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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Signs That Online Therapy Might Just Be the Answer You Need

There was nothing wrong with my last therapist. It wasn’t Online Therapy but he was as sharp as a tack, as compassionate, and as considerate as they come. But after more than a year of collaboration, I got the nagging sensation that this wasn’t what I wanted.

I needed more…

As someone who suffered with social anxiety disorder, I was going to make a tough call. It was already difficult for me to leave my place for treatment. The cost of a copay, transportation there and back, and time away from work had already mounted up.

Why couldn’t I just join up for online counseling and get the attention I needed without leaving my apartment since I was already paying that money?

So, I decided to give Online Therapy a go. This is not a paid advertisement, but rather my honest view and narrative.

I selected Talkspace in particular because I knew that they are very sensitive to the needs of their LGBT clientele.

While Talkspace is the site I use, I believe this advise applies to other platforms as well. As with any therapeutic experience, you get out of it what you put into it. That being said, there are several things to watch for when choosing if online therapy is right for you:

1. You find yourself wishing you could process in the moment.

Writing emotions down is a better idea than talking with your therapist but it seems so stereotyped or cliché going into therapy with a note to express emotions that had passed. You want to express occurrences in the moment.

I felt like I was squandering time, as if our appointments were simply me trying to recall what was upsetting me or filling up our time.

If this sounds similar, internet counseling might be a fantastic choice for you. We’re actually discussing subjects that are most current and relevant to me, rather than what I happened to recall during a planned period.

It’s crucial to realize that if you require an instant reaction, online counseling may not seem as satisfying at first. It took some getting used to revealing my guts knowing that I would have to wait for a response from my therapist. But I became accustomed to it! And it’s a format that’s lot more comfortable for me.

2. You notice writing is an outlet to express more and be yourself

Writing is where I do a lot of my finest emotional work (which should come as no surprise given that I’m a blogger).

Online counseling has been like having a talking journal, compassionately and skillfully leading me through my experience.

If you know you’re the type of person who finds it therapeutic to write things down, internet counseling might be a fantastic resource for you. There are no time or character limitations, so you are free to use as much space and time as you require.

If writing isn’t your thing, you may always record your monologue as an audio or video file. Sometimes you simply need 5 minutes to ramble, and internet counseling is perfect for that as well.

3. You feel more emotionally vulnerable in digital spaces.

For whatever reason — I’m not sure if it’s social anxiety, I find it much simpler to be vulnerable online. Growing up in the AOL Instant Messaging era. Some of my most intimate and vulnerable friendships have occurred online.

Online therapy

In just a few weeks, I revealed more to my Online therapist than I had with my former therapist, with whom I had worked for nearly a year. Being online enabled me to access emotions that I would have found difficult to reach in a face-to-face meeting.

(It also helps that this is treatment that can take place in the safety of my apartment, whenever I’m ready, while I’m relaxing in my carefree zone.)

4. You feel like you text too often

I’m the type of person who, when feeling overwhelmed by my life, I find myself texting or messaging my pals, sometimes with an obnoxious regularity.

To be clear, it is perfectly OK to reach out to someone when you are struggling, as long as those boundaries are agreed upon between you!

But the beautiful thing about online therapy is that I now have a secure environment where I can express myself at any time without worry of being “too much” for that individual.

I feel like there is more balance in my relationships as a whole since I have an outlet for what I’m thinking or feeling every day that isn’t only reliant on my friends and lovers.

5. You have other clinician or support to help you during a crisis or emergency

A lot of feedback says that online counseling isn’t intended for people suffering from serious mental illnesses. But I disagree — I just believe that people like us must be careful of the support systems we put in place and when we utilize them.

I utilize online counseling to investigate my trauma background, manage my OCD and depressive symptoms, and handle my life’s everyday triggers and pressures.

However, I do not ONLY use online counseling.

I also visit a psychiatrist on a regular basis, attend support groups on an as-needed basis, and may call my prior therapist if I’m suicidal and need to be directed to local crisis options (like outpatient services or hospitalization).

I believe that internet counseling might be an excellent choice for people suffering from serious mental illnesses.

The crucial point is that internet treatment should never be your exclusive choice, and you and your therapist should develop a crisis plan ahead of time.

My Online therapist is aware of my past of suicidality and self-harm, and we’ve discussed what actions we’d take if I were in crisis again.

