Best Online Counseling for Stress
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If you have mental health issues, you aren’t alone. Many people have times where they are so stressed out, which can lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and much more. Today, we are going to talk about online therapy services and how they can be beneficial to you. We’re also going to help you determine how to find a therapist that offers online services.
What Is Online Counseling?
Online counseling is almost exactly like traditional mental health services, except you do it all online. Professional therapists are still used, so you know you’re going to talk to someone who has at least two years and 2,000 hours of supervised client contact experience. That means this person has been seeing clients along with another licensed therapist for at least 2,000 hours or two years, depending on the state in which they live.
Who is it For?
Stress is your body’s reaction when there is a change in your life that requires a response or adjustment. It is physical, but it’s also mental and emotional. While stress is normal and everyone feels it at times, there comes a point where it is too much for the body and mind to handle. When that happens, it can help to talk to online therapists because they can help you work through your problems and find healthy ways to deal with the stress you feel.
When Is the Right Time to Start?
If you are feeling stressed out, now is the time to start looking for an online therapist. These mental health professionals are there to help you, but that can’t happen until you choose one. It’s often best to start looking for assistance before you need it. That way, you’ve got someone to call on when the time arises. However, if you’re already feeling stressed, it’s not too late. You can still seek counseling to help you work through the issues you face.
There are many therapists out there, so later, we are going to discuss how to find one and how the process works.
Benefits of Online Counseling
Of course, there are endless benefits of online counseling, but we’re going to focus on the top three.
Online counseling is very accessible. Before, you had to take time out of your schedule to go to a specific location, wait to be called for a session, and then sit in a tiny office with another person. It took a lot of effort on your part, and many people in that situation freeze up. Therefore, it can take a few sessions before you even start working on the issue.
With online counseling, you can do it anytime. Many therapists offer online therapy 24 hours a day. This means you can get an appointment when it’s best for you. If you’re working late hours, get off, and need to talk to someone, they are available.
Some people have trouble leaving their homes or live in a rural area. If you don’t have a vehicle, it’s hard to get around, which means you can miss appointments for traditional therapy sessions. Though some locations offer transportation assistance for health care-related needs, some states don’t recognize mental health as part of the program.
Online therapy is also highly convenient for both people. Though you can use a video conference to talk directly to a therapist, there can be times where you two communicate through email or live chat. This means you can send a question or a feeling, and when the therapist has a few moments, he or she can respond to it.
If you’re uncomfortable with traditional forms of therapy, online counseling could be more suitable for you and your needs. You’re not talking face-to-face with someone. Even if you use video conferencing, it still feels like you’re detached from the situation just a bit. This can be comforting to some people.
Sometimes, online therapy is more cost-effective for both parties, too. Some therapists don’t want to rent a commercial space or can’t afford to do so. They lower their overhead costs (less property, capital funding, administrative procedures, and the like) and can pass those savings down to you. You can also save money as you’re not paying for gasoline to get back and forth to the session.
Online vs. In-person
Some people always claim that in-person therapy is better because the counselor can see your body language and interpret it better. Others say that online therapy is the best because it’s more convenient for both patient and counselor.
There is no right or wrong answer here. You can choose the option that best fits your needs and lifestyle. However, it can help to learn the differences between the two.
Generally, if you’re looking for cognitive behavioral therapy, you can choose either option. Though it is more traditional, online therapists have realized the need and can step up.
With online sessions, you’ve got many options for chats. Of course, live video sessions might be best if you want the full counseling experience and can’t get into the counselor’s office. However, there is also text messaging, live chat, phone sessions, and much more. Since many people are used to being on smartphones all the time, this modern approach to counseling might appeal more to them and ensure that they get the help they need.
How Does It Work?
When you decide to use online counseling services, you first have to choose the counselor with which you work. We discuss that below.
Once you find a counselor and a support space (such as TalkSpace, BetterHelp, or Online-Therapy.com), you visit the website to learn more about them. When you agree to sign up for service, you answer a few questions about what you need. This can be a lengthy process, but it helps the website pair you with the most appropriate counselor, so make sure that you answer honestly.
Now, you’re likely going to create a private account. Then, you can see a list of counselors who are licensed to practice in your state. You can choose how to visit them (live chat, video, text message, etc.), and then you learn about prices.
How to Choose the Best Online Counselor
Regardless of which communication method you choose, you still need to make sure that you’re working with a licensed marriage and family counselor to help you deal with your stress. In most cases, you can choose one- or two-person therapy, which means you and your spouse or significant other can work through stressful situations together. Of course, one-on-one sessions should also be available.
You should also ensure that the counselor has a lot of areas of expertise. That way, they can help you, regardless of your situation.
The counselor must be HIPAA compliant, which means they can’t talk about your issues with anyone else. You should also ensure that the website you’re on makes for anonymity and is very secure.
Consider cost, as that is going to be something you have to pay out of pocket. Most online counselors take insurance, but you may need to get reimbursed later.
Look for Reviews
Most websites offer testimonials from other clients. Read them to see the general idea you get. Also, you can look at review sites and find your particular therapist or website portal. These are a good indication of what you can expect while using the services.
There are so many reasons to choose online counseling instead of traditional options. Make sure the therapist is licensed and trained properly. You should also consider the methods available for communication, such as text messages, phone calls, video conferences, and much more. Consider the price you pay, but also realize the value and potential of these services.