Traditionally only physical health really “counted” as part of “health”. Mental health was ignored because societies back then didn’t have enough resources to devote towards improving their mind.
Nowadays we recognize mental health is an essential aspect of overall health and well-being.
Physical health matter, but true health goes beyond just the “body” or “calorie in / calorie out”.
Whole body health refers to a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and we recognize also that how we “think” impacts how we “behave”.
Unfortunately, mental health conditions issues are common, with The National Institute of Mental Health stating (NIMH), “Nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (52.9 million in 2020). Mental illnesses include many different conditions that vary in degree of severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe.
NIMH continues, “Two broad categories can be used to describe these conditions (of mental health):
- Any Mental Illness (AMI)
- Serious Mental Illness (SMI)“.
- “Any mental illness” can include conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, among others.
- “Serious mental illness” can include any mental illness, but if you have an SMI, your life function is impaired.
Yet in my experience within the counseling and treatment profession over the past decade has taught me, however, only about 50% of people know they have a serious mental illness.
Fortunately, mental health is becoming popular, both in terms of recognition and online-therapy accessibility.
For example, if you haven’t seen “Stutz” already, please do.
“Stutz” is the Netflix’s latest hit documentary featuring a vulnerable conversation with Jonah Hill and his therapist, Phil Stutz, about mental health.
The whole film is uplifting, sensitive, and useful!
Stutz is one of the most watched documentaries and demonstrates how mental health awareness is becoming more popularly accepted.
In addition to the growing popularity and appreciation of mental health, online-therapy, also known as teletherapy, only therapy, or virtual therapy, is a relatively new way for individuals to get the mental health support they need.
With the increasing use of technology and the internet, online-therapy has become a popular and convenient option for those seeking counseling or therapy services.
In this article we’ll review the landscape of online-therapy, answer some general questions, and list a few options.
Why Choose Online Therapy For Your Mental Health?
Online mental health therapy has a lot to offer, but it hasn’t received much attention until recently.
However, once Covid forced people to work from home, it quickly became apparent the need for online therapy.
More emphasis traditionally has been placed on physical health. But this old school paradigm fails to realize that our mental health affects us a lot more. Being in good health encompasses our physical, mental, and emotional health.
In recent times, as awareness towards better mental health is on a consistent rise, there are several things we have come to realize.
- First, just as not many people have access to physical health and wellness checks, the same applies to mental wellness.
- Another realization is that, just as people tend to not prioritize their health until they have a fatal or critical condition threatening their lives, the same applies to one’s mental health.
One of the reasons given for this lack of priority where mental wellness is concerned is time and accessibility.
Many people do not find sitting in a therapist’s office and talking about their feelings the best use of their time.
Driving to the therapist office to cry about something that makes you feel powerless to a stranger? Ummm, no thanks!
Online Therapy: Accessible and Convenient
However, therapy has advanced in modern times. From the old school thought of “Behavioralism”, to the 1980’s “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” and onwards to more modern approaches such as “Internal Family Systems”.
One of the latest treatment advancements, however, is not in the therapy method per se, but the introduction of online therapy.
Online therapy solves the two main problems:
- Solves the issues of time and accessibility where therapy for mental wellness is concerned
- Solves the problem in locating a therapist that is near you, or if you cannot find a specific type of therapy near you
There are two types of people for whom online therapy might be the best approach.
- One is people who cannot find the right type of therapist with traditional means. Through online therapy platforms like Talkspace, you can access a variety of mental health services.
- For people who enjoy the safety and security of the online/virtual space.
But what exactly is online-therapy and how does it work?
Online-therapy involves having therapy sessions with a licensed therapist or counselor through a secure video conferencing platform.
These sessions can take place on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, making it easy for individuals to access therapy from the comfort of their own homes or any other location.
