How to Know if Online Therapy is Right for You
Therapy isn’t taboo anymore! Mental health discussion has taken off, leading to a new desire for better care.
We know we need to look after our mental states just as much as our physical bodies. In fact, I almost know more friends with therapists than friends without. Like most industries, therapy has broken into the online space. It makes it more accessible to more people.
But is Online Therapy Right for You?
Maybe you want to get a handle on your mental health issues, you want to take the right steps toward proper mental health care. Yet, you’re unsure if you should try the online realm or make the extra effort and go see a therapist in person.
We’ve got the ins and outs regarding online therapy. If you’re unsure about which one is right for you, keep reading. Below, we outline the advantages and disadvantages of using online therapy apps and tools.
The Advantages of Online Therapy
So, why do people choose online therapy? What are the benefits?
1. You Get to Partake in Therapy in a Way That’s Comfortable for You
Maybe you’re having an off or down day. The only reason you have to leave your house is to go to therapy and you just don’t wanna. Well, with online therapy, you don’t have to. You can have your appointment in the comfort of your own home - whether that be in your pajamas or on the couch.
Get this: Some online therapy apps even offer 24-7 texting. This means if you’re struggling, you can message your therapist and get a reply within the next few hours. It also means you have more support when you need it. You won’t have to wait days or even weeks for your next therapy appointment. You can text them right away.
2. It’s a Suitable Option for Those Living More Remote
If you live in a community that’s a few hours from the nearest town or you’re always on the move, online therapy keeps things easy and consistent. It also provides therapy to those who otherwise might not have access to it.
3. It’s More Accessible for Individuals with Disabilities
Can’t leave your house? No problem. Online therapy comes to you. Again, it means more accessibility for more people.
4. You Can Take Your Pick from Many Therapists
Sometimes, it’s difficult to find the right therapist for you. I’ve heard stories of friends who have gone through 5 therapists, which also involves the time commuting to and from these appointments. With online therapy, you save time finding the right therapist for you - no commutes.
Plus, you have your choice from various therapists around the world. You aren’t limited to the therapists located within a close radius to where you live.
The Disadvantages of Online Therapy
With so many upsides, there’s got to be some downsides. What gives?
1. Your Insurance Company Might Not Cover It
This entirely depends on your insurance policy and the fine print, but as this is a new industry, most policies do not cover e-therapy.
Consequently, you might end up paying more for it than you would for regular face-to-face therapy.
2. Privacy & Connectivity Issues Could Be a Concern
While it’s not a huge one, having everything online leaves you more vulnerable to privacy hacks.
Not only that but if your internet is having problems, therapy can end up being more of a frustration than a helping hand.
3. Online Therapists are Not Equipped for Certain Situations
If you’re having thoughts of suicide or having a crisis, an online therapist often can’t help you as effectively as an in-person therapist could. In fact, it’s not recommended to have online therapy if you’re suffering from a serious mental illness.
4. It Might Feel Less Personal
You may not be able to see your therapist’s facial expressions or body language as clearly and vice versa. This may make it less personal and you may feel you connect less with your therapist. Unfortunately, it just lacks the intimacy that comes with face-to-face communication.
How Can You Decide?
Weigh the pros and cons so you can determine which apply to you. Before you make your choice, make sure you start your research, since there are many different teletherapy apps and websites out there to choose from.
There’s Talkspace, which has over 5000 therapists available. Their plans start at about $65/week USD. And they range from basic texting plans to ones that include more video chat or phone meetings.
BetterHelp is another popular option. Their plans start at $40/week USD. The therapists on BetterHelp are equipped to help you deal with mental health issues, including depression, stress, anxiety, self-esteem, relationships, grief, burnout, and more! Similar to Talkspace, communication with your therapist takes place via messaging, video chat, phone, and live chat.
Related Article: How to Recognize & Recover from Burnout
Again, it’s a personal choice as to whether you decide to use online therapy or not.
It may also depend on what specific mental health issues you’re dealing with. Sometimes, face-to-face therapy offers more help than what online therapists can provide.