We live in an age where stress, anxiety, and depression are more than familiar companions for many. The need to speak to a professional therapist has never been more prevalent, especially in our pandemic-stricken world. However, the challenges of seeking therapy are numerous: high costs, long waiting lists, logistical hurdles, and more. What if there was a solution that addressed these challenges while being cost-effective? Enter online talk therapy, an innovative approach to mental health care.
Online talk therapy is similar to in-person therapy in many ways. You still get to talk to a qualified and experienced therapist who can help you cope with your emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. You still get to choose the type of therapy that suits your needs and goals, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), or psychodynamic therapy (PDT). You still get to have regular sessions with your therapist and work on your issues together.
The main difference is that online talk therapy uses technology to connect you with your therapist. Instead of meeting face-to-face in an office, you can use your computer, smartphone, tablet, or any other device that has internet access to talk to your therapist online. You can also choose the mode of communication that works best for you, such as video calls, phone calls, text messages, or emails.
Online talk therapy can offer you more options and flexibility for finding and accessing therapy. You can search for therapists who offer online sessions on online directories or platforms, such as Psychology Today. You can also visit the NHS website to learn more about the types of talking therapy available and how to get a referral. You can compare different therapists based on their qualifications, specialities, fees, availability, and reviews. You can schedule your sessions at times that are convenient for you and your therapist. You can also switch therapists if you are not satisfied with your current one.
How Much Does Online Talk Therapy Cost?
One of the standout benefits of online therapy is its cost-effectiveness. According to figures from Psychology Today, the typical online session costs between £40 to £70, whereas in-person therapy can set one back £50 to £120 per session. That’s a potential saving of up to £50 each session or £200 monthly for those attending weekly sessions.
Beyond the session fees, there are added economic benefits. Consider the savings on commuting, childcare, or even lost work hours – all of which contribute to making online therapy a financially sound choice.
The Key Benefits of Online Therapy
Besides saving money on mental health care, online talk therapy can also offer you some other key benefits beyond the price tag that may improve your well-being and quality of life. Some of these benefits are:
Improved accessibility: Online talk therapy can make mental health care more accessible for people who face barriers such as disability, geographical isolation, social stigma, or cultural differences. Online talk therapy can allow you to access therapists who specialize in your specific needs or preferences, such as gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion. Online talk therapy can also allow you to access therapists who speak your preferred language or dialect.
Increased comfort: Online talk therapy can make mental health care more comfortable for people who feel anxious, embarrassed, or vulnerable in face-to-face settings. Online talk therapy can allow you to choose a setting that makes you feel safe and relaxed, such as your home, your office, or your car. Online talk therapy can also allow you to control the level of intimacy and disclosure that you are comfortable with, such as using audio only, video only, or text only.
Enhanced effectiveness: Online talk therapy can make mental health care more effective for some people and some situations. Online talk therapy can allow you to access therapy more frequently and consistently, which can improve your engagement and retention. Online talk therapy can also allow you to access therapy at the time of need, which can enhance your coping and resilience. Some types of talking therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), may be more effective when delivered online than in-person.
Maximising the Benefits of Online Talk Therapy on a Budget
Navigating the maze of mental health support has become particularly pressing during these pandemic times. Online talk therapy emerges as a beacon of hope for many, offering unparalleled convenience, accessibility, and a means to potentially alleviate the financial strain tied to mental health care.
Thinking of embarking on this digital therapeutic route? Here’s your guide to maximizing the benefits of online talk therapy:
Knowledge is Power: Before diving in, immerse yourself in understanding the nuances of online talk therapy. Websites like the NHS and platforms such as Psychology Today can be invaluable resources, offering insights and therapist directories.
Choose Wisely: Selecting a therapist isn’t a task to be taken lightly. Seek out those with credentials in online therapy and employ secure communication tools. A free consultation or initial session can also provide a sense of compatibility.
Set Clear Objectives: To navigate any journey, knowing the destination is crucial. Clearly outline what you aim to achieve with your online sessions. Regularly revisit these goals, adjusting them collaboratively with your therapist.
Be Session Ready: Technical glitches or distractions can hamper the flow of a session. Ensure a robust internet connection, charged devices, and a quiet, interruption-free zone. Mentally, a few deep breaths or calming music can set the right mood.
Open Dialogue: The foundation of therapy is trust. Being candid about your emotions, concerns, and feedback not only enhances the therapeutic experience but also fosters a productive therapist-client relationship.
Post-session Reflections: The end of a session isn’t the end of therapy. Reflect on the discussion, make notes, and follow through on any tasks set by your therapist. Monitoring your progress through a journal or app can be a beneficial exercise.
Online talk therapy can be a transformative and cost-effective avenue to mental well-being. With these guidelines in hand, you’re poised to embark on a journey that’s both therapeutic and financially prudent.