We all know that the world has become more and more digitally connected. But during these uncertain times, many people are experiencing heightened anxiety, depression, and overall instability.
Today, we rely on technology for everything, from ordering food to managing our bank accounts to communicating with our loved ones. Therefore, it only makes sense that we can access qualified licensed mental health professionals online as well.
What To Expect With Online Therapy
Online therapy offers convenient and accessible mental health services. No need to worry about commuting to an office or sitting in frustrating traffic. You can meet with your therapist in the privacy of your home or connect anywhere you have a reliable Internet connection.
Online therapy covers a broad scope of services, including:
- Video chats
- Text messages
- Phone calls
- Online chats
Like traditional therapy, online therapy can happen via scheduled, real-time conversations. However, many apps also provide “in-between” session contact where you can reach your therapist 24/7 through a messaging portal. You and your therapist will discuss the guidelines for communication.
Most platforms charge either weekly or monthly fees. Compared to traditional therapy, which can cost upwards of $150-$200 per session, online therapy services tend to be substantially cheaper.
What Online Therapy Treats
Online therapy can be incredibly beneficial in treating a variety of mental health issues, including:
- Anxiety disorders
- Mood disorders
- Relationship stressors
- Major life transitions
- Grief and loss
- Low self-esteem
- Existential concerns
- Work or school problems
- Family dynamics
The length of your treatment will vary on many factors including your symptoms, any co-occurring issues, and your past history with therapy. Moreover, most online platforms allow you to change therapists at any time if you believe you’re not receiving adequate care.
Online therapy does have some limitations. It is not advised for clients struggling with severe crisis issues like active suicidal or homicidal ideation, psychosis, severe eating disorders, or severe substance use disorders. These particular needs often require a higher level of care with greater monitoring and supervision.
BetterHelp advertises itself as the largest online counseling program in the world. After you sign up, the program matches you with a therapist based on your specific preferences and objectives.
From there, you will have access to your therapist via exchanging messages, speaking over the phone, video conferencing, and live chatting. BetterHelp fees range from $40-$70 per week.
Talkspace operates on the premise of making therapy available and affordable for everyone. Talkspace seeks to provide convenient access to licensed therapists for anyone in need of help. They also now offer couples and teens therapy.
Talkspace currently offers three packages.
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus: Includes text, video, and audio messaging services. Your therapist responds to you at least once daily, 5x per week: $260 monthly
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium: Includes text, video, and audio messaging services. Your therapist offers 1 live session per month: $316 monthly
- Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate: Includes text, video, and audio messaging with therapist responding daily, 5x per week with 4 live sessions per month: $396 monthly
7 Cups of Tea
7 Cups of Tea cites itself as the world’s largest emotional support system. To date, over 40 million conversations have been exchanged on this versatile platform. 7 Cups offers two options. You can chat for free with a volunteer listener. These listeners are not professionally trained in psychotherapy, but they can provide some relief if you are struggling.
They also offer a paid therapy service with licensed therapists. This program costs $150 per month. You can send unlimited messages, and your therapist will reply once or twice a day, Monday through Friday.
Amwell is a 24/7 telehealth service that offers on-demand support from a variety of health professionals including therapists, doctors, nurses, and specialists. Psychologists and therapists remain available for online sessions throughout the day.
You can meet with a masters-level therapist for $85 or a doctorate-level therapist for $99. Amwell also accepts insurance, which may subsidize some of the costs.
Regain exclusively focuses on providing relationship counseling. You and your partner will sign up together and establish a joint account. Regain often matches clients up with their therapists in less than 24 hours. After being matched, you and your partner are assigned to a dedicated room. In this room, you can chat about yourself, share about your struggles in the relationship, and respond to your therapists’ questions. Your therapist will work with both of you to make positive changes in your relationship.
Regain offers unlimited messaging sessions. The fees vary from $40 to $70 per week.
iCounseling serves clients all over the world with its discreet and convenient online platform. After signing up, you will be matched to a qualified therapist based on your designated needs and preferences. You can message, live chat, speak on the phone, and video conference with your therapist.
You will have unlimited access to your therapist throughout your treatment. Your dedicated room is open 24/7, and you can send a message whenever you need. The fees range from $40 to $70 per week.
Pride Counseling specializes in offering online therapy for people in the LGBTQ community. All therapists have expertise in this population, but this platform welcomes people of all identities.
Pride Counseling uses a questionnaire to match clients with their therapists. You’ll typically be matched within 24 hours, and you’ll have access to messaging, video conferencing, live chatting, and speaking on the phone options.
The fees range from $40 to $70 per week.
Why It May Be Worth Giving Online Therapy A Try
Therapy provides a compassionate and nonjudgmental environment for processing difficult feelings and experiences. You and your therapist will work together to identify adaptive coping skills for sustainable growth and change.
With that in mind, online therapy provides accessible and convenient services if you are struggling or want support. You already use technology in every area of your life. Why not use it to get the treatment you need?