This article has been contributed by April Hanna, a guest blogger!
Remember when you sat in a waiting room before seeing your therapist?
Yeah, me too.
In the wake of COVID-19, mental health providers have shifted to operating on a fully remote basis. And those who were used to sitting on a couch for a face-to-face therapy session are now adapting to remote therapy. While telehealth is starkly different from the traditional therapy setting, and it might take some getting used to, virtual mental health services are a great resource. They offer flexible scheduling, with many providers offering a variety of times to schedule an appointment. Telehealth platforms often offer multiple communication methods between the client and the clinician, such as unlimited messaging, video chat, and phone call options that are all conducted through HIPAA compliant servers. Additionally, remote therapy is oftentimes more financially accessible, with many services offering bundled or subscription packages that can be purchased on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Whether you’re a seasoned pro at counseling, or considering trying it for the first time, remote therapy services are something we all can benefit from.
Where Can I Access Remote Therapy Services?
Seeking remote therapy might seem like a daunting task with all of the options out there. However, there’s a myriad of online services that vary in cost, flexibility, and therapy type. If you’re already seeing a therapist, there's a good chance that they may also offer phone or video chat sessions. But if you’re looking to start or get back into therapy, there’s many online platforms that will help pair you with a therapist that’s best suited for your needs.
BetterHelp is the world’s largest fully online counseling service to-date, with over 10,000 licensed therapists practicing on the platform. BetterHelp offers three different subscription tiers: weekly, monthly, and quarterly. However, each subscription grants access to all of their features: unlimited messaging between you and your therapist, flexible scheduling for appointments, and the option of video chat or phone call sessions. Their clinicians go through a rigorous screening process before they are approved to conduct therapy services, and strive to provide counseling for a variety of populations struggling with mental health issues. Once you sign up for BetterHelp, you’ll be prompted to fill out a questionnaire that will help the platform pair you with a therapist best suited for you. And just like traditional therapy, you have the option to switch therapists at any time.
Talkspace has been ranked the #1 rated online therapy app, with over 1 million users on the platform to date. While video chat sessions are available, Talkspace focuses more on instant messaging, where the client and therapist have a private, HIPAA-compliant messaging room. Talkspace therapists reply 1-2 times a day, and the room is set up for the client to be able to set aside time each day to write about how they are feeling. For many, messaging one-on-one with a therapist can lessen much of the anxiety that can come along with starting therapy. If you’re looking for a starting place to dip your toes into therapy, Talkspace can be a great first plate. They also offer a discounted student plan, accept various insurance plans, and provide counseling for teens and couples, too.