Online therapy platforms like Talkspace and BetterHelp offer affordable access to therapists specializing in the most common mental health issues. These services also feature live video sessions and messaging capabilities.
Some online therapy providers use a secure and private connection, which protects user privacy. However, users should limit distractions at home and ensure a strong Internet connection for the best experience.
A big drawback of traditional therapy is limited availability, but online therapy allows people to seek treatment from a wide range of therapists, regardless of where they live. Online teletherapy also will enable people to attend sessions from the comfort of their homes rather than traveling to an in-person office.
Look for a website or app that offers multiple ways to communicate with your therapist, including video sessions, text and chat. Live video calls are usually the most secure way to connect with your therapist, but some apps also allow you to talk through audio alone. Avoid distractions during your sessions by scheduling when your home is quiet, asking other family members to stay away and muting any other apps or programs on your phone or computer.
Online therapy platforms have surged in popularity lately. The convenience and privacy these popular online therapy platforms offer draw many consumers who might otherwise avoid getting help due to logistical or financial barriers.
Most online therapy platforms use an algorithm to match clients with therapists who are licensed in their state. When you sign up, you’ll answer a questionnaire about your therapist preferences and the type of therapy you seek. Then, the platform scans its database of therapists and matches you with one.
Several online therapy platforms offer both synchronous (video-based) and asynchronous sessions. Asynchronous sessions allow you to send your therapist messages anytime, and they will respond when they log in. In either case, most platforms take security and confidentiality very seriously. They use encryption and adhere to HIPAA standards to protect their users’ personal information. However, therapists and clients must do homework on each platform before signing up.
Ease of scheduling
Online therapy, or telehealth, offers a more personalized treatment experience. Another advantage of telehealth is that it eliminates geographic restraints, which can be challenging for traditional mental health care providers. Sometimes, your insurance or Medicare/Medicaid can even cover online therapy.
Ensure the online therapist you select has credentials listed in their profile, such as a licensed professional counselor (LPC), LMHC or clinical psychologist. Consider what type of sessions you prefer: do you want a live video call, or do you like the option to message your provider between appointments?
Some online therapy platforms offer a subscription model that is less expensive than some insurance copays.
Online therapy platforms allow you to connect with a licensed therapist at a fraction of the cost of traditional in-person sessions. Plus, you can access counseling from your home or any location with a reliable Internet connection. This is especially helpful for people who live far from a licensed therapist or don’t have the time to fight traffic, find parking, and travel to appointments each week.
In addition, many teletherapy providers offer affordable plans that include unlimited messaging and one live video session per month. For example, the popular BetterHelp offers a monthly plan starting at $60 and provides financial aid to help eligible clients.
Before choosing an online therapy platform, it’s important to consider your specific needs and goals. A clear idea of what you want to work on will help you find the right therapist and maximize your sessions. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that the platform or provider you choose accepts your insurance and can guide you through submitting your claims.
Online therapy offers a range of benefits, including increased accessibility and flexibility, greater privacy and confidentiality, and quality mental health care. It also may be less expensive than in-person sessions. However, there are challenges, such as connection problems and the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues.
When choosing an online therapist, look for a provider with an easy registration process and various appointment times that work for you. If you have a particular issue, find a therapist with experience. Some teletherapy services also offer homework and activities you can do between live sessions.
Most reputable online therapy platforms provide information about therapists, including their professional credentials and specialties. They should also include a link to check whether therapists have professional or ethical issues. You can pay for a full monthly subscription or access text messaging, asynchronous video, and phone calls with your therapist. Many of these providers also accept private insurance or employee benefits. Some, like Cerebral, even provide receipts for services you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.