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Like the name suggests, CBT online therapy is a term used to describe mental health counseling that you can receive from the comfort of your own home in front of your PC or right at your fingertips on your smartphone, using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy practices in your treatment.
Often referred to as “e-therapy” or “internet therapy,” online therapy isn’t meant for people who are in the midst of a mental health emergency or who need urgent medical care. Instead, it’s a way for people to get easy, convenient, and reliable counseling that tends to be much cheaper than in-person CBT therapy. In addition, it can also be a real help for people who have mobility issues or simply live too far away from a licensed therapist for it to be convenient.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most common methods of talk therapy, performed by a mental health counselor, such as psychotherapist, therapist, or social worker. CBT helps patients identify negative or harmful thinking patterns. By focusing on your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes (otherwise knows as your cognitive processes), it becomes possible to change patterns of behavior by responding to negative thoughts in a more effective and postive way.
CBT is often used for treating mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or eating or sleep disorders. Not every CBT patient will have a disorder though, as addressing your thoughts and learning to work though them in a healthy way can help almost anyone. CBT is often used together with medication, and should be used in consultation with a licensed professional and possibly a proscribing doctor.
Most CBT online therapy companies offer 3 main types of counseling: real-time chat, video chat, and phone chat. Some, like Online-therapy.com focus solely on offering the most specialized CBT packages around, while other providers offer many types of therapies, and even access to other physicians as well.
Email and text message counseling is popular with people who want to be able to think out their questions and write them out before asking. These tend to not be free-flowing conversations like with phone or video chats, but being able to write out what you want to say can be preferable. Typically these chats are done through your personal email to a special, secure email provided through the site, which can help safeguard your anonymity.
Video chat will require a reliable internet connection and will allow you to speak with a counselor face-to-face, if not in the same room. It’s intimate, personal, and allows you to establish a rapport that can be more difficult with the written word.
Real time chat puts you into a secure line and allows you to chat back and forth with a counselor in real time. Think of it like having your own personal, private chat room with a counselor who’s there to listen to what ails you.
When you sign up for an online therapy service, you’ll typically be asked to take a short quiz to determine which sorts of issues you’re dealing with, which can be used to help the service match you with a counselor who may specialize in your concerns. If you’re seeking out online counseling for your child, the quiz will ask you a lot of questions about what you think the child needs help with, before sending the child an invitation on your behalf.
The prices vary by company, but typically online CBT therapy services charge a monthly fee to use the service, and don't charge by minute or hour or text. For instance, BetterHelp, one of the bigger names in the industry, charges a flat fee of between $40-$70 per week, including all messaging, chats, phone, and video sessions.
These memberships tend to be quite flexible, and allow you to quit at any time. Most online counseling is not covered by insurance, so while it’s cheaper than in-person therapists, you will typically have to pay out of pocket.
Before you sign up for an online therapy service, do a little research. Take a look at how the company screens its counselors and if their certification checks out. You can also look at online testimonials by customers to get an idea about the quality of service.
You’ll want to decide which types of counseling you want—chat, video, or email—and if they’re available through the service. If you’re interested in using the service on your smartphone, see if the company has an app and if you’re allowed to have sessions with your counselor by chat on your phone.
In addition, check what type of security they provide and if your chats will be encrypted, and if you’ll have the ability to remain anonymous to your counselor. Look at the price also, and see if it fits your budget. In addition, see if you can quit the membership at any time, or if its binding.
BetterHelp is one of the largest providers of online therapy services, letting you get matched with a licensed professional therapist in less than 24 hours. You’ll be able to communicate with your therapist by phone, video call, live chat, or text messaging.
While the platform doesn’t take insurance, it does offer financial aid for patients with tighter budgets.
Why we chose BetterHelp: BetterHelp’s app and online platform are both user-friendly, giving you access to self-help worksheets on various topics, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and conflict resolution.
Our experience: BetterHelp reviews are positive and the service is reasonably priced. We like the fact that BetterHelp counselors each go through a rigorous vetting process.
ReGain offers convenient online relationship therapy for couples and individuals. Their service matches you with a licensed therapist specifically chosen to address your needs and goals. Its monthly subscription grants one live video or phone session per week, along with 24/7 access to an online therapist.
Why we chose ReGain: ReGain understands everyone’s situation is different and offers reduced fees to those with financial difficulties or disabilities.
Our experience: With ReGain, you can pick and choose your therapy appointments entirely around your schedule. This makes it a particularly convenient option if you are restricted in time.
Faithful Counseling is an online therapy platform that specializes in delivering clinical therapy that includes Christian teachings from the Bible. Its therapists are all licensed and certified within their field and submit declarations as to their beliefs to ensure they conform to the Faithful Counseling statement of faith.
The provider employs a sophisticated matching process to connect you with a therapist that specializes in both your mental health difficulties and your branch of Christianity. This means it’s a suitable platform if your faith is important to you and wish to include biblical teachings in your therapy. Its easy sign-up process, clear and appealing display, 24/7 messaging service, and simple functionality in terms of booking appointments make it easy for Christians who want faith-based counseling to try Faithful Counseling.
Why we chose Faithful Counseling: In-app journal