Nothing is ever simple, right? There are always several paths to the same issue. For most of human history, people have had to travel to communicate face-to-face with their therapists, but now there is online therapy.
Many online therapists offer skype sessions, allowing you to sign on with your webcam and make sure it is working. This way, you will also know what your therapist looks like.
There are many different types of online therapy services. You can find therapists that use email only, instant messaging only, or skype sessions. Ask what your therapist prefers before signing up with them. Make sure you are comfortable with their method of communication!
Important Questions to Ask about Online Therapy
Online therapy is one of the options to get your mental and emotional health back. However, you should study to make sure that it suits your needs. Here are a few questions to help you learn more about this approach to therapy –
What is so great about online therapy? Well, you can get help when you need it, day or night, at home, without leaving the house. It works perfectly in stress management for a business person with a busy work schedule.
Is it only for people who are seriously affected by their issues? Not at all! Online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face treatment although with a slight difference – When you have a therapist in person, they can see your body language and facial expressions as you talk. This is very important so that they can tell if what you are saying does not match how you feel or what your body is showing.
How does it work? You can choose between live online sessions through video chat where you see each other and talk. If not, you can do asynchronous sessions, on the internet, where you communicate through messaging or email.
You can also find some therapists who offer services via phone calls, text messages, and even interactive audio recordings.
Is the therapy online only? Are the therapy services entirely online or are there phone calls/meetings outside of therapy hours too? If you can contact your therapist at any, time using some sort of messaging system, there is a greater likelihood that they will be able to respond quickly should you need them.
If you only have email or text contact with your therapist, there is a greater chance that you will not get an answer for hours. In the event of an emergency, this could mean the difference between life and death.
If it is just online, you might consider setting up a regular time for them to contact you. For example, having an evening session where they contact you after work may be good. This will take care of any emergency that occurs during the day.
Is there a fee for missed appointments? Some therapists charge if you miss an appointment without canceling in advance.
Why do people use online therapy? Well, online therapy is for anyone. Most people choose it out of convenience. However, some people choose it because they are not comfortable meeting with a therapist in person. Additionally, online therapy is less intimidating when they are concerned about what others might say if they knew they were seeing a therapist.
What is the Treatment Format? Be sure to ask if your therapist offers weekly or biweekly sessions since they offer more support than less frequent appointments. Your online therapy provider should also be able to provide you with a record of your sessions. This can help you remember important details from each session.
In addition, make sure that the therapist offers secure messaging services. That way, you can send them private messages about anything that might be on your mind between appointments.
What if I need a lot of personal attention? If your online therapist offers individual treatment exclusively via chat/email/etc., it is possible that they only have time to offer you a few sessions. If this is the case and you need more care than that, it might be better to look for another therapist. Otherwise, see if they can refer you to someone else instead of committing yourself to something that will not benefit you.
Most therapists who offer individual treatment exclusively online tend not to accept insurance, but instead, have a service fee. This is because many therapists do not know how to bill insurance companies. This is especially when required to give sessions in person, rather than by email or chat.
When you meet your online therapist, ensure they offer a free initial phone consultation. That way, you can meet each other and talk about your treatment goals. Get a free introductory chat online before the first session so that you know what to expect. Your ultimate goal is to get the most affordable services online.
Online therapy versus In-Person Therapy
In online therapy, it is harder to pick up on nonverbal cues. This is so because you are writing everything down and the therapist can only see your words. However, they may send text messages to ask how you are doing if you say you have a tough moment.
The main difference between these two modes is that in online therapy, it is harder to notice nonverbal cues than in person. However, this can also mean that you do not have to feel so intimidated when you walk into an office.
Seeing a stranger sitting there, waiting for you to start talking should not be a problem. However, some people hesitate to go into therapy because it can be too overwhelming to have to show up in person.
Finding an Online Therapist
You should be able to find an online therapist for free through the American Psychological Association, the Canadian Psychological Association, or Psychology Today. These therapists will usually have a Ph.D. in their specialty and be licensed psychologists. You will find many options online. However, you can narrow it down to the most suitable choice based on price and other basic requirements.