But how exactly can online therapy help you lead a healthier, happier life? Here are 5 Benefits of Online Therapy:
- Convenience: One of the major benefits of online therapy is convenience. Traditional therapy often requires individuals to travel to an office or clinic, which can be time-consuming and inconvenient. With online therapy, individuals can schedule sessions at a time that works best for them and participate from any location with an internet connection. This makes it easier for individuals to fit therapy into their busy schedules and avoid the hassle of commuting.
- Privacy: Online therapy also provides a level of privacy that may be more difficult to achieve in an in-person setting. Many people may feel more comfortable discussing personal issues and challenges in the privacy of their own homes, rather than in a therapist’s place. Online therapy allows individuals to have these important conversations in a safe and confidential space.
- Range of therapists: When searching for an online therapist, individuals may have a wider range of options to choose from, as geography is not a limiting factor. This can be especially beneficial for those who live in rural areas or for those who may have specific needs or preferences when it comes to their therapist.
- Affordability: Online therapy can also be more affordable than in-person therapy, as it eliminates the need for travel expenses. This can make therapy more accessible to those who may not have been able to afford it otherwise.
- Effectiveness: Studies have shown that online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy for many individuals. In fact, some people may even find it easier to open up and be honest in a virtual setting, as they may feel less self-conscious or judged.
Overall, online therapy can be a valuable and effective tool for helping individuals lead healthier, happier lives. Whether you’re looking to address specific issues or simply want to improve your overall mental well-being, online therapy may be a good option to consider by consulting a therapist at the best online therapy platforms
Online Therapy Platforms
Online therapy platforms are websites or apps that enable individuals to connect with licensed therapists or counselors for virtual therapy sessions.
These platforms provide a convenient and private way for individuals to get the mental health support they need from the comfort of their own home or any other location with an internet connection.
If you’re considering using an online therapy platform, there are a few things to consider:
- Ease of use: Look for online therapy providers’ platforms that are user-friendly and easy to navigate. This can make it easier to schedule and attend therapy sessions and access any other features the platform may offer.
- Security: It’s important to ensure that the platform you choose has robust security measures in place to protect your privacy. This may include:
- secure video conferencing technology
- and other measures to ensure that your sessions are confidential
- Therapist availability: Consider whether the platform offers a range of therapists to choose from and whether there is availability at the times that work best for you.
- Cost: Online therapy platforms can vary in cost, so it’s important to consider your budget and what you can afford so as to choose the best affordable option.
- Some platforms offer sliding scale fees or accept insurance, which can make therapy more affordable.
- Check whether the online therapy provider has any hidden fees.
- Also check if there are any fees for a no-show appointment or for canceling your subscription
- Additional features: Some online therapy platforms may offer additional features such as messaging, journaling, or assessments, which can be helpful for those seeking more support or self-exploration.
- Research your options: There are many online therapy platforms available, each with its own unique features and benefits.
- Take some time to research and compare different platforms to find one that meets your needs and preferences.
- Consider factors such as ease of use, security, therapist availability, cost, and additional features.
- Reading reviews and asking friends or family members for recommendations can also be helpful.
- Look for a licensed therapist: It’s important to choose a licensed therapist who is qualified to provide therapy services. Look for a platform that offers therapists with appropriate credentials and experience in the area you are seeking help with. Many online therapy platforms will have information about their therapists, including their education and experience, so you can get a sense of their qualifications.
- Consider your preferences: Think about what you’re looking for in a therapist and what you’re comfortable with.
- Do you prefer a certain type of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or mindfulness-based therapy?
- Do you want a therapist who is a certain age or gender?
- Do you prefer to communicate via video, phone, or message? Online therapy platforms often allow you to search for therapists based on these criteria, so you can find a therapist who fits your preferences.
- Check if your insurance covers online therapy: Many insurance plans cover some or all of the cost of therapy, including online therapy. Check with your insurance.
Overall, online therapy platforms can be a convenient and effective way for individuals to get the mental health support they need. By considering factors such as ease of use, security, therapist availability, cost, and additional features, you can find the right platform for your needs.
Is online counseling better than in-person?
Researchers have found evidence that online therapy performs about the same as treatment from traditional, in-person therapy.
