Counseling has looked different for most of us over the last couple of months. It may take a little getting used to but you do not have to sit across from your therapist in office for therapy to be effective for you. In fact there are many benefits to online therapy vs. in-person therapy.
What are they?
- Time Savings: No time spent driving to and from your appointment.
- Online therapy is effective: Studies have shown on-line therapy to be consistently beneficial.
- Accessibility: You can access excellent therapists no matter how remote your location
- Specialist: With online choices, it is easier to find a counselor who specializes in what you need.
- Comfort: Therapy in the comfort of your own home.
So now that you know some of the benefits of online counseling, how do you find the counselor who is best for you?
Well, just like many of the benefits of counseling are the same, whether in-person or online, how you choose your therapist should be the same.
Your relationship with your therapist is the most important factor in the success of your therapy. Choose wisely and choose well.
Tip #1: Do a thorough search.
1. Begin your search just as you would if you were looking to see someone in person. Don’t just look on online directories. That can be a good place to start, but dig a little deeper. Visit the individual therapist’s website to learn more about her. What type of therapy does she provide? Specialties? What are her credentials? Is she licensed?
Tip #2: Talk on the phone.
2. Ask for a phone consultation. As I stated earlier, your relationship with your therapist is the biggest factor affecting the outcome of your therapy. That being the case, don’t you want to have a conversation with that person before hiring her? Ask yourself, how do I feel as I am talking to her? Is this someone I want to listen to and work with? Do I like her demeanor?
Tip #3: Find a specialist.
3. What reason are you seeking counseling? Are you tired of wresting with your anxiety? Look for a counselor who specializes in anxiety. Ask what type of therapy she uses to treat anxiety. Is that what you are looking for? It is impossible to be the best therapist for ever person and every issue. Just like you would not go to a pediatrician for heart surgery, you do not want a therapist who specializes in marriage and family counseling, if you are looking for help with anxiety.
Tip #4: Ask friends and family.
4. There is no one therapist who is best for everyone, but it does not hurt to ask your trusted friends and family if they know of any excellent counselors. Then take these recommendations and look for the therapist online. Does she offer online or distance counseling? If so, does she provide the specialty you are looking for? Schedule a phone consultation.
Tip #5: Broaden your search.
5. Especially if you live in a small town or rural area, you should expand your search. One of the best aspects of on-line or distance therapy is that you have access to licensed counselors across your entire state, not just your immediate area. Take advantage of this. Before distance counseling, your choices of counselors might have been very limited, making it difficult to find the best counselor for you. Maybe your were friends with the only counselor nearby or the counselors available to you did not work in the specialty you needed. Now you can find the counselor who is the perfect fit for you.
You do not have to continue to suffer in silence. Online counseling can offer you the help you need. If you have any questions about online counseling or counseling in general, please reach out. I’m am happy to help.