What Types of Online Counseling Are There?
What comes to mind when you imagine going to therapy? You might picture opening the door to a minimalistic decorated office, sitting down, and waiting for your slightly intimidating appointment to approach.
However, with the advent of people wanting convenient healthcare solutions, therapy has changed forever.
Online therapy, also known as teletherapy, cyber-counseling, or e-therapy, allows you the freedom to seek emotional support from a digital device.
What are the benefits of online therapy?
You can access teletherapy if you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer with a solid internet connection.
Online mental health support removes many barriers associated with visiting an office in person for counseling.
- No need to call and book appointments; instead, use an app or website to make arrangements (usually 24/7).
- Forgo parking, traffic, and commuting, because you can log into your sessions from home.
- Drop the worry about living far away, maintaining a busy schedule, or facing mobility issues when going to therapy. Instead, you can access your appointment with the internet and a smartphone.
Where can I get online therapy or healthcare services?
Tech companies like Ravkoo Health have seen the benefits of remote healthcare services for Americans. Therefore, to bring affordable, accessible, and convenient medical and mental health solutions forward, the team created their streamlined app.
The Ravkoo Health App is a central digital location for registered users to book clinician appointments, select and meet with Health & Wellness Coaches and therapists, and browse the resources for useful health info.
Once downloaded, you can use the Ravkoo Lifestyle module to select a therapist. Video conferencing makes all appointments remote, allowing you a comfortable experience.
How can you meet with your therapist online?
Online counseling can occur in real-time through video conferencing, phone conversations, or text messaging. However, it can also happen in a time-delayed format, like email.
The main tools for meeting for online counseling include:
- Mobile applications (iOS and Android)
- Instant messaging
- Online audio or telephone
- Video conferencing (Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, or the practice’s platform)
You can use the services above with a smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, or, sometimes, landline telephone.
What kinds of online therapy are there?
During your remote therapy appointments, your therapist will take time to get to know you. Remember, they’re here to be a subjective sounding board; their job is to offer you support and guidance towards new perspectives.
Your appointments can sometimes be draining because you’re sharing personal details, but if you find you’re getting burnt out, feel free to mention it to your provider.
During your appointments, your therapist will get to know your coping processes, your overall happiness, and any current issues or stressors. They’ll listen, ask questions, and create a treatment plan specific for you.
As your therapy continues, you might need to adjust the techniques for healing because you’re growing and changing.
Different forms of online therapy include:
1. Online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT):
CBT is a therapy where your therapist uses structured processes to assist you in becoming aware of unhelpful, negative, or inaccurate thoughts.
When you become aware of thought patterns that aren’t true or useful, you can respond to them differently.
Cognitive behavior therapy has been touted as the gold standard for therapy today, as deemed in an article for Frontiers in Psychiatry. CBT uses reframing to create positive effects for clients. Essentially, CBT works to retrain the way you talk to yourself.
A therapist would likely use CBT to work with clients online.
2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT):
A branch of CBT, DBT can be a highly effective treatment for different symptoms, such as:
- Self-harm thoughts
- Eating behaviors (such as bulimia and anorexia)
Online DBT works to build new skills for tolerating stress, improving relationships, and regulating emotions. This therapy focuses on managing the dialogue in your head, such as reviewing thoughts without emotional judgment. Also, it helps you find ways to be mindful of emotions as you experience events.
Compared to CBT, DBT is used more for personality disorders and high-level anxiety.
3. Online EMDR Therapy:
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy where a person is asked to remember the reason for attending therapy.
Afterwards, the psychotherapist will guide the person to a stimulation method (such as side-to-side eye movement or tapping on the side of the body).
EMDR can help treat PTSD or severe anxiety disorders. The eye movement and methods for this kind of therapy can usually be conducted online during video calls.
Some clients find that they’re more comfortable doing this treatment in a personal space, like a home office.
4. Online mental health therapy:
Our mental health is with us all day, every day. How we feel affects our relationships, energy levels, and work. So, seeking mental healthcare online might be a suitable solution because it’s convenient.
Not to mention, getting emotional support online is the way to go if you’re sensitive about seeing others in the waiting room. You can make a warm cup of tea and settle into your appointment from the comfort of your sofa.
Online mental health therapy can address several issues, like:
- Work stress
- A substantial life change (such as a move or break-up)
- Eating behaviors
- Anger management
5. Family or relationship therapy:
Online therapy isn’t only one-on-one video conferences or calls with a provider. Alternatively, family or relationship counseling is useful for including one or more individuals and loved ones.
Ideally, online therapy improves the communication methods between people, so a more harmonious setting can occur. Sometimes, with loved ones, we can get into dynamic patterns or routines that don’t positively serve us. Online counseling can help find new ways to approach situations.
Whether in a family or romantic relationship, an online therapist may address issues using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, or other treatment methods.
Finding a counselor with whom you and your loved ones connect is crucial.
Also, everyone has to be emotionally ready to go through the therapy process, whether online or in person—You can’t force it.
In summary, if you think online therapy is right for you, research different platforms and give yourself credit for taking this brave step!