An online therapy session (often called online counseling and video therapy) is very similar to a regular office visit, but instead of going to see your counselor in person, you video conference with him or her from your own home. This can be incredibly helpful for people who need to work or are simply too busy to get to a typical counseling session. Virtual therapy can also help people who live alone or have limited access to transportation. Whether you’re dealing with feelings of anxiety, fear, depression or various other mental health conditions unrelated to a physical illness, psychotherapy that takes place this way can benefit those who need it most. You’ll still get individualized counseling, but now you won’t have to waste time trying to find a therapist who will be able to meet your needs.
Online counseling and therapy are very similar to traditional face-to-face counseling, except that you won’t actually be seeing your counselor over the phone. The first step to getting started with online therapy would be signing up for an account at one of these sites. Once you do that, you’ll generally get a message from the site’s counselor asking you a few basic questions. Then you’ll be able to begin the therapy process. Depending on the website and the tools available, you may be able to begin with the counseling process within a matter of minutes. You may also be able to take advantage of live phone calls, or even Skype calls, if you want.
Depending on which website you use, there will be different options and resources available. Most will offer weekly meetings, where your counselor will be able to log onto your online therapy account, read through your notes, respond to any questions you may have, and set up an appointment for you to come in a few weeks to discuss what you’ve heard and learned during the week. This is important, because it helps to make sure that you feel comfortable and well-informed about the issues you’re dealing with and that you know the therapist well. Many websites offer forums, where members can post questions and comments about their experience with a particular counselor, and you can also check out the client reviews to see what others think about your potential therapist.
Some sites offer online therapy programs that may include group sessions and one-on-one counseling sessions with the therapist. This is a convenient option for many people, because it allows them to keep their therapy sessions at their own home, eliminating travel time and gas expense. Some people may also find this option appealing because they don’t want to be limited to certain types of therapy or specific types of therapists based on availability, if they are already using phone therapy or group therapy, for example.
Another aspect of online therapy is text messaging. Online text messaging tools have been around for quite some time, and many online therapists are using them as a part of their overall therapy program. Text messaging has some of the same benefits as in-person therapy, such as the reduction of fear and anxiety, as well as improving communication and closeness. However, because the text-messaging tool is being used by the therapist as part of the therapy program, people may not feel as comfortable discussing their problems as they would if they were in an in-person session.
For more information about online cognitive behavioral therapy, including how it can benefit those who are suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, alcoholism, mood disorders, phobias and other similar conditions, you can contact your local mental health care provider. Many state licensed providers offer online therapy programs for a variety of different reasons, depending on the individual. Some may prefer the privacy of online therapy due to their work, while others may have received counseling in the past but prefer in-person treatment. No matter why you prefer online therapy over in-person treatment, you’ll find it very helpful. The key is just getting started.