However, other strong research by the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), indicates that people don’t stick with online mental health programs for as long, stating:
“While online interventions have many advantages over F2F variants such as saving time and effort to commute to F2F therapy, they also create difficulties for therapists and hinder their ability to adequately react to patients’ challenges. Accordingly, patient characteristics that might put them at risk for dropping out or not adhering to the treatment plan.”
To summarize Online-Therapy:
- saves time and effort (and therefore money)
- higher risk for dropping out or not following plan
This is our general belief as well.
The author, Jared Levenson, reflects here that he’s stuck with the “main” therapist he met in person for over 7 years. While over these past 7 years Jared has also found “side” therapists online he didn’t stick with.
Let me now answer some frequently asked questions about Online-Therapy.
If you want to learn about the different types of online therapy commonly found online, scroll below the FAQ section.
Questions Frequently Asked
Can you talk to a therapist for free online?
Online-Therapy (https://www.online-therapy.com/) has an arrangement to support clients who lack health insurance, adequate mental health benefits or cannot afford typical pricing for therapy sessions.
Tell me more about Online-Therapy.com
Online-Therapy.com offers a range of therapy services, including individual and couples therapy, all on a secure and confidential platform.
Their premium plan includes two live sessions of 45 minutes each week, as well as express replies to worksheets sent in every day from Monday to Friday.
Who is Online-Therapy.com for?
If you are looking for an introduction to Online Therapy in general, you may want to try Online-Therapy’s 8-section CBT program helps you take control of your life through 25 worksheets and other helpful tools like yoga and meditation videos, a journal, activity plan, and tests.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly used approaches for addressing mental health problems—it enables you to identify, challenge, and overcome dysfunctional thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.
Plus, with the click of a button you can switch therapists at any time.
Please know that we are affiliated with Online-Therapy and have secured a 20% discount that will be automatically upon checkout if you use the button below to purchase an introductory trial or subscription, or simply use this link here:
Does insurance cover online therapy?
Insurance may cover online therapy but it depends on your insurance plan and the laws in your state. Many insurance plans cover online therapy, but it’s important to check with your insurance company to confirm your coverage.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to insurance coverage for online therapy:
- Check your insurance plan: Contact your insurance company and ask about your mental health benefits. Find out if online therapy is covered, and if so, what your copay or deductible is.
- Check your state’s laws: Some states have laws that require insurance companies and insurance providers to cover teletherapy at the same rate as in-person therapy. Check with your state’s insurance commission to find out if this is the case in your state or if your state does not have insurance providers covering online therapy.
- Check with your therapist: Your therapist should be able to tell you if they are in-network or out-of-network with your insurance plan. If they are in-network, your insurance may cover a portion of the cost of your therapy sessions. If they are out-of-network, you may still be able to get some coverage, but you may have to pay a larger portion of the cost out of pocket.
Some platforms render free or low-income mental health services If you don’t have health insurance, and you can’t pay out of pocket for mental health care.
Keep in mind that even if your insurance does not cover online therapy, some therapists may offer sliding scale fees or other options for payment.
Is online therapy cheaper?
The short answer is that online therapy can be cheaper than in-person therapy, but it depends on a variety of factors. In general the costs are about the same (except for expensive “guru” coaches who charge sometimes much higher fees).
Here are a few things to consider when evaluating the cost of online therapy:
- Fees: Many online therapy platforms charge a monthly or annual subscription fee, which may or may not be cheaper than the cost of in-person therapy sessions. Some platforms offer a sliding scale or discounted rates for those who are unable to afford the full fee while some also charge per session.
- Insurance: Some insurance plans cover teletherapy, but others do not. Check with your insurance provider to see what is covered and what your out-of-pocket costs might be.
- Therapist fees: The fee for online therapy sessions may be different from the fee for in-person therapy sessions. Some therapists charge less for online therapy because they don’t have to worry about travel time or overhead costs. However, other therapists may charge the same rate for both in-person and online therapy.
