In today’s tumultuous and increasingly remote world, stress and anxiety can rest their ugly heads at the most inopportune moments. Sometimes, you just need to talk to someone about your problems. Maybe you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Either way, there’s no shame in seeking help to maintain the integrity of your mental health. Therapy can be a good option to work through some of these issues and help you achieve a happier life.
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To that end, virtual therapy is a fantastic option for anyone who may need to talk to a therapist but is unable/uncomfortable seeing one in person. Just like maintaining a healthy diet and exercise is crucial to living a healthier life, it’s important to take care of your mental health as well. Here’s a brief guide to getting started with seeing a therapist online.
Online Therapy Defined
If you’re looking to get into online therapy, but are still on the fence, it may help to understand what it is exactly. Online therapy is simply using a teleconferencing method (like Skype, Zoom, or a phone app) to have one-on-one remote therapy sessions with a licensed professional. It’s a 45-minute session that works the same way as an in-person appointment. Therapists help patients work through and treat a number of conditions. After the appointment, therapists provide additional support in emails, chats, and text messages. The only real difference is the patient can work with the therapist from the comfort of home. This makes therapy much more accessible to people who otherwise may have avoided therapists in the past. The cost of online therapy varies by location and whether insurance covers the session. In New York, for example, a typical session may cost around $60 – 120 for a single session. Some organizations offer a significant discount for the first month, where it would be more like $33/session. It ultimately depends on the therapist, service, and insurance coverage. Online therapy is quite legitimate and can sometimes be more effective than in-person therapy sessions.
Find a Virtual Therapist in Your City
Finding a therapist in New York is quite easy. Consider searching through a directory or using a search engine. Doing a search for “online therapy New York” can yield excellent results in seconds. Look for a professional therapist who operates with integrity and fits within your not only your budget but also can accurately treat your issues. Make sure the therapist is licensed and explore their background to see if they’re a good fit for you. Find out how long they’ve been practicing and their areas of expertise. It may also be wise to find out what kind of approach the therapist uses when treating patients. Do they take a hands-on or individualized approach? Do they specialize in psychodynamic, behavioral, or cognitive therapy? Will they provide effective treatment and allay your concerns? At the end of the day, extensive research and keen attention to detail is the best method for finding an ideal therapist in New York. Taking the time to assess potential therapists is key to selecting the right one for you.
Get a Free Consultation
When you’ve found a therapist you like, consider getting a consultation. Think of consultation as similar to getting coffee with someone you don’t know very well. The purpose of the meeting is to get acquainted with one another. In this case, you’re assessing the therapist as a potential care provider. Do they have the qualities you’re seeking in a mental health professional? Can they assist with your issues? During the consultation, the therapist can get an idea of your issues as well, ensuring they will be able to treat you properly. If not, they should be able to refer you to a different therapist who can. Remember a consultation is not an actual therapy session.
So, what should you ask about during a consultation? There are plenty of questions to consider. Ask about their education, what makes them a specialist, the outcomes of cases similar to yours, and if they think you’re a good fit. Find out how they treat patients and whether they accept your insurance or not. These are only a few of the most essential questions. It’s prudent to do your homework and follow-up as much as possible to get the most out of your consultation.
Learn What Conditions are Treated
If you’ve decided to take advantage of online therapy, you may be concerned that your condition won’t be covered and/or treated. Don’t despair. Online therapy offers treatment for various conditions including a focus on reducing stress, depression, and anxiety. Online therapists can also cover marriage counseling or group therapy in addition to helping patients overcome various phobias. If you’re worried about issues related to COVID-19 or the world in general, an online therapist can probably help you work through those. Finally, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is something typically covered in most online therapy sessions. With the vast array of treatments and conditions covered, online therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy.
Know What to Expect Before Signing Up
Before signing up for an online therapy session, it’s crucial to know what to expect from online therapy in general. Keep in mind that while it’s accessible, affordable, and flexible, it may not be suited to your particular issues. It is not suitable to treat serious psychological illnesses like schizophrenia and not all insurances will cover a session. It also may be limited to in-state providers. Weigh the pros and cons of online therapy in the context of your situation prior to booking a consultation or appointment. That way, you’ll be prepared and know what to expect from the process and whether or not it’s the right path for you.