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Online Therapists: Everything You Need to Know About Online Counseling and Therapy

Online therapy, especially as a result of COVID-19, has become increasingly more popular. It is easy, you can do it from anywhere, and it eliminates the commute. However, you may be wondering if online therapists and counselors are real people and not just robots. In this article, we will be discussing what you can expect from engaging in online counseling and therapy as well as addressing the benefits.

Getting help can be difficult, especially if you are unsure of where to begin. We at Mental Treat are here to make the uncertainty clearer. The internet has served us in some really wonderful ways, and online therapy is another benefit. Let’s get started!

Who Are Online Therapists

Online therapists are real, licensed professionals who have completed all the necessary education and training required to be a therapist. Many of these professionals will also have offline practices. The power of technology has made it easier for therapists to reach a larger client-base and help more people. Essentially, an online therapist uses live chats and video sessions to work with their clients. You should notice in your search for a therapist that online and offline therapists have the same credentials and licenses. Both are able to offer support for people with mental health problems and concerns such as:

  • Anxiety;
  • Depression;
  • Personality disorders;
  • Relationship problems;
  • Behavioral health issues.

An online mental health practitioner is there to assist with whatever you need to talk about. They are still able to empathize and give advice through a computer screen. There are many types of therapy available online, including: play therapy, cognitive therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, sex therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and more. Whatever you are looking for, there is a licensed professional out there who is available to help.

Benefits of Online Therapy

One of the biggest perks of online therapy is that you can access your sessions from almost anywhere. Being able to work with a therapist while you are home and away at school for example is one of the many benefits. Or if your job does not let you take an hour off, you take advantage of shorter online sessions on your meal or regular breaks. For people with social anxiety who struggle to make it to sessions, online therapy is a great option. Online therapy is also lower in cost and that makes a huge difference for some.

Mental health is stigmatized, so online therapy provides people the opportunity to receive help from their personal devices. People who are victims of domestic violence or abuse have limited options for therapy and online counseling can really help these people. The level of accessibility that is created by online therapy can benefit many individuals. Whatever your situation is, online therapy and counseling could be what you are looking for. For more, check out our article on the benefits of working online for patients with cancer here.

Is It Effective?

It can be difficult to measure the effectiveness of therapy. The level of effectiveness depends on so many factors, most that relate to the process by which online therapy is accessed. To be certain that online therapy will work for you, you have to understand the pros and cons. Online therapy is great because it is more affordable and convenient. However, there could be the issue of privacy, confidentiality, and unreliable technology. When it comes to online chat rooms, it gets even more complicated.

Body language and tone of voice help bring the conversation to life in ways online therapy cannot always keep up with. The face to face interaction that comes with therapy is very important, so if that means you want to meet with your therapist important and not over a screen, keep that in mind. However, video therapy is able to provide a version of this.

Even with these concerns, research has continued to prove that online therapy can be very effective for mental health issues including depression and anxiety. The Journal of Affective Disorders in 2014 reported that online therapy was just as effective as in person for depression treatment. A similar study published by the Journal of Psychological Disorders in 2018 found that online cognitive behavioral therapy was just as effective and practical as in person. So the short answer is, yes, it is effective if you are okay with the differences between online and in person.

Where to Find an Online Therapist

When looking for an online therapist, consider poorly designed websites and misinformation to be major red flags. A website that does not list a phone number or physical address may not be reliable. If something feels off or too good to be true, it is.

Mental Treat is the best place to find the right mental health specialist for you. We have filters for you to engage with to make sure you find the person who focuses on the areas you want to focus on. We also have therapists with different price ranges, making receiving therapy more accessible. To check out our licensed therapists and begin your search, click here.

Remember, there are many reputable providers of online counseling services. It is just important that you find ones that are legitimate. Other avenues include online therapy directories, chatrooms, or looking through your insurance provider.

A Word from Mental Treat

Starting your journey with therapy is already such a positive step in your mental health process. It can be intimidating, but once you get involved and find the right therapist, the process becomes much easier. Online therapy is just as beneficial as in-person therapy (according to the National Institutes of Health), so please do not feel intimidated by it.

We hope that you have found this article helpful and informative as you continue your search. Check out our website for similar blogs on how to find a therapist as well as what your options are if you do not have insurance. Take care, and be well.

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