- Convenience: Online therapy can be more convenient than in-person therapy, as it allows you to receive treatment from the comfort of your own home. This can save you money on transportation costs, as well as time that you would otherwise spend commuting to and from therapy sessions.
In conclusion, online therapy can be cheaper than in-person therapy, but it depends on a variety of factors. It is important to consider your specific needs and circumstances when deciding whether online therapy is the right choice for you.
Is online therapy as effective as in-person?
Research has shown that online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy for a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and trauma. In fact, some studies have even found that certain forms of online therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), may be more effective than in-person therapy for certain conditions.
However, it’s important to note that online therapy may not be the best fit for everyone. Some individuals may prefer the personal connection and face-to-face interaction of in-person therapy, while others may find online therapy to be more convenient and easier to fit into their schedule.
Ultimately, the effectiveness of therapy depends on the individual and the specific therapy being used. It’s important to discuss your options with a mental health professional and find the approach that works best for you.
Is there such a thing as online free therapy?
It’s possible to get free online therapy for free for those that could not afford therapy.
Some services may offer treatment free for some groups or discounted therapy by licensed professionals like the Essential Workers and the People of Color. Other providers might give out free group discussions for trained people.
In my experience a great free therapy group is Overeaters Anonymous. Really any sort of 12 step program. While not technically therapy, and the setting is a group, the function and purpose are nearly identical.
You may also want to check out our free Eating Enlightenment community where you can get free coaching.
How does online therapy work?
During an online therapy session, you will communicate with your therapist in real-time, just as you would in an in-person therapy session. You can discuss your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and your therapist can provide support, guidance, and treatment recommendations.
Online therapy can be a convenient and flexible option for people who have busy schedules, live in rural or remote areas, or have mobility issues that make it difficult to access in-person therapy. It can be an effective treatment for a range of mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, and stress.
Is online therapy private and confidential?
Yes, online therapy is private and confidential, just like in-person therapy. The privacy of your therapy sessions is protected by the same legal and ethical guidelines that apply to in-person therapy.
However, in our review of Talkspace, we note they currently face a class action lawsuit for mismanaging data.
Your therapist is required to keep your personal information and the details of your therapy sessions confidential, and they will not share your information with anyone without your written consent.
There are, however, some potential risks to privacy when it comes to online therapy.
- It’s important to make sure you are using a secure platform for your therapy sessions, such as a video conferencing platform with end-to-end encryption.
- You should also be mindful of your own internet security practices, such as using a strong password and protecting your device with antivirus software.
- If you have concerns about the privacy of your online therapy sessions, you can discuss them with your therapist. They should be able to reassure you and help you feel more comfortable with the process.
How do I schedule an online therapy session?
Scheduling an online therapy session is usually very easy and convenient. Here are the steps you can follow:
- Find a therapist who offers online therapy. You can search online directories and platforms, ask for referrals from your primary care doctor, or contact your insurance company for a list of providers.
- Contact the therapist to schedule an appointment. You can usually do this by phone, email, or through the therapist’s website.
- Provide the therapist with your contact information and schedule availability. You may need to provide your name, phone number, and email address.
- Discuss the logistics of your therapy session with the therapist. This may include the type of platform you will use for your session (such as Skype or Zoom), the length of the session, and the frequency of your sessions.
- Confirm the details of your therapy session. Make sure you know the date, time, and platform for your session, and that you have any necessary login information or links.
- Attend your online therapy session. Log in to the platform at the designated time, and be ready to participate in your therapy session.
Can I do online therapy with my partner?
Yes, you can do online therapy with your partner or family members if you and your therapist agree to it. Online therapy can be a convenient and effective way for couples and families to receive treatment together, especially if you live in a remote area or have busy schedules.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that online therapy is not always the best option for couples or family therapy. Depending on the nature of your issues and the dynamics of your relationship, an in-person therapy session may be more appropriate.
How long does online therapy take?
