Online therapy is a new trend, allowing patients to get treatment from qualified therapists online. But does it really work? Is it a good idea to get online therapy for anxiety, or any other mental health issue? How do you choose an online therapist?
In this guide, we’ll discuss everything that you need to know about online therapy. Read on, and get all of the details that you need to understand online therapy for anxiety, and if it’s right for you. We’ll answer all of your most common questions. Let’s get started now.
What Is Online Therapy?
As the name implies, online therapy is delivered completely online, over an internet-connected device. Most commonly, this is a laptop or a desktop computer, connected using some kind of telepresence or video chat software like Skype. However, some online therapist services may also support mobile devices, like Android and iOS phones and tablets. This may vary, based on the service provider.
Regardless of the device you use, the basic concept of online therapy remains the same. Rather than physically having to travel to a therapist’s office, you simply connect to your therapist online using video chat software at the appointed time. Then, you carry out your therapy appointment, just like you would in a physical therapist’s office.
How Does Online Therapy Work?
Typically, online therapy is delivered using a specialized platform. There are a few platforms out there that focus on online therapy, like Online-Therapy.com. However, some therapists may offer online therapy on their own, without using a dedicated online platform.
No matter which therapist you choose, the basic way that online therapy works is the same as an in-person therapy appointment. You connect to your therapist, and have a conversation about what’s been bothering you, what’s on your mind, and the events that have happened since your last appointment.
In this way, it works just like an in-person therapy appointment. You schedule a time to talk with your therapist, and they will lead you through the process of discussing your feelings, and help you treat anxiety, depression and a number of other mental health issues.
Some online therapy platforms also offer additional services, like text and email-based help. You can write a message to a therapist and get a response, or schedule a real-time chat session. Again, this may vary, based on the platform you choose, or if you choose to work with an independent online therapist.
Is Online Therapy Effective For Treating Anxiety?
Yes. Current research has indicated that online therapy or “teletherapy” is just as effective at treating anxiety and other such mental health conditions as traditional therapy. This study surveyed 62 patients who were undergoing online therapy, and measured their satisfaction with their therapy after a month of treatment, using the SF-12 survey.
The clients that were surveyed showed significant improvements in a variety of mental health measures. 93% of the clients felt they could “present the same information as in person,” and 96% of clients were “satisfied with their session.” 85% of clients were “comfortable in their ability to talk” to an online therapist.
Another systematic review of online cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, depression and PTSD found that it helped patients gain a better understanding of their mental health issues. The review also found that internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy was particularly effective for patients with anxiety who may not have otherwise been able to seek help from a therapist in person.
Online therapy for anxiety is just as effective as in-person therapy, making it a viable alternative to in-person therapy appointments.
What Is CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of online therapy for anxiety that is intended to help improve your mental health by challenging unhealthy thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes which may be affecting your mental health.
In addition, it focuses on improving emotional regulation, and aiding the subject in developing personal coping strategies that can help them deal with negative emotions such as anxiety, and even panic attacks.
At its core, CBT is a problem-focused approach to mental health treatment, and it’s action-oriented. Using cognitive-behavioral therapy, the role of a therapist is to help their client find and practice effective strategies which can help address the symptoms of their disorder, such as panic attacks caused by anxiety.
By addressing maladaptive and unhealthy behaviors, CBT can allow patients to learn new, healthy information-processing skills, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and develop a better understanding of how their condition affects their day-to-day lives.
What Are The Benefits Of Online Therapy?
Wondering if you should try online therapy? Online therapy is a great way to get help for anxiety if you are unable or unwilling to see a therapist in person. Beyond that, it has a number of other great benefits.
Get help on your own schedule – You can connect to a therapist at a convenient time for you, without the difficulty of traveling to an office. You also do not have to waste time in waiting rooms, being late, or any other such issues. You and your therapist can determine the right time for your appointment, and always be connected on time.
Convenient, with no traveling required – It can be difficult and time-consuming to see a therapist regularly in-person. If you have a busy schedule or a difficult work schedule, for example, you may not be able to take time during the workday or the week to get help, and many therapists do not operate on the weekends.
Getting online therapy for anxiety allows you to get treatment without having to make time to commute to your therapist’s office. As long as you have an internet connection and an hour to spare, you can make an appointment, and get the help you need for your anxiety.
Ideal for remote areas – The challenges of getting therapy are magnified in remote areas, where you may not have a therapist’s office near you. You may have to travel an hour or more for your appointment, which is inconvenient and time-consuming. This makes online therapy an ideal option if you live in a more remote, rural area. As long as you have reliable internet, you can get therapy without having to travel a long distance to the nearest therapist’s office.
Less expensive than traditional therapy – Because the costs of operating a teletherapy practice are lower than those of running a physical office, the cost of online therapy is usually quite a bit lower than traditional therapy. If you are on a tight budget or do not have insurance coverage for therapy, this may make online therapy a better option for you.
Feel more relaxed in your own home – You do not have to feel nervous about visiting a therapist’s office, and can relax in a safe environment. This can be especially helpful for those who have anxiety, and may find it difficult to relax and open up in an unfamiliar environment.
Get access to online educational tools – Many online therapists provide you with access to a library of online educational tools, helpful exercises, and other information that can help you manage your condition more effectively, often at no extra charge.
For all of the above reasons and more, online therapy is an affordable and convenient way to get help with anxiety, PTSD, and depression, among other conditions. If you are interested, we highly recommend that you give online therapy for anxiety a try – and see if you like it!
Is Online Therapy Covered By Insurance?
This depends on your insurer, and the specifics of your coverage. In some states, insurance providers are required to cover online therapy. However, coverage does vary on a state-by-state basis, and depending on your insurer.
However, in most cases, online therapy is covered by insurance, just like an appointment at a therapist’s office would be. To check your coverage, we recommend consulting your health insurance handbook, or contacting your insurance directly to inquire about their coverage for online therapy.
Even if you’re not covered, online therapy is quite affordable compared to in-person therapy, so you may still be able to get the help you need at a reasonable cost. Inquire with your online therapy provider for more information about pricing.
How Do You Choose An Online Therapist?
It’s best to choose an online therapist in the same way that you would choose an in-person therapist! We recommend starting by doing some Google searches for online therapists. You may even be able to find some local therapists in your area who also offer online treatment, as well as in-person therapy.
From there, we recommend reading reviews about your selected service provider, to understand the quality of service you can expect. Positive online reviews are always a good thing! It may also be a good idea to consult their website to learn about pricing and whether or not your treatment will be covered by insurance.
After you’ve put together a list of a few online therapists, we recommend that you check their credentials and experience, and do some more research about each one.
Finally, we recommend scheduling a quick consultation with each one of your top picks. You can learn more about their services and experience, and get a better idea of how they conduct their sessions. Once you’ve found an online therapist you like, you can schedule an intake appointment, and begin getting treatment for your anxiety.
Online Therapy Is Convenient, Effective, And Affordable – Get Started Today!
If you need help from a therapist, but do not have the time to visit a therapist in person, an online therapist may be just what you need. With online therapy, you can get professional help on your schedule, at a low cost. So start looking for a provider today, and get the help you need to improve your mental health, treat anxiety, and live a better life.