggle a highly competitive and demanding career, mounting responsibilities, and desperately trying to find that work-life balance. No matter who you are, emotions can get the better of you – none of us is immune to anxiety, worry, troublesome thoughts or just feeling overwhelmed.
While traditional therapy has been proven to be effective, many people find it to be prohibitively expensive and simply cannot afford to get the effective help when they need it most. After all, it is times of financial struggle that put even more pressure on us and our relationships, so adding a high cost therapy expense hardly makes things easier, though access to therapy may be crucial.
Online therapy bridges that gap perfectly, by giving you access to licensed therapists at your fingertips at fraction of the cost of traditional therapy. Some of the advantages of online therapy are remote access to a licensed counselor (no need to take the time of the day and drive anywhere to see your therapist); reduced cost of therapy sessions; availability of multiple modes of communication with the therapist – via chat, phone, video, online tools designed for self-help; subscription models that fit various budgets and needs.
Is online therapy right for you?
Online therapy is a time and cost-efficient way to deal with stress, anxiety, marital problems, relationship struggles, panic attacks by providing access to various coping tools and professional on demand online counseling with licensed therapists.
Online therapy is perfect if you have one of the following goals:
- Take charge of your emotional well-being,
- Work through relationship issues and challenges
- Get marriage counseling online
- Get online counseling as a way of managing stress
- Establish a support system during trying times with the help of online therapy
- Deal with ongoing chronic stress
- Manage anxiety
- Identify, challenge and overcome limiting beliefs and dysfunctional thought patterns
- Create an effective coping mechanism for emotionally triggering events
How Does Online Therapy Work?
Online mental health resources range from subscription-based counseling services with licensed therapists through online chat, messaging, phone and video sessions, to online toolboxes providing effective tools and mechanisms for self-help with or without counselor guidance.
Most popular online therapy services follow these basic steps:
- Quick online signup
- Filling out an onboarding questionnaire that asks you questions to help identify what issues you would like the therapy to focus on
- Matching you up with a licensed therapist who may specialize in the area you’d like to address
- Allowing you to choose a subscription model that will work best for you.
- Once you signed up and got matched up with the licensed therapist that is best equipped to help you with the challenges most relevant to you, there are several modes of communication that may be available to you (depending on the online therapy service)
Unlimited Real Time Live Chat, Phone & Video Calls with the Therapist (offered by premium online therapy providers)
This is the most intimate mode of communication that allows to build a strong personal rapport with your therapist that would be most comparable to traditional therapy. It is perfect for sessions where personal interaction is needed, where it is difficult to put emotions into words and guidance of a knowledgeable skilled therapist is most crucial.
Another way to communicate with your therapist that is offered by many online therapy providers through a mobile app or web browser. Messaging allows you to send messages or voice recordings and is perfect for sending your therapist notes on what you’d like to address during sessions, or setting up live chat, phone calls or video calls. The messages are not instant, but therapists respond within 24 hour and frequently a lot sooner.
Other available online therapy tools may include online webinars that focus on particular subject or area of concern such as dealing with grief, chronic pain, anxiety, chronic stress, as well as other useful online tools for self-help, journaling, tracking dysfunctional thinking patterns and challenging limiting beliefs.
The Importance of choosing the right online therapy provider
Your mental health provider has to be credible and trustworthy. Before signing up with any online therapy service, do your research. Questions to ask are:
What are the credentials of therapists? Credible providers assure that all their therapists are duly licensed and certified, including psychologists (PhD / PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), or licensed professional counselors (LPC) and have a minimum required experience (top providers require 2000 hour minimum experience)
Online therapy costs vary depending on many factors, including type of communication (real time, simple messaging, video calls, chats, online resources etc) and difference subscription types offered by various providers. Unlimited messaging often starts at around $40 per week and video chat fees typically range from $50 to $99. In contrast, traditional therapy session may cost at least twice that and require you to travel to see your therapist.
While online therapy is typically not covered by health insurance, users may be able to request financial aid– ask your provider about that if you cannot afford their service.
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