The length of online therapy varies depending on your specific needs and treatment goals. Some people may benefit from short-term therapy, which can last a few weeks or months, while others may need longer-term therapy to address more complex issues.
In all honesty, whenever you’re dealing with trauma, it takes awhile. Some forms of anxiety and depression are less severe however, and may not take as long – but overall expect a few months.
Can I do online therapy on my phone?
Yes, you can do online therapy on your phone or tablet. Many online therapy platforms have mobile apps that you can download, which allow you to participate in therapy sessions from your mobile device. You may also be able to access online therapy through your phone or tablet’s web browser. Just make sure you have a stable internet connection and a private place to talk.
Therapy Sessions In General
A therapy session is a meeting between a therapist or counselor and a client in which they discuss and work on issues related to the client’s mental health and well-being. Therapy sessions can take place in person at an office or clinic, or they can be conducted online through a secure video conferencing platform.
During a therapy session, the therapist will typically ask the client questions and listen carefully to their responses. The therapist may also use various techniques and interventions to help the client explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and to identify and work through any challenges or issues they may be facing.
These are typically confidential, meaning that the therapist is bound by a professional code of ethics to keep the client’s information private. This helps to create a safe and trusting environment where the client can feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings.
Therapy sessions are typically conducted on a regular basis, with clients typically meeting with their therapist once a week or every other week. The frequency and duration of sessions can vary depending on the client’s needs and the type of therapy being used.
Therapy sessions can be helpful for a wide range of issues, including depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and stress management.
Now that we’ve covered some frequently asked questions, let’s turn our attention towards the different types of therapies commonly listed online.
Individual, Family, and Group Therapy
Family therapy is a type of therapy that involves working with family members to address conflicts and improve relationships.
Group therapy is a type of therapy that involves meeting with a group of people who are facing similar challenges.
Also known as individual counseling or one-on-one therapy, this is a type of therapy that involves meeting with a mental health professional in a confidential setting to address personal challenges and difficulties.
It can be helpful for a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, stress, relationship problems, self-esteem, and trauma. It can also be useful for addressing specific life transitions, such as starting a new job, moving to a new city, or experiencing a loss.
Here, the therapist works with the client to identify the underlying issues and patterns that contribute to the client’s difficulties and helps the client develop new skills and strategies to cope with these challenges.
It can take many forms, and the specific approach used will depend on the needs and goals of the client. Some common approaches to this include cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and psychodynamic therapy.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals identify and change negative patterns of thinking and behavior.
- Psychodynamic therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals understand the unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that drive their actions.
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy that is often used to treat trauma and other related mental health issues.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of therapy that helps individuals develop skills to cope with intense emotions, improve relationships, and make positive changes in their lives.
- Art therapy is a type of therapy that uses art-making as a way to explore and express emotions and can be helpful for individuals who have difficulty verbalizing their feelings.
- Music therapy is a type of therapy that uses music and musical activities to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.
- Play therapy is a type of therapy that uses play and other creative activities to help children express their thoughts and feelings and develop coping skills.
- Occupational therapy is a type of therapy that helps individuals develop, recover, or maintain the skills needed for daily living and work.
What is Individual therapy?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that helps individuals identify and change negative patterns of thinking and behavior. It is based on the idea that our thoughts and beliefs influence our feelings and behaviors, and that by changing our thoughts, we can change our behaviors and emotions.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that helps individuals identify and change negative patterns of thinking and behavior. In the context of couple therapy, CBT can be used to help couples identify and change negative patterns of communication and behavior that contribute to conflict in the relationship.
When I created the Eating Enlightenment Mindful Food Journal App, I hadn’t been exposed to Internal Family Systems just yet, and was basing much of my philosophy towards journaling on CBT.
Since then my thinking and approach has evolved!
But the tools of CBT are still great! They are perfect for someone new to mental health or even personal growth.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
This is a type of therapy that helps individuals develop skills to cope with intense emotions, improve relationships, and make positive changes in their lives. It is often used to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder but can be helpful for other mental health issues as well.
