What is online therapy?
Online therapy is 100% a viable way to get help for your mental health struggles. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, stress or anything else that has you wishing you had a mental health professional’s help, online counselling is here for you. Online therapy is legit!
Here is Online Therapy: All you need to know + 5 therapy services to buy.
This post contains affiliate links. Every dollar earned from the commission of each sale goes directly back into creating more content for Never Alone and into the mental health help community.
In this blog I am going to share with you all you need to know to feel confident in starting your online therapy journey today.
I know what you may be thinking. Therapy for me?
It starts by saying things like, “I’m too busy to go see someone” or “therapy just isn’t in the budget right now.” Eventually, you start convincing yourself that your issues aren’t all that bad or that you’ll be okay without any help – because you’ve always managed everything alone. But aren’t you curious to know how it would feel to be more than just “okay”? To have some support? Or to not have to struggle on your own every day?
Well, first of all, you certainly aren’t alone. From questions about why you might seek therapy in the first place to the logistics of it all, from fitting it into your schedule to fitting it into your budget, your questions and feelings are valid.
It’s normal to have doubts about therapy, and it’s way too easy for all of us to come up with reasons why we should let our mental health slide just one more month…or avoid it indefinitely.
But what if I told you there was a form of therapy that could resolve or at least minimize many of your doubts, fears, and hesitations?
It’s a topic we have yet to go in-depth about, although we touched on it a bit in our blog about sliding scale therapy, covering some options for the most affordable forms of therapy. But today, I want to talk to you about online therapy and how great online therapy can be for your mental health, your budget, and your time.
What is online therapy
The term “online” might bring thoughts of online dating, classes, or work meetings to mind. But here we’re talking about online counseling – also known as online psychotherapy or talk therapy, which makes it sound like a super fancy and academic form of treatment. But online therapy is pretty simple. And apart from the means of communication, the techniques in online therapy to address your problems or stress are the same as those of traditional talk therapy.
How does online therapy work
Online therapy is when a psychologist or other mental health professional meets with you online, usually through an online video platform such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts. Many online therapy services also offer phone and online or text messaging services.
The online format of online therapy means that you can get started on your road to wellness or mental health improvement without having to leave your home. For instance, if you’re busy at work during the day and only have time to meet online, online therapy will accommodate you as much as possible to fit your schedule.
Is online therapy legit
Online therapy is legit! It works, it’s not too expensive, and you can chat with a therapist from the comfort of your own home. Talking about your depression, anxiety, eating disorders, mental health struggles or positive aspects in your life you want to keep growing.
Engaging in therapy online does not change the quality or effectiveness of therapy. In online therapy, you can still develop a strong bond with your therapist and trust them just as much as you would if they saw you face to face. Having the therapy session be a live video chat your therapist can still read your body language and gauge your facial expressions as you talk about the areas of interest in your life. As long as online therapists are properly trained or licensed for your mental health needs, online therapy is as effective as traditional one-on-one talk therapy.
One limitation of online therapy is it tends to lack the closeness and intricacy that face-to-face interactions provide. There is undoubtedly some value to a therapist seeing your facial expressions or body language, as these signs can often tell them even more about your feelings, behaviors, or moods. And whether it’s due to screen size or camera quality, your therapist may not be able to get the fullest picture of you.
That said, you can still reap essentially the same benefits as you would in traditional talk therapy, as long as you are comfortable communicating with a therapist online. If you give it a try and decide that you are not, online therapy might not be right for you to continue, and that’s okay.
Also, online therapy is typically not recommended if you have a serious psychiatric illness or mental health condition with more complex or severe symptoms. Online therapy can be limited in the sense that one online therapist likely cannot perform all the treatments you may need or help manage medication.
How much is online therapy
Like traditional talk therapy, the cost of online therapy varies. Many online therapy services will charge a monthly flat rate depending on your subscription (the level of services you need). Prices range from around $250 to $400 per month, but some services take insurance.
Regardless, online therapy is ideal if you’re trying to stick to a budget, as even online therapists who don’t take insurance can still help you out and solve your problems without stressing your bank account.
Given the ease and convenience of online therapy, it’s no surprise that online therapy is often cheaper than traditional therapy. Online therapy does not involve extra commuting or traveling time, meaning therapists can offer online therapy at lower rates.
So, if you think about how much money you’d save in gas – let alone being able to work from your couch while getting help – online therapy can be worth the price.
Free online therapy
Although online therapy isn’t free, some online therapists offer free online sessions to anyone who needs help.
The areas you can find free online therapy vary. For instance, some online therapists provide free online counseling through forums on mental health websites or blogs. They may do so by answering questions about your personal experience with different disorders or issues, providing feedback on your progress, or just by listening to what you have to say without assigning any homework or tasks for you to complete outside of that session.
It’s also quite common for online therapists to provide free online sessions as a way of screening whether they are compatible with you and vice versa before signing up for paid online therapy.
Online couples therapy
In online couples therapy, both partners have online sessions with a therapist together. Online couples therapy is great for couples in long-distance relationships. But you don’t have to be long-distance to try online therapy as a couple. Whether its communication or intimacy struggles, you can try online couples or relationship therapy as opposed to face-to-face therapy just for benefits like convenience.
