If you’re feeling stressed out, depressed, panicky, or feel like you need to talk to someone, then seeking the counsel of a licensed therapist can be quite beneficial. Sometimes, it is not always easy to locate a licensed therapist in your community that you can see in a convenient manner. It could be related to your timing/schedule, castes, or even the distance away from your home that they are located. With the evolution of online medicine and using the Internet /connected devices to conduct medical consultations – a process known as telemedicine – it’s easier than ever to actually speak with a licensed therapist from the comfort of your surroundings. This is called teletherapy. Here’s a short guide to everything you need to know about online therapy.
What is Online Therapy?
Online therapy – or teletherapy – is a way for certified and licensed therapists to speak with patients from around the world via the magic of technology. Through an online video conference for a telephone call, a patient can have a consultation with a reputable, practicing therapist who can help them work through their issues from the safety, convenience, and quiet of their own home. There’s no need to travel anywhere or seek out someone locally to help you. Countless research studies have shown online therapy to be just as effective as in person and incredibly useful for some, due to its accessibility and convenience.
How Does It Work?
To book a teletherapy appointment, you’ll need to meet the requirement of being 18 or older. After that, it’s a matter of finding a teletherapy provider and booking your appointments. You need to provide information about your insurance, information about your concern/the reason for your visit, and any other background details the therapist requires. Some providers offer a free 15-minute consultation to help you find out if the therapist is a good match for you. Sometimes, finding a therapist can be tricky, so taking advantage of that brief meeting can be quite helpful. During the actual appointment, the therapist will discuss your concerns with you, possibly make a diagnosis, and prescribe any treatment or medications that you may need to help treat your condition. You can feel free to ask any questions – it will be a private and secure connection through HIPAA-compliant software – knowing you’re in a safe, judgement-free space where you can receive mental health care from a licensed professional. Supplemental to the actual therapy sessions are usually access to additional resources such as websites, online helpline, and support groups.
What Are The Benefits of Online Therapy?
Aside from the obvious benefits of teletherapy– the aforementioned convenience and accessibility – regular online therapy sessions are useful for anyone suffering from anxiety, panic, phobias, OCD, emotional support, help with handling depression, and prescribing some types of medication to treat certain conditions. By providing better access to these types of services, Teletherapy is incredibly convenient and available to more people, especially for people residing in rural areas or places that don’t have many other options. Online therapy offers a safe space for people to comfortably discuss their concerns with a licensed professional who can support them throughout their treatment. It’s also quite a bit more affordable than its in-person counterpart.
How Much Does it Cost?
As with any other medical procedure in the United States, cost is likely a significant factor in determining whether or not you’re going to seek treatment for just about any condition. This is doubly so for mental health care. According to the National Institute of Health, cost is usually a barrier to seeking mental health care. This is due to a number of factors, primarily those living in poverty conditions don’t always have access to the funds to get the care they need. Trends and issues with insurance also raise the cost of care, adversely affecting the ability to pay reasonable amounts for care. Thankfully, telemedicine offers a remedy to this, as the average cost of a teletherapy appointment is only around $20 – $50 per session. This can vary based on provider, discounts, your insurance, and other factors.
What It Can and Can’t Treat
Once you’ve decided that you’re going to explore online therapy to address some of your concerns, it’s important to know what online therapists/teletherapy can treat and what they can’t. The most common issues that online therapists treat are:
- Social anxiety disorder
- Various phobias
- Minor depression
- Major depression
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- General anxiety
- Panic disorder
While it’s fantastic for treating a wide range of conditions, teletherapy is not suitable for certain conditions. Addictions, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia all require extensive, long term treatment, and aren’t suited to online therapy consultations for their treatment. Even so, online therapy is an effective, viable method of obtaining mental health care easily that should not go overworked by anyone who needs some help.