How Online Therapy can help Berkshire Residents
With more and more mental health professionals in the United States offering online therapy sessions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, accessing mental health care is more convenient than ever. And there’s more good news: Online therapy, also known as teletherapy, telemedicine, telehealth, or telepractice, is here to stay, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
The ease of scheduling online therapy sessions and meeting with a professional therapist from the comfort of your own home is a key benefit—whether you’re seeking therapy for the first time or searching for a new psychologist.
Although the internet has opened up new opportunities for mental health treatment, there are some things you should consider before transitioning from in-person therapy. Here’s everything you need to know about telepsychology to determine if virtual sessions are suitable for you.
Benefits of Online Therapy
The benefits of virtual counseling are the same as traditional therapy—your therapist will help you navigate mental health issues and provide emotional support while ensuring that your therapy sessions remain confidential. Some of the most surprising pros of online therapy include:
- Online counseling provides access to a broader range of mental health professionals. Especially for clients in rural areas and rural communities, online counseling provides access to more therapists and specialized mental health services. Many online therapists also offer several types of therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic psychotherapy, group therapy, and couples counseling.
- Online therapy services are more affordable. As a more affordable option than traditional face-to-face therapy, online therapy requires lower overhead costs. Instead of paying out-of-pocket expenses to commute to and from your therapist’s office, you can enjoy convenient mental health appointments from the comfort of your own home—and you’ll spend less time in traffic!
- Teletherapy is as effective as in-person sessions. Research shows that teletherapy is an effective treatment for various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Online therapy services use HIPAA-compliant technology. Similar to traditional therapy, telehealth ensures confidentiality between you and your professional therapist through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) using HIPAA-compliant technology.
- Virtual therapy provides increased comfort. Maybe you’re experiencing reduced mobility due to a disability, or you’d prefer to retain a level of anonymity. Virtual therapy offers a unique opportunity to seek mental health treatment from home using video chats, phone calls, live chat, and text therapy through a mobile app or laptop, so you don’t have to worry about an office visit or in-person appointment.
Is online therapy right for me?
Although online therapy is as effective as traditional therapy sessions, it’s not for everyone. One of the major drawbacks of online therapy is that you need a private, quiet area to free yourself from distractions during online therapy sessions.
In addition, some insurance companies do not cover telehealth visits. While some online therapists accept Medicare and Medicaid, it’s essential to check in with your insurance provider before scheduling an online appointment. Some insurance companies provide insurance coverage for licensed therapists, while other health insurance plans do not cover virtual visits.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a severe mental illness that requires more frequent care, such as schizophrenia, talk to your clinician before switching to online therapy. If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for immediate support.
How to Find an Online Therapist
Whether you’re seeking mental health care for the first time or transitioning to live sessions, it’s essential to find the right therapist. According to the APA, your therapeutic relationship—the relationship between you and your mental health provider—can significantly impact your mental health outcomes.
To boost the success of your mental health treatment, do your research and ask the right questions before choosing an online therapy program or committing to a psychotherapist. For example, if you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, consider searching for a licensed therapist who offers LGBTQIA+ affirming therapy, sometimes also called pride counseling.
If you’re not sure where to start, online therapy platforms connect prospective clients to clinical social workers, professional counselors, family therapists, and other mental health professionals based on their personal preferences, requirements, and specific needs. Some online therapy platforms, such as BetterHelp, Talkspace, and Amwell, offer subscription-based models with unlimited messaging. Meanwhile, other platforms, like The Berkshire Therapy Group, offer flexible video sessions so you can work on your mental health at your own pace—all you need is a reliable Internet connection.
During your first appointment, be sure to ask your therapist about their credentials, experience treating clients with your specific mental illness, and therapeutic process to determine whether they’re the right fit. Depending on your preferences, you might want to ask your therapist about different therapy services they offer, such as video conferencing, phone calls, and text therapy.
Online Therapy for Berkshire Residents
Whether you’re experiencing low self-esteem, facing relationship issues, or struggling with substance abuse, finding a good fit can make a significant difference in your therapy experience. The best therapists are good listeners, offer empathy, and provide a safe space to navigate your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
To find an online therapist, reach out to a mental health professional through The Berkshire Therapy Group. We’ll connect you to a licensed psychologist, counselor, social worker, or psychiatrist you feel comfortable with based on your personal preferences and requirements. One of our experienced telehealth professionals will help you navigate your mental health, explore your treatment options, and regain strength.