What is Online Counseling?
Counseling online is a subset of telehealth, and it can be referred to under a few different names: e-therapy, e-counseling, teletherapy, cyber-counseling, and others.
Patient-to-professional communication during an online counseling service is primarily rooted in the use of the internet. With a stable internet connection, patients can easily set an appointment and speak to a mental health counselor. Patients can engage with a professional through various methods, like video calls, text messaging, email, internet-enabled phone calls, or others. But no matter the process, all conversations are confidential, and service providers are often HIPAA compliant, meaning patient health data and privacy are fully protected by law.
Online counseling can also help address several specific mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, grief, bipolar disorder, and conflict in interpersonal relationships. Digital providers can host counselors specializing in specific treatments the same way that an in-person office can.
Teletherapy makes counseling more convenient and accessible since all that’s often needed is an internet connection. It’s grown more popular since the coronavirus pandemic, and its position as a viable treatment option has been solidified across the healthcare space.
How does TrueCare™’s Online Counseling Work?
TrueCare™ has a nationwide network available to connect you with the online counseling services you need.
Setting up online counseling through TrueCare™ works much in the same way that is setting up an online appointment works. A brief series of intake questions let us know what you’re seeking treatment for and how you’d like to receive it.
After your scheduling intake, we connect you with a professional based on your selected criteria. Your journey toward healing and more significant mental health can begin once you’re connected with a counselor for your first online counseling service.
With a few clicks, you can use TrueCare™ to schedule counseling around your areas of need, your schedule, and your preferred communication method.
Why should you consider TrueCare™ for Online Counseling Services?
We only work with reliable, experienced providers. So patients that seek online counseling can be sure that they’ll be speaking with a highly qualified professional.
We know that deciding to seek help while managing a mental health challenge can be a difficult first step on the road to healing. Our goal at TrueCare24 is to make the second step — seeking out a professional for counseling — as seamless as possible. We want our users to overcome their mental health challenges and enjoy life to the fullest, so we designed our platform with you in mind. We also deeply value the care providers in our network and work to ensure that they have opportunities to advance their skills and grow their careers.
Online Counseling Techniques
Counseling online can be elementary, and we offer video chat services that streamline the process:
Video calls are top-rated options because they allow for real-time communication and person-to-person connection since the patient and counselor can see one another (although having the cameras on for both parties is not mandatory.) Calls can be facilitated via mobile phone or laptop. There are also options to receive family counseling online and couples therapy and group sessions.
Is Online Counseling Effective?
Online counseling has proven to be very effective! Many studies have found it just as successful as in-person treatments and far more convenient for patients.
Some studies have shown that remote therapy can be even more beneficial than face-to-face counseling. A 2020 meta-analysis published in clinical medicine concluded that online cognitive behavioral therapy was more effective in reducing the severity of depression in patients than its in-person counterpart. Other studies have shown that online counseling drives more excellent patient results when treating panic attacks and anxiety disorders. And since these services are cheaper than traditional therapy sessions, they’re more accessible to a wider net of patients.
Online treatments around cognitive-behavioral therapy have been particularly effective in adults. Professionals in the mental health space say that treating children and adolescents in this manner can be successful, but sometimes in-person counseling is still the best course.
However, patients overall experience equal — if not more significant — results and satisfaction using online counseling services for their cognitive-behavioral needs. Patients and doctors should always choose the best method for those seeking treatment. But when an online option is available, it has been proven to be exceptionally reliable and favorable for a wide range of reasons.
Pros and Cons of Online Therapy
Online counseling is very effective, but it is not a perfect system. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of this 21st-century system.
- Getting an appointment is very fast. It’s possible to get a meeting same-day in some instances.
- It’s convenient and private. Patients can get counseling from the comfort of their home, which can be especially helpful if they feel most comfortable at home or if they live in a rural area. They also don’t need to worry about seeing someone they recognize at the therapist’s office.
- Online counseling can be less expensive than in-person services.
- Many insurers now cover online counseling services, so there may be little no to out-of-pocket costs.
- A certain level of human-to-human connection is lost when receiving counseling online.
- You need an internet connection, and connections can be spotty or drop altogether.
- Some services may pair you with a different counselor each time you want to speak with someone. In some instances, this can be ok, but in others, it’s nice to build a rapport with someone and have ongoing conversations over multiple sessions.
FAQs on Online Counseling
Today, many insurers cover online counseling services; however, this can vary from carrier to carrier and state to state. Some carriers are required by state law to cover these kinds of telehealth services, while others are not. We will help verify your eligibility as part of your initial counseling intake to determine what your insurance plan will cover.
There are many things to consider before your first session. Also, think about what you want to treat and the method of communication that might serve you best. Also, ensure your internet connection can support an online therapy session and that you have a space free of distraction to feel comfortable opening up.
Online counseling is regulated in the same way that in-person services are provided. It means all communications and information you provide will be completely confidential.
Only if they are a psychiatric service provider because only licensed psychiatrists can prescribe psychiatric medication; while there are online counselors that can prescribe medication, many are not able to define it. Still, they can refer you to an appropriate counselor if they determine your case may be best addressed by including medication.
Yes, you can stop or pause your counseling services, either through the platform hosting the patient-to-professional connection or with your counselor directly.