Online Therapy

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Last updated June 2024
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Choosing an Online Therapy Service

The advancement of technology, coupled with the inception of the internet, has created a leeway for easy-to-access health treatment options, including online therapy. Online therapy, also known as teletherapy or e-therapy, is the provision of mental health services via the internet. This can be in the form of video conferencing, internet phone, emailing, online chats, or text messaging. At the click of a button, you can get access to services rendered by an online therapist, both in real-time and time-delayed means. With the increase in the number of online therapy service providers, however, it can be quite overwhelming to identify the service that best suits your needs. This article offers a guide on everything you should know when choosing an online therapy service.

Benefits of Online Therapy

Most people will enroll for e-therapy for a myriad of reasons. Here are a few benefits that come with choosing a teletherapy option for mental health treatment.

  • Availability of Mental Health Information

While sharing health care issues with family and friends may be an easy thing to do, talking about one’s mental health can be quite uncomfortable. For this reason, most people prefer looking for helpful information for self-diagnosis, as others go for virtual therapists. Fortunately, online therapy makes it possible to access information on mental health at the click of a button.

  • Affordability and Convenience

Enrolling for an online therapy session is much cheaper and convenient compared to the traditional appointments with a therapist. All you need is internet connectivity and a few bucks, and you get professional help at the comfort of your home or office. The fact that these sessions are run online means that you can schedule your session within periods that are convenient for you.

  • Accessibility

With our busy everyday schedules, it might be almost impossible to check in to a mental health facility. This is because accessing a therapist may take up a lot of time. Fortunately, e-therapy makes it easy for anyone to access mental health therapy from wherever they are.

  • A Useful Tool for Those with Physical Limitations

Individuals with physical limitations such as the housebound and disabled may find e-therapy to be of great benefit. The traditional psychotherapy settings require flexibility as far as being mobile is considered. This is why online therapy remains to be a useful tool for people with mobility issues.

How to Choose the Right Online Therapy Service

Despite the numerous benefits that come with e-therapy, not every service provider is best suited to your needs. There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing the right online therapy service, including the following;

  • Licensing and Professionalism

While most of the online therapy service providers claim to offer professional therapy, some of them can be misleading and inappropriate for your needs. The first thing you want to look for is whether the people behind these services are licensed therapists or psychotherapists. All health practitioners in the USA, including therapists, must be licensed by the responsible authorities in their respective states. If you develop problems during your treatment, licensure laws ensure that you get access to recourse. Most of the states in the US have online directories that list licensed professionals. Ensure that the therapist you are about to work with is licensed before signing up with any service provider.

  • Security and Privacy

Online therapy services provide users with a private space where they can share their personal experiences with their assigned therapists. Professionally, whatever you share with your therapist is supposed to stay with them, barring outsiders from accessing such information. Therefore, your service provider’s website must be highly secure to ensure that your privacy is protected. You can also check whether your provider is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations for security.

  • Cost of Payment

Often, in-person treatment for mental health issues in the US is covered by insurance companies. All you need is an invoice from your therapist, which you will submit to your insurer for reimbursement. For online therapy, however, treatment is entirely left for you to take care of. You should, therefore, check whether your health insurer is willing to reimburse you for online therapy. Otherwise, you might have to take care of the bill on your own.

In Summary

Over the years, the inception of the internet has made access to healthcare services affordable and convenient. Today, you can schedule online therapy sessions with a professional therapist at a click of a button. All you need is internet connectivity and a phone or computer, and you can initiate your treatment process at the comfort of your home or office. Some of the benefits of using online therapy include affordability, convenience, availability, and easy access to mental health information. However, you must be cautious when selecting an e-therapy service provider as not all of them are fit for your psychiatric needs. Factors to consider when signing up for teletherapy include the cost of payment, licensing, privacy, and data security.