Online therapy is a convenient and effective option for many people. However, it can also be challenging to build a connection with someone who doesn’t see your face or hear your voice.
In addition, finding a therapist who accepts your insurance and offers appointments that fit your schedule can be challenging. This is why it’s important to interview therapists to find the best match for you.
How It Works
Online therapy provides professional mental health counseling over the internet, usually via live video chat, messaging app, or phone. Sometimes called teletherapy, telemental health, or e-therapy, online counseling has gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic because it provides easier access to counselors.
In addition to providing a convenient alternative, online therapy can also be more comfortable for some people who are more familiar with digital communication methods than in-person interaction. Younger adults, for example, may feel more at ease chatting with their counselor over text message or email than in person because they use these methods of communication regularly.
However, a key downside of online therapy is that it can be more challenging for the therapist to gauge nonverbal cues, such as body language or tone of voice, which are essential in building trust and developing a supportive rapport. This can make it difficult for some patients to open up during sessions.
Despite these drawbacks, online therapy is an effective and safe treatment option for many. If you are considering using online therapy in NYC, you must do your homework and find a licensed counselor in your state. It’s also crucial to double-check that the online counseling service you choose follows HIPAA regulations to protect your privacy.
Online therapy offers a convenient, flexible alternative to traditional in-person treatment. However, it isn’t a good fit for every client. For example, if you have a severe mental health issue or recent trauma, e-therapy might not be as effective as in-person counseling.
Before scheduling a consultation, be clear about your goals for counseling. It would help to address a specific mental health concern or work on coping skills daily. The more precise you are, the better you can measure your progress and get the most out of the process.
During the first session, ensure you have a quiet place for your video chat with your therapist. You can limit distractions by turning off televisions or other devices, asking family members to keep their noise level low, and muting your phone.
Many online therapy services include messaging for clients and therapists to communicate outside of scheduled sessions. This can help address any urgent concerns or provide immediate feedback to the therapist. Just be sure to set clear boundaries between yourself and the therapist about when you will respond to messages and when you expect them to return your calls or texts. This will ensure you are not contacting them too frequently and disrupting your live therapy sessions.
Finding a Therapist
Online therapy allows you to get counseling and support from a professional without the hassle of going out of your way or spending money on travel. Research indicates that while it’s not the same as in-person sessions, it can be just as helpful for many people.
When choosing an online therapist, ensure they are licensed and credentialed. You can often find this information on their website or in an online profile, and a good therapist will be transparent about their background, education, and experience. They should also have a secure video connection and accept your health insurance.
While a phone session may suit some people, video sessions offer the most authentic experience. With video sessions, you can see your therapist, and they can see you, which helps build trust. However, this is only the case for some therapists, so you must do your homework before choosing a provider.
When you’re starting online therapy, it helps to have clear goals and expectations for your time together. This will help you get the most out of the process and measure your success. It will also help your therapist understand what you’re working on and how they can best support you. While no therapist can fix your problems, they can guide and help you change your perspectives and behaviors.
During the Session
For those who live in remote places, online therapy—also known as teletherapy or e-therapy—increases access to mental health care. It also provides flexibility for people with busy schedules, allowing them to see their therapists without leaving home.
Talking to a therapist in person can be intimidating, but many people feel more at ease during online therapy sessions. This is because they can control the environment, limiting distractions from kids or other family members, noisy neighbors, and phone calls or texts. People can also relax in a comfortable place, such as their bedroom or on the couch.
Another benefit of online therapy is privacy. Since it is often done through an app, a person can connect with a therapist anonymously. This can be especially helpful for people with a social anxiety disorder who might feel uncomfortable with the idea of meeting in person.
One downside of online therapy is that a therapist can’t observe nonverbal cues, like eye contact and body language, in real-time. For this reason, it may not be the right choice for someone who has a mental or emotional condition that requires the assessment of these physical behaviors. In addition, online therapy is only sometimes covered by insurance and can be costly. For this reason, it’s essential to consider your budget before committing to online treatment.