Getting along in today’s world can often be stressful, contentious, or even anxiety-producing. Whether it’s panic-induced by world events, an underlying health condition, or another situation that’s bringing you down, it’s vital to seek help when you need it. There’s no shame in discussing your concerns with a professional. Therapy is pretty important, but unfortunately due to a combination of factors like a stigma surrounding treatment for these conditions and money concerns might stop you from seeking help. But teletherapy and online counseling can come to the rescue. Here are a few benefits of online therapy.
When you see a therapist in their office, in person, you can typically expect to pay an hourly rate determined by the therapist. These 45-60 minute sessions can run pretty high, often upward of $200. So, how much does teletherapy cost compared to in-person appointments? It depends on the provider and the patient’s insurance. Teletherapy is quite affordable, with the average cost being around $99 for an hour long session.
One of the greatest barriers to mental health care in the United States is accessibility. It’s a major problem, whether it’s a physical accessibility issue such as qualified therapists being located in a faraway city or a lack of local therapists who take your insurance. Higher out-of-pocket costs might contribute to a reluctance to seek out therapy or maybe fear of a social stigma or shame can reinforce the barrier. Unfortunately, this echoes true for so many types of medical care in the U.S. Online therapy can eliminate some of these barriers, especially in regard to location accessibility. The patient and therapist work together via a video or phone call, so there’s no need to travel anywhere. Furthermore, costs are much lower and it’s extremely private. No one but the patient and therapist will know what transpired during the appointment and the entire transaction/conversation/treatment remains private at all times.
It’s Comprehensive and Private
An online therapy consultation is available anytime and anywhere, so you can ensure you’re receiving quality treatment on your own time. Teletherapists are licensed, board-certified doctors who take your concerns seriously, treating patients with dignity and respect. Teletherapy is quite effective at diagnosing and treating many common mental health issues:
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
This is by no means an exhaustive list, as teletherapy is incredibly versatile. It’s also private, using HIPAA-compliant software/interfaces for interacting with patients.
You Can Get Certain Prescriptions
At certain times, part of being in therapy might require a prescription. Medicines used to treat certain conditions can be prescribed via telemedicine. A board-certified doctor will diagnose and outline treatment for the patient. If that treatment plan includes a prescription, they’ll go over it in detail and send it to the patient’s local preferred pharmacy. There are some limitations, however. The following medications usually are not able to be prescribed via virtual therapy:
To find out which medicines can be prescribed, consult with your teletherapist and always follow their advice.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, seeing a therapist online is a comprehensive solution to obtaining mental health care swiftly, efficiently, and with a high level of convenience. That said, there are a few conditions for which online therapy isn’t particularly suitable. What it shouldn’t be used for are conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and serious addictions. Otherwise, online therapy can be an extremely effective treatment for many different conditions and several studies show it to be just as effective as seeing a therapist in person.