The Benefits of Free Online Therapy
Therapy isn’t taboo anymore. In fact, if you don’t have a therapist, you might sometimes be the odd one out in the room.
Therapy has proven to effectively treat various conditions and situations, including anxiety, depression, phobias, eating disorders, substance abuse, and relationships. It frequently involves talking one-on-one with a trained counselor or professional. They may provide prompts to help you talk it out, or they may provide exercises or activities to help you cope with your condition or situation.
There are a ton of options when it comes to types of therapy. There’s cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, group therapy, psychodynamic therapy, play therapy, and much more. Usually the type of therapy depends on why you’re seeking out therapy in the first place.
In addition to all these branches of therapy, the counselling realm has also moved online. Online therapy has increased access to mental health services for individuals who otherwise might not have an opportunity for in-person sessions. In this article, we’ll explore everything online therapy has to offer. We’ll dive into its benefits, downside, free online therapy options, and more.
Why Online Therapy?
While online therapy doesn’t offer the connection associated with face-to-face contact, it does come with a load of benefits. It also helps many individuals cope with tough situations or issues. The following outlines the benefits associated with online therapy.
It Offers Therapy to Remote Areas
Many individuals live hours away from the closest town or city. This means that seeing a therapist in-person could take upwards of an entire day. It limits their access and their opportunity. However, online therapy makes mental health services more accessible to these individuals; it puts forth therapy as an option.
It’s Accessible to Individuals with Disabilities
Individuals who are housebound have an opportunity to see a therapist without any hassles or special requirements necessary to leave their home. Further, some individuals with mental health issues struggle to leave their house. This also gives them access to a therapist without compromising their own mental health in the process.
It’s Affordable and Convenient
If you’re traveling for work, you can still see your therapist, making it much more convenient than conventional therapy. There are also plenty of affordable online therapy options, especially when compared with in-person therapy. It also means you get to have your therapy session in the comfort of your own home, or even your sweats or pajamas.
You Can Often Message Your Therapist at Any Time
While they may not answer for a few hours, any current issue or struggle you are having doesn’t have to wait for an appointment that could be weeks away. Many online therapy platforms offer messaging as part of your plan or package. Frequently, your therapist may answer within a few hours or a day.
Understanding The Downsides
Online therapy sounds pretty great. However, like most great things, it does come with some disadvantages. These include:
Your Insurance Might Not Cover It
Some insurance companies won’t cover or recognize online therapy. As such, you may have to pay out of pocket.
There Might Be Some Concerns About Privacy
Technology doesn’t always work how we want it to work. With this in mind, privacy might be a concern when taking your therapy online. Most of the time this information is confidential, but most platforms can’t control or prevent a highly skilled hacker.
Online Therapy Isn’t Suitable For Some
Online therapy isn’t recommended for individuals with suicidal thoughts or for crisis situations. It’s also not an option for those who are diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses.
It May Lack the Same Connection as Face-to-Face Therapy
Since it’s online, it might be hard for your therapist to assess your body language and facial expression as easily as they could in person. It also may create a disconnect, causing you to lack connection with your therapist.
Free Online Therapy Platforms
The other good news is that some online therapy is free. Talk about affordable!
Most of these free options you can find simply through Google. The following are the options that we found:
BlahTherapy: BlahTherapy.com offers free online therapy by allowing you to vent and talk to a stranger. There is no sign-up or registration required. You just hop on and are able to talk it out with someone who is ready to listen. Like most free online therapy services, you can pay a fee to actually be matched with a counselor.
7cups: 7cups offers a similar service by connecting you with caring listeners who can offer the support you need. Again, you can pay to actually have sessions with a licensed therapist.
Huddle: If you have an iPhone, Huddle is a great app to download. It connects individuals with support systems in a shared space.
What’s Right For You?
Review the advantages and disadvantages above. Does online therapy sound like something that might work for you? If so, go for it.
Make sure you do your research beforehand. You’ll want to double-check credibility and ensure you’re paying for a licensed mental health professional. You can also compare prices, which may differ across various companies and platforms.
Feeling better and improving your mental health is only a click away!