How To Choose the Right Online Therapist for Your Mental Health Needs

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How To Choose the Right Online Therapist for Your Mental Health Needs

Even the strongest person might experience mental health problems that necessitate them to seek help from a therapist. And contrary to the common misconception, seeking help from a therapist doesn’t mean that you’re weak. In fact, it means the complete opposite, showing that like any other person, there comes a time when you might need to go to a therapist. 

If you’re feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed and want to consult a therapist, you’ll be glad to know today it’s not a must you schedule a face-to-face therapy session. Instead, you can opt for online therapy, also referred to as teletherapy, and get mental healthcare from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. But with the concept fairly new, finding a suitable online therapist from SFGate can feel overwhelming. To help you out, here’s a guide on useful tips to consider when searching for the right online therapist. 

Check The Online Therapist’s Credentials 

When searching for an online therapist, you need to take extreme caution due to the high number of cheats pretending to be therapists. These persons don’t care about your mental health and wellbeing but are simply looking to swindle your hard-earned money. 

It’s best to do a comprehensive search of the online therapists you’re thinking to consult to avoid becoming a victim. You can do this by going over their social media pages, LinkedIn page, or any other source to validate their credentials. In addition, you can search teletherapy databases and platforms to find out whether the therapist’s credentials are legit. 

The important details to go over when checking the online therapist’s credentials include degree, certification, and licenses. Knowing these details will help you gauge the therapist’s skills, training, and experience. As a result, you’ll be able to tell whether they’ll provide you quality therapy sessions. You also shouldn’t overlook the online therapist’s disciplinary record when deciding if they’re the right pick.  

Get Recommendations 

You can also find a reliable online therapist by asking close family members and friends for recommendations. Thanks to this referral, you save yourself a lot of time that you would have otherwise spent looking for a suitable online therapist. You can also ask for a recommendation from your primary care doctor. 

However, you shouldn’t assume that just because a particular online therapist has been recommended by a friend, family member, or your doctor is an ideal fit. This is because people’s objectives and needs for getting the online therapy sessions are different. Instead, you should also do additional research or schedule an interview with the therapist to determine if they’re a perfect choice.    

Consider Your Preferences 

It’s important you feel comfortable talking to your online therapist. One way of making sure this is achieved is by choosing an online therapist who resonates with you. This makes it easier for you to open up to them as they’ll better relate to the issues you’re going through. There are various aspects you should consider to help you decide whether to go with a particular therapist, including; 

  • Age group 
  • Gender 
  • Religious affiliation 
  • Race 
  • Sexual orientation 

While choosing an online therapist with whom you share a similar identity isn’t directly connected to your mental health, it does make you feel a lot more comfortable. This increases the chances of developing a deeper therapeutic relationship as different characters have varying counseling needs. 

Figure Out Your Budget 

While online therapists typically charge less than in-person therapists, you should still consider how much they charge you to make sure they fall within your budget. You should also contact your insurance provider to determine whether they’ll pay for your online therapy sessions. This is because many times, most insurance companies only cover in-person therapy sessions to help you deal with mental issues. You should also confirm whether the online therapist accepts insurance. 

In your search for an online therapist, you should aim for affordability without compromising on the quality of their services. 

Know Your Availability  

The best thing about online therapy is that you can get counseling at the time of day that’s most convenient to you, and your physical location doesn’t matter. This is because these online therapy sessions mean you don’t need to drive for face-to-face therapy, with this great if you usually have a busy schedule.  In addition, you can schedule your online therapy sessions either during the evening hours or on weekends, depending on your availability. 

You should pick a suitable time to schedule a meeting with your online therapist. This should be when you’re in a private space with a stable internet connection to ensure you online therapy sessions are equally as effective and productive as traditional face-to-face sessions.