This is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals understand the unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that drive their actions. It is based on the idea that our past experiences and relationships shape our present-day thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and that by gaining insight into these unconscious processes, we can make positive changes in our lives.
It can be an effective way to address a wide range of personal challenges and difficulties. If you are experiencing difficulties in your life and are considering seeking help, consider reaching out to a mental health professional for it.
The therapeutic approach I use to help people with overeating – Internal Family Systems – shares much in common with this branch of psychology.
What is couples therapy?
Couples therapy, also known as couples counseling or relationship therapy, is a type of therapy that focuses on improving communication and resolving conflicts in romantic relationships. It can be helpful for couples experiencing a range of challenges, including difficulties with communication, trust, intimacy, and commitment.
Couples therapy can take many forms, and the specific approach used will depend on the needs and goals of the couple. Some common techniques used in couple therapy include emotion-focused therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and the Gottman Method.
The Gottman Method
This is a research-based approach to couples therapy that focuses on helping couples build strong, healthy relationships. This approach emphasizes the importance of building a strong foundation of trust, respect, and friendship in a relationship, and helps couples develop skills to repair and resolve conflicts.
In couples therapy, the therapist works with the couple to identify the underlying issues and patterns in their relationship and helps them develop new skills and strategies to improve communication and resolve conflicts. Couple therapy can be done in individual sessions or in group sessions with other couples.
Couples therapy can be an effective way to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and strengthen relationships. If you are in a romantic relationship and are experiencing challenges, consider seeking help from a couples therapist.
What is Teen therapy?
Teen counseling, also known as adolescent therapy or youth counseling, is a type of therapy that focuses on addressing the unique challenges and issues faced by teenagers. It is a confidential and supportive space where teens can explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and work towards making positive changes in their lives.
Teen counseling can be helpful for a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, stress, relationship problems, self-esteem, and trauma. It can also be useful for addressing specific life transitions, such as starting a new school, dealing with the changes of puberty, or experiencing a loss.
In teen counseling, the therapist works with the teenager to identify the underlying issues and patterns that contribute to their difficulties and helps them develop new skills and strategies to cope with these challenges.
Teen counseling can take many forms, and the specific approach used will depend on the needs and goals of the teenager. Some common approaches to teen counseling include cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and family therapy.
Teen counseling can be an effective way to address a wide range of challenges and difficulties faced by teenagers. If you are a teenager or have a teenager who is experiencing difficulties and is considering seeking help, consider reaching out to a mental health professional for teen counseling.
In our review of Talkspace we note that Talkspace is especially suited for teens today who live on their phone. You have to meet someone where they’re at, despite the potential downsides which we note in our review.
Who are licensed mental health professionals?
A licensed mental health professional is a person who has completed a certain amount of education and training in the field of mental health and has been granted a license to practice by the government or regulatory body in their jurisdiction.
- This typically includes professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and professional counselors.
- Other mental health professionals may include marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurses, and other allied health professionals who work in the field of mental health.
- These professionals may or may not be licensed, depending on the requirements in their particular area.
Other Mental Health TIps
- Seek support: If you are struggling with your mental health, it’s important to seek help and support. This can come in the form of therapy, counseling, or support groups. There are many resources available, including online therapy options, which can be convenient and private.
- Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is essential for good mental health. This can include activities such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking breaks when needed.
- Connect with others: Strong social connections are important for mental health. Make an effort to build and maintain relationships with friends and loved ones, and consider joining a group or club that aligns with your interests.
- Find healthy ways to cope: It’s normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed at times, but it’s important to find healthy ways to cope with these feelings. This can include activities such as deep breathing, meditation, or talking to someone you trust.
- Seek professional help: If you are struggling to manage your mental health on your own, it may be helpful to seek the help of a mental health professional. This could include a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist.
Overall, mental health is an important aspect of overall health and well-being. By seeking support, practicing self-care, connecting with others, and finding healthy relationships.