We’ve been hearing a lot about different ‘online therapy and counselling’ or ‘e-therapy’ options, so we connected with the experts at E-counseling.com for a Q&A to help sort out what is available and whether or not it may be a good fit for you.
Online therapy, also known as e-counselling and e-therapy, is a unique and innovative form of counselling that has become popular in recent years. Online therapy platforms allow you to connect with qualified mental health professionals.
Online therapy presents a number of possibilities and opportunities that one might not find with traditional counselling. In addition to being more convenient and accessible, online therapy is helping to bridge the gap between technology and therapy.
There are a number of advantages to using online therapy, including:
- It’s more accessible. Online therapy is more accessible, and can be accessed by people who live in rural areas or who live in towns where there is limited access to therapists. As long as you have an internet connection, you can use online therapy.
- It’s lower effort. When depressed, getting out of bed to go to an office can be a barrier in treatment. Having a virtual option lets us connect without having to get up and get dressed on hard days.
- It’s more affordable. Rates for online counselling sessions are generally cheaper than traditional counselling rates. In addition, more and more sites are starting to accept insurance.
- It helps fight stigma. Many guys don’t try counselling or seek mental health treatment because they fear being judged. Online therapy is helping to fight this stigma by making therapy available to a wider audience. Furthermore, if you don’t want anyone to know that you’re seeking therapy, you don’t have to let anyone know.
- Some platforms allow chat messaging. Some platforms allow clients to chat with their therapist through instant messaging either in place of sessions or in between. This can help people feel less alone and offers support between sessions.
While there are many advantages to online therapy, there are also some disadvantages. These include:
- Some people find it difficult to engage with therapists when they’re chatting via video chat, voice call, or instant messaging. It can be difficult for some people to express subtle emotional cues this way and for therapists to pick up on them.
- When messaging between sessions is available: Being able to chat with a therapist between sessions is sometimes a positive, but it can become a crutch. Many counsellors believe that a major goal of therapy is to learn how to implement skills on your own.
- If you don’t already have an internet connection, or are trying to remain off-grid, then you may have to pay extra to be connected to an online therapist.
- Many people find that the environment of a counsellor’s office can be therapeutic in itself. This benefit is not available to people seeking online counselling.
- Some people struggle to feel privacy in their own homes due to thin walls or sharing a room.
Many studies have been done on the use of online counselling.
One study evaluated 58 patients who were struggling with depressive symptoms. Patients were provided with online therapy, and showed better scores on evaluations for depressive symptoms, engaged living, mastery, and vitality.
Another review of six studies covered evaluations done on people struggling with problems like anxiety, relationship difficulties, home situations and depression. All six studies revealed that there was significant improvement in each of these different conditions.
A third study found that internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy was a viable and effective approach for treating a wide variety of different psychiatric problems.
- BetterHelp is one of the most popular and well-known e-therapy companies. They provide service to people all over the world, ranging from about $45-65 per week.
- Talkspace is another very well-known online therapy company. Their prices range from $65-99 a week, and they can connect you with one of their 5,000-plus therapists.
- Regain is the most popular online therapy company for people struggling with relationship issues. Their prices range from $40-70 a week, and they serve people all around the world.
- Inkblot Therapy is a Canadian online video counselling resource. Users pay on a per session basis, no subscription in required, and first session is free.
- Teen Counseling is another online therapy app that focuses on providing help for youth aged 13-19, as well as their parents. They, too, provide service globally.
- Pride Counseling has therapists that specialize in the LGBTQ community. It ranges from $80- $110 per week.
- You can also connect with most private practice therapists or publicly funded clinics virtually now.
More information about the various online therapy platforms available can be found at “The Best Online Therapy Services of 2020 Compared.”
- What are you looking to have treated?
- Different services specialize in treating different mental health problems. People hoping to repair a damaged marriage, for example, might be better off using Regain instead of Talkspace.
- Is the company legit?
- Most of the top-name companies are completely legit and only hire qualified counsellors. However, you should always do background checks on lesser-known companies.
- Do they accept insurance?
- This can make a huge difference if you’re hoping to find an affordable therapist.
- Is online therapy right for me?
- If you are uncomfortable using video chat or unwilling to become familiar with technologies like smart phones or computers, you may not find online therapy to be that effective.
If you ask yourself these questions and find that online therapy sounds like an effective option, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with an online counselling service.
E-counseling.com is one of the premier mental health publications online. All of their writers are licensed mental health professionals. They are one of the few resources that are able to deliver mental health information with professional insight, yet in a way in which all people can comprehend.