If you only have experiences with traditional therapy, you’re probably thinking, “How is it possible to get therapy without the waiting list?
It’s common for people to wait weeks, if not months, to get into a therapist’s office. When you’re looking for mental health support, the waiting game is a frustrating one that no one wants to play. So, what do you do? There is another way. Among other benefits, online therapy may be the answer if you want to see a therapist faster.
How It Works
There are two main ways to access providers who offer online sessions. The first way is to see a provider near you who works both in-person and remotely. This person may have a private practice of their own, or they may work at a counseling center or similar facility. This has become more prevalent than ever before with the coronavirus pandemic. The second way is to use an online therapy or counseling website.
When you pursue counseling or therapy with a provider in a private practice setting or at a community center, you may be put on a waiting list, though this isn’t always true. To get information regarding their availability and if this will or will not be the case, you will typically have to call or email the provider to confirm that they’re taking new clients or if they have a slot open on a waiting list. If the provider you want to see has a waiting list, there’s pretty much no way to bypass that. That said, seeing a therapist in a private practice setting doesn’t always mean you’ll be on a waiting list; sometimes, they’ll have a spot open, and they’ll be able to see you for an intake within the following month or so.
The other option, which is to see a therapist or counselor through a reputable online therapy website, gives you a greater chance of seeing a licensed professional counselor or therapist sooner. Using some of the most popular online therapy websites, you’ll be able to see someone within about 24-48 hours of signing up if you want to.
Finding A Reputable Online Therapy Website
If you’ve never used an online therapy or counseling website before, it’s understandable if you’re concerned with regard to how to find a trustworthy site. While there are a ton of high-quality, reputable options out there, it’s not true for every single website. The main thing you’ll want to do to ensure that a website is reputable is to find an online therapy website that strictly works with licensed providers. One example of this is MyTherapist. Websites like MyTherapist ensure that every provider is licensed before they can start practicing and seeing clients through the platform, so any counselor or therapist you see on the website will be licensed. Remember that, although coaching services and peer support options play an incredibly important role in our communities, the position they fulfill is different from that of a licensed mental health professional. You may also want to look into how a website protects your privacy, as this is another common concern. Reliable providers and websites will be open to answering your questions about privacy and other matters, so never hesitate to ask a question or look at the FAQ section on a website for more information.
Additional Benefits Of Online Therapy
The benefits to using an online therapy website span far beyond the fact that they often allow you to see a therapist faster than you would be able to when seeking traditional in-person care.
Here are some additional advantages of signing up for an online therapy website:
Affordability. While a provider with a private practice may charge up to $200 or more per session, online therapy typically starts at around $90 per week.
It saves time. You don’t have to commute to and from a therapist’s office, and you can connect anywhere with a reliable internet connection.
It helps you find the right fit. When you get started with a website like MyTherapist, you take a questionnaire that helps you get matched with a therapist who suits your needs based on your answers.
It’s effective. In addition to being a convenient and accessible option, a variety of studies prove the efficacy of remote counseling and therapy.
Whether you see someone in a private practice setting, a community center, or through an online therapy website, the main thing that matters is that you get quality mental health care. None of these options are better than the other, per se, but online therapy websites do offer unique advantages. If you’re considering online therapy, there’s nothing to lose, and if you don’t like the first provider you see, yet another advantage is that it’s often easier to switch providers if you need to when you use online therapy websites.
It’s crucial to note that, like traditional in-person therapy, online therapy is not a replacement for crisis or emergency care. If you are in need of immediate support, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.