6. You are having difficulty addressing certain therapeutic needs.

My therapeutic requirements were a little… complex.

I’m gay and have had complicated trauma and is suffering from depression, OCD, and borderline disorder. I needed a therapist who could handle all of the above, but finding one who could was difficult to say the least.

When I originally joined up for online therapy, I spoke with a consultation therapist (similar to a clinical matchmaker) who would assist me in finding my ideal therapist. I provided them as much information as I could up front, and they assigned me to one of three therapists. One of them was a trauma-informed therapist who was also gay and transgender and knew a lot about the problems I was dealing with. Talk about a wonderful fit!

One of the Benefits of Online Therapy is that your have options

Rather than searching for someone within a reasonable distance, you can connect with any therapist that’s licensed in your state. This extends the pool of possible clinicians, and ideally links you with a therapist that fulfills more of your needs.

(The great thing, too, is that switching therapists on these apps or website is super easy — and those therapists have access to your previous logs, so you won’t feel like you’re starting all over again.)

If you are a marginalized person in need of a therapist in your own community, internet therapy increases your chances of finding the correct therapist significantly.

There are some fair critics to note; I enjoy my online counseling experience, but check this out;

Some of the most typical concerns that people have when using internet counseling, simplified for easy reading:

  • You must be at least 18 years old: As far as I know, it is not available to anybody under the age of 18 for legal reasons. If this pertains to you, make sure to look into it before joining up.


  • It moves at a different pace: Responses are “asynchronous,” which means your therapist responds when they can – it’s more like email than instant message. This will take some getting accustomed to for people who seek quick satisfaction. This should not be your primary support system if you are in a crisis.


  • There is no body language: If you are a little more withholding, and so require a therapist to be able to “read” you, this can be an issue. If you have trouble reading emotion and tone in language, this might make things more challenging. (Video calls and audio recordings are still available, so don’t be afraid to vary things up if the text-only format is becoming difficult!)


  • You must express yourself literally: If you don’t tell your therapist whether something isn’t working, they won’t know (they can’t see if you’re uncomfortable, bored, or annoyed, for example), so be prepared to advocate for yourself if you aren’t receiving what you need.


Okay, so what should I know before I begin?

Online therapy, like any other type of therapy, works only if you show up.

Here are some quick tips for having the best online therapy experience possible:

  • When looking for a therapist, be as specific as possible.

It is preferable to tell your “matchmaker” too much about yourself rather than too little. Your matches will be better if you advocate for yourself.


  • Disclose, Reveal, Reveal

Be as open, vulnerable, invested, and truthful as you possibly can. What you put into the experience is what you will get out of it.


  • In therapy, discuss therapy

Discuss with your therapist what works and what doesn’t. Inform them if something is useful. If anything isn’t right, make it known.

If something will change, it is critical that you communicate this in order to have the greatest possible experience!


  • Make it your own.

Because online therapy is less structured, discuss with your therapist on how you can build a framework that works for you.

There are several methods to “conduct” online therapy; homework assignments, required readings, scheduled check-ins, and experimenting with forms (text, audio, video, etc.).


  • Set targets

Take some time to consider your goals for the encounter if you are unsure. Creating goal markers can assist guide the process for both you and your therapist.


  • Exercise caution

If you have a history of  drug abuse, or self-harm — or any other disordered behavior that might cause you to hurt yourself or someone else — let your therapist know so you can work together to develop a crisis plan.


  • Expect Adjustments.

I was initially feeling weird with online therapy. It seems really different, especially without body language and with the delayed replies. Allow yourself time to acclimate, and notify your therapist if anything feels strange.

Read More; Free Online Therapy, Best Low-Cost Platforms, and Tips for Choosing Rightly

So, is online therapy for me?

Obviously, I can’t say for certain because I don’t know you personally! But I can state surely that there are those who have profited from it, and I am one of them.

While I was first hesitant, it turned out to be a terrific option for me. It is like any kind of therapy, in finding the proper fit, sharing as much as possible, and advocating for oneself.

Hopefully, this guide has provided you with sufficient knowledge to make an informed decision. I would also advise you to conduct more research on your own (I am by no means an expert). As the phrase goes, “knowledge is power.”

Sign up with Talkspace (50% OFF) and see their services HERE



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