A good online therapist should also help facilitate effective communication between you and your partner so that you are both able to feel heard and understood even if you aren’t physically together.
If online couples therapy is appealing to you, be sure the online therapist you’re interested in offers online couples therapy and that they have experience working with couples.
Some online therapists also provide online marriage counseling. In these cases, each partner often gets a separate individual session. In contrast, some online counselors may not be trained or licensed in marriage and family therapy and therefore may only do online couple’s sessions (without individual ones).
Online group therapy
Some online therapists offer online group therapy. Online group therapy is similar to traditional group therapy regarding the support you can get and its unique benefits. Namely, online therapy can provide a sense of community or belonging since you are with people who understand what you’re going through.
In online group counseling, you meet with a small number of people (typically 5 to 8) who share similar issues for a session with your therapist that lasts from 30-60 minutes. You can communicate with everyone else in the group online via chat rooms or other messaging apps.
Unlike some traditional talk therapy groups (closed groups) where everyone starts a series of sessions simultaneously, online group sessions give participants more flexibility since online group members can log on at different times.
What are online mental therapy services available
Choosing to buy into an online web therapy service is one of the first hurdles that you will most likely overcome, we have found out there are two more waiting for you. One being pinpointing things in your day-to-day life to focus on once in therapy, and secondly getting the sometimes awkward situation going from talking with a total stranger. We made this blog just for that reason, to help get the ball rolling as your onlinr counselling sessions start.
Here are five online therapy options worth exploring if you’re curious about online therapy:
BetterHelp is one of the most popular online therapy services because it is a simple-to-use, fairly affordable online therapy business that will meet a wide variety of mental health needs.
Before booking an appointment with a therapist at BetterHelp, users may read through the available therapy professionals’ bios. This way, you can pinpoint a therapist you think would make a great match for you. And if things don’t pan out, BetterHelp is known for how easy it is to switch therapists to find a better match.
While BetterHelp does not offer medication management services, they are known for having better all-inclusive prices than other services.
BetterHelp prices range from $60 to $80 per week (or starting at around $240 per month).
Here are a few things that price includes:
- Live sessions
- You can message your therapist 24/7, unlimited
- Multiple communications methods: virtual, audio & live chat
Talkspace is known for its wide variety of therapy options, including couples therapy and teen therapy. Unlike BetterHelp, Talkspace provides medication management; although, they do not display therapist bios upon signing up.
Talkspace works with some insurance provides and EAP plans and takes payments from FSA and HSA cards.
Talkspace pricing ranges from $65 to $100 per week (or around $260 per month).
The services depend on your plan, but even the base plan for Talkspace includes unlimited daily text, audio, and video messaging to your therapist five days per week.
Also, Talkspace is unique in that it offers psychiatric services. However, this is an additional cost outside of the monthly plans and could get pricey if your insurance plan is not in-network.
Rethink My Therapy
Rethink My Therapy is an affordable online therapy service that offers monthly plans for individuals, couples, and families. There are a wide variety of needs and family dynamics that might call for family therapy. So not only does Rethink My Therapy make online family counseling accessible, but it’s a service that is highly recommended.
Rethink My Therapy cost
To get an idea of the price, the cost for one individual is $99 per month, which includes 24/7 access to your therapist. For a family or children’s plan (up to four individual accounts), it costs $159 per month for the same services.
All plans have $0 copays, and this service is unique in that it offers all new users a free seven-day trial.
GetCerebral is an online therapy service that provides access to talk therapy treatments and medication therapies. You also have the option to have your prescription drugs delivered directly to your home, saving you additional time and money.
Cerebral is well known for all it accepts in terms of insurance plans. Many users can expect to pay only $29 per month for all Cerebral’s plans (not including copayments): therapy, medication and care counseling, and medication and therapy. The difference is that the therapy plans give you access to a licensed therapist, whereas you would work with a care counselor in the care counseling plan.
The Medication + Care Counseling Plan out-of-pocket cost is $85, while the Medication + Therapy Plan is $325. The monthly plan for therapy without medication management is $259.
Ayana Therapy prioritizes inclusion and accessibility for marginalized communities, including the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community.
Ayana Therapy achieves this by offering affordable therapy and employing diverse therapists from various racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds or with different sexual orientations.
Ayana Therapy cost
Pricing is not listed on Ayana’s website before signup, but users can pay a subscription-based payment plan or a pay-per-session option:
- $140 per individual session
- $290 per month for four 45-minute sessions per month
Although Ayana Therapy services are out-of-network, they will provide you with a receipt for reimbursement. Ayana Therapy is most known for carefully matching clients to their licensed therapists, so clients can find someone who shares similar backgrounds or values.
There are several benefits to online therapy that may make it the best option for you. Online therapy is convenient, affordable, and accessible from anywhere. Whether you want free counseling sessions or are looking for an affordable option, online therapy is a great way to get support for your mental health needs.
E-Counseling.com solely focuses on online therapy information and has some more platforms that can help you in finding happiness again.
Online Therapy Conclusion
Starting your journey with an online therapy platform is just as good as heading into a therapists office. The most important factor in starting you online therapy focus is to be patient until you find a therapist that connects with you.
Too often we give up after our first attempt and fall back on the saying “Therapy just isn’t for me.”
I promise you it is, if you give it the amount of dedication in your life it deserves.