What You Need to Know Before Choosing Online Therapy
Online therapy can be a great option for those looking to get mental health help and counseling services in a convenient way. However, there are many things to consider before choosing online therapy. This guide will cover everything you should know before you decide on an online therapy service and counselor.
Why Choose Online Therapy?
Online therapy is a convenient way to get help and services for mental health challenges. Historically, those who wish to get help for mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, relationship problems, marital problems, trauma, and more, would have to go to the therapy office and do sessions in person. While this worked for some people, others may have felt a stigma or felt uncomfortable talking with someone face to face. But with online therapy, you can attend therapy online without having to worry about going to a session in-person.
Not only is online therapy convenient, but it is generally easier for people to get to these sessions than it would be to take off work or spend your time in the car driving to a therapy session. Additionally, online therapy gives you the options to attend therapy either by texting your therapist, calling your therapist, or video chatting with your therapist. Because there are so many ways that you can do your therapy session, many people find that they are more comfortable in these types of sessions.
Online therapists are, in fact, licensed psychologists and counselors who have been trained to help people cope with various mental health disorders. Because these individuals are licensed professionals, you can trust them with your information as well as your course of treatment.
Things to Consider Before Choosing Online Therapy
There are many things to consider before choosing online therapy. For example, you need to consider which platform you want to use, which type of therapist you like to see, how you would like to do your therapy sessions, how you’re going to pay for sessions, and more.
Consider if Online Therapy is the Right Tool for You
Not every person will benefit from texting therapy or phone therapy. So, you should take some time to reflect on yourself and decide whether or not using an online therapy service is the right tool for you. However, you may try to do video chat therapy so you can at least talk to someone face to face if you are unsure if texting or phone calls are the right services for you. Additionally, it does not hurt to attempt online therapy if your options are online therapy or no therapy at all.
Make Sure Your Therapist is Licensed
You want to make sure that your therapist or counselor is licensed. When a therapist is fully licensed by the state that they plan to practice in, it means that you are protected. Additionally, it also ensures that the therapist that you choose is using evidence-based practices to help create your treatment plan.
Additionally, a licensed therapist has undergone years of education and passed state board exams to be able to practice in that state. This means that the therapist you work with is qualified to work with you and is backed by numerous agencies to ensure that their practice is legitimate. Luckily, most online platforms do require therapists have counseling licenses in the state they wish to practice in.
Your Therapist Should Be Licensed in The State You Live in
In addition to general licensing, your therapist needs to be licensed in the state that you live in, not just the state that they live in. Many online therapists are licensed in numerous states, but they need to be licensed in the state that you, the individual being counseled, live in.
Therapists need to be licensed by the state that they live in because the licenses that are granted by states and have their own rules and laws. This is similar to how state residents have to earn other types of licenses, such as driver’s licenses.
- Ensure Confidentiality
When searching for an online therapy platform, you want to make sure that the platform you choose is protected from any internet threats. When do you work with a therapist, they are bound to the rules of confidentiality.
Confidentiality means that the therapist will not share any information about you unless your life is in danger. Typically, for other reasons other therapists will break confidentiality are if you disclose that you plan to hurt yourself, you plan to hurt someone else, or if someone is hurting you.
Many of the online therapy platforms have created strong internet defenses to make sure that your online sessions stay anonymous and are not interfered with. However, you should still double-check the level of security that the website has in place to make sure that your health information, your insurance information, in your private information stay private.
- Know How You Will Pay for Counseling
While your health insurance may pay for your counseling, not everyone chooses to use health insurance to pay for this service. So if you decide to use your health insurance, you will want to make sure that the platform you choose will accept your health insurance. Oftentimes, they will list your health insurance on their website or your health insurance will list the online therapy platform on their website.
If you decide to not use health insurance to pay for counseling, you will need to make sure that you have enough money to pay for your sessions out of pocket.
Make Sure You Are a Good Candidate for Online Therapy
While the research shows that my therapy can help treat numerous different mental health disorders, more serious mental health challenges may need to be addressed by more intensive in-person care. So even though online therapy can be effective for many different people and is adequate for most people, you should always consider whether or not you are a good candidate for online therapy.
For example, the more severe mental health disorders, such as some types of substance use disorders, severe depression, and schizophrenia, may require more treatment than online therapy can provide. However, if you have been attending therapy for a long time and are in recovery, you can talk to your current psychologist or psychiatrist to decide if online therapy may be something that you can consider.
However, if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you should call your medical professional or the suicide hotline for further assistance. Additionally, you should always contact your doctor or psychiatrist about treatment options to decide which type of treatment is right for your individual situation.
How to Get Started with Online Therapy
Getting started with online therapy is an easy process. However, it does require a great deal of research and making sure that your insurance company covers the therapy service that you provide. So before signing up for an online therapy platform, make sure you go through the following sections and ask yourself the questions we pose so that you can find the right online therapist for you.
- Questions You Should Ask
Before you start online therapy and commit to a service, there are some questions that you should ask yourself. These questions can help narrow your search for a therapist and help you identify the reasons that you plan to attend therap. Additionally, the questions can help you identify the goals that you have and the things that you want to achieve by attending therapy sessions.
In addition to the personal questions, you will also want to make sure that you understand the extent of health insurance and what you would like to get out of the service in general. That said, you will want to ask yourself the following questions before you get started:
Does the platform you want to use except your health insurance?
Does a platform you choose pair you with a therapist or can you select your own therapist?
do you want a platform that allows you to have unlimited messaging, or do you want to pay for individual therapy sessions as you schedule them?
In what ways would you like to communicate with your therapist? Options typically include text messaging, live video chat, phone calls, and more.
- Read Our Reviews
While you could do all of your research by yourself and spend hours online trying to find the right platform, check out our online therapy reviews of some of the top online therapy services currently offered. We have done our due diligence and researched many of the top therapy platforms and reviewed them for their effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and whether they are worth the money.
- Research the Platform and Therapists
Before you officially sign up for an online therapy service, make sure you do your research on the platform that you choose. Reading our reviews is a great place to start, but you should always explore the website yourself and look at customer reviews on their website. By doing this, you can get a better idea of the service and even their platform.
In addition to reviewing the platform itself, you should also research the therapists that work for the various companies. Oftentimes, therapists and counselors will specialize in certain areas and types of mental disorders. That said, if you are looking for a specific therapist to help you manage certain mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, relationship troubles, and more, you can find a therapist that specializes in those areas and has worked with individuals such as yourself.
However, when you sign up for an online therapy service you will likely disclose the reasons why you are choosing to attend therapy and will probably be connected or paired with someone who specializes in your area regardless. Yet, you should still review the therapists they were paired with for the ones that specialize in your area for a better understanding of the service.
Sign Up for Online Therapy
Once you have researched the platform and therapists that you plan to work with, it’s time to sign up for an online therapy. Many of the services make this rather simple, and all you have to do is input your information and you can sign up for your first therapy session. Some of the best online therapy services that you will come across and can explore further in our reviews include:
- Calmerry E-Therapy
Now that you know everything you need to know before choosing online therapy, it is time to find the right online therapy service for you. While this could take hours of researching different online therapy platforms as well as referencing your health insurance policy, instead try reviewing our online therapy platform reviews. We have done the research that you don’t have to, so check out our online reviews and save yourself some time and energy.
All information in this article is based on web research and none medical professional opinion. The information in this article should not be taken as medical advice and readers are advised to contact their medical doctors for further advice.
*THE ABOVE IS NOT AND SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED AS PROFESSIONAL OR MEDICAL ADVICE.