Mental health is becoming a regular topic of conversation. People are turning to therapy to assist with feelings of stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and more. Licensed professionals can help patients objectively work through issues.
Not everyone has the same access to therapists, which has made online mental health counseling quite popular. Tools such as video, chat, email, and text messaging are used for patients to interact with providers. You may be reluctant to consider online therapy, but it has been shown to be just as effective as in-person. There are several benefits to meeting virtually with a therapist.
The most obvious benefit to online counseling is access. For people that live in rural areas, there may not be a therapist practicing nearby. Driving an hour to see a provider may deter someone in need of therapy from seeking it out. Patients will be more likely to consider treatment from the comfort of their own homes. Online mental health counseling means you can work with a therapist anywhere in the world.
Online mental health counseling can be easier to navigate. Office visits may require scheduling many weeks out to match the provider’s availability and mentally keeping track of what you want to discuss in the session. Virtual therapy can allow you to send a message while you are in the moment of needing help. You can share your emotions or concerns instantly and get a response within hours or days.
It can also be more convenient for the therapist. Virtual sessions allow them to avoid tasks like commuting or office upkeep to spend more time focusing on patients. Talk to your therapist about how you can both maximize your time together virtually.
Many online providers offer a monthly subscription that can include a variety of communication options. Patients have the standard live sessions but also supplemental options like email or text. Since the overhead costs are drastically reduced with virtual visits, it can be an affordable option compared to office-based counseling.
When patients can talk with a professional during a troubling time through virtual options, they are more likely to be open and honest about what they are experiencing. The thoughts and emotions are fresh in their head. Attending sessions while in their home offers a familiar, comfortable environment. Finding a quiet space and limiting distractions can be helpful.
Virtual therapists must follow the same standards as office-based therapists, so privacy should not be a concern. Before you start looking for a counselor, think about your goals and how you want to achieve them. Communicate them upfront to a prospective therapist to determine if it’s a good fit. Ask questions about what methods they practice. This process can take some time. Using virtual services can be a great starting point to meet with a professional and experience how it can personally benefit you.
As the stigma around seeking help for mental health issues continues to lessen, more people choose to try therapy. Online counseling has made this more accessible and less intimidating to get the help you need.