Online Counseling in Texas
Until recently, traditional, in-office counseling in Texas was the only psychotherapy option available.
Psychotherapy in a traditional setting would involve finding a therapist, scheduling your sessions, and traveling to your therapist’s office for every appointment.
However, the expansion of modern technologies has changed the approach to counseling, making it more accessible and convenient for people from all walks of life.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our lifestyle has gone through several changes in the last two years, with an increasing number of people choosing online counseling over traditional, in-person therapy.
What is Online Therapy?
Online counseling, also known as online therapy, e-counseling, e-therapy, or teletherapy, involves providing online mental health services in real-time or a time-delayed format.
Online psychotherapy services can be offered through:
- Online chat
- Video calls
- Video conferencing
- Text messaging
- Internet phone calls
To provide mental health counseling and psychotherapy over the internet, therapists in Texas typically use the following tools:
- Mobile device apps
- Laptop/desktop computer
- Text-based chats
- Messaging in real-time
- Video conferencing tools
Why Choose Online Counseling in Texas?
Online counseling in Texas areas is a time-saving and convenient therapy option, accessible from your computer or phone at any place and any given time.
Some of the most common benefits of online counseling include its accessibility, the cost, and the range of services provided.
The Convenience of E-Counseling
Online therapy can be a perfect answer to your busy daily schedule. However, long working hours, commuting, and child-care challenges are common reasons people avoid office-based counseling.
Online therapy can be a great option if your busy schedule causes you to struggle fitting in-person counseling appointments and staying committed to your treatment.
With online counseling, there is no need to commute or leave the office early to get on time for your session. Also, online counseling can be as easy as sending a text message or making a phone call, so you don’t have to schedule an appointment at all.
Another benefit of online therapy involves a range of communication choices. Namely, in e-counseling, you can address your issues in real-time (video calls, live chat) or in a time-delayed format (emails), whatever works for you better.
Online Therapy Provides an Easy Access and Support
One of the significant benefits of online counseling in Fort Worth Texas is continual support from a therapist.
Online therapy allows frequent communication with your therapist. That is, many online counselors provide unlimited texting services, allowing you to get help whenever you need it.
This is particularly beneficial for people who need frequent support. For example, unlimited messaging therapy can be helpful when you are experiencing the severe symptoms of situational anxiety.
Another benefit of online therapy is that you don’t have to make any pre-arrangements. You can usually start online counseling straight away, especially if it doesn’t require health insurance.
Online Counseling Overcomes Geographical Barriers to Therapy
Online counseling allows you to get support from a qualified therapist regardless of your location, enabling you to find a therapist who is a good fit. It can also be an excellent choice for people with mobility issues or who live in distant or rural areas where getting mental health services can be very difficult.
Online Counseling Provides Privacy
Online therapy provides complete privacy without the risk of running into someone you know at your therapist’s downtown office. It also allows you to schedule your online sessions from home when your kids are at school, and there is no one around.
Also, some people feel more comfortable opening up in an online counseling session than during an in-person contact with a therapist.
Reasons to Seek Online Counseling in Texas
Online counseling covers a wide array of mental health conditions such as:
- Stress management
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorders
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Eating disorders
- Relationship problems
- Anger management
- Gender identity
- LGBTQ challenges
- Trauma rehabilitation
Here are some of the most common reasons people seek online counseling in Fort Worth Texas.
- Stress Management Issues
We are naturally equipped with a capacity to manage stress. However, if the pressure is excessive or long-lasting, our stress coping mechanisms may become insufficient.
Accumulated stress may lead to burnout, causing various mental health problems and relationship issues.
It might be the right time to seek online counseling if you experience fatigue, irritability, or a lack of interest in activities you usually enjoy.
An online therapist can help you identify the main stressors in your life, recognize the unproductive behavior patterns, and replace them with positive stress management strategies.
- Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders globally today. However, it is also a condition that can be treated with a high rate of success.
Sometimes our ability to manage everyday stressors and stay emotionally fit becomes severely challenged. Also, you may struggle with self-criticism and negative thinking patterns that trigger anxiety and prevent you from living a fulfilling life.
Online counseling can help you recognize and acknowledge your negative thinking patterns and cognitive biases that generate a significant amount of distress and provoke anxiety.
Once you acknowledge your anxiety triggers, you can develop and nurture practical coping skills and develop behavior modifications to replace negative thinking patterns and interactions with more positive ones.
Also, lasting feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or guilt are often signs of depression. Online therapy can help you recognize your depression symptoms, understand what causes them, and develop more successful coping strategies.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy has proven to be particularly effective in treating anxiety disorders and depression.
- Substance Abuse
People sometimes use unproductive or even harmful strategies to manage stress and life challenges. For example, suppose you use alcohol or substances to cope. In that case, this is a sign that you might benefit from seeing an online therapist.
- Relationship Issues
Online couples counseling is one of the most sought forms of e-therapy. Many couples seek online therapy to resolve communication issues or rekindle closeness and intimacy. Your couples counselor can help you identify negative communication patterns and develop positive communication skills such as active listening, reflecting assertiveness, and openness.
Additionally, if you have recently gone through a breakup, online therapy can help you acknowledge your feelings and find constructive ways to cope with the situation and heal.
- A Major Life Crisis or Trauma
When your coping capacity is beaten by the intensity of the disturbing experience, such as a sudden loss or a traumatic event, therapy may be the right place to start working through your experience.
Support from an online therapist may be essential in preventing post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health complications.
Myths about Online Counseling
Most people have a good understanding of what online therapy involves. However, several myths around e-counseling may prevent you from getting much-needed help and support.
Below are some of the most common myths about online counseling.
- Online Counseling is Not as Effective as In-Person Therapy
One of the most common prejudices you can hear is that online counseling does not work. This is not true, however. Online therapy can be as successful as in-office therapy; the only difference is that e-therapy happens through the internet.
Research shows that the frequency of therapy dropouts is higher in traditional than in online psychotherapy, especially at the beginning of the treatment. One survey showed that phone cognitive-behavioral therapy of 225 adults diagnosed with depression reduced dropout from the 18-week long treatment.
For some people, online counseling works better than in-office therapy because it allows them to get support anywhere, anytime. In addition, e-therapy gives you access to a more extensive selection of psychotherapists, allowing you to find a therapist who is a good fit.
Your therapist will regularly assess the success of your online sessions and discuss the progress you are making. So, if you are willing to work on your problems with a qualified counselor, there is no reason why your online therapy wouldn’t be as efficient as in-office therapy.
- Online Therapy Sessions are Not Secure
Online counseling can be as secure as traditional therapy. You will discuss confidentiality and security matters before you begin your online therapy sessions in Fort Worth Texas. During your intake session, you will agree on terms and conditions with your therapist.
Online sessions are run from your home or another private place and not from public places. Also, your therapist will most likely advise you to avoid using public networks such as those from libraries, coffee shops, and other public places.
- Online Therapists are Not as Skilled as Traditional Therapists
Becoming an online therapist takes the same training as becoming a traditional therapist. However, just as counselors in traditional counseling can have a variety of credentials and qualifications, online therapists also have different skills and training.
They need to follow the American Psychological Association’s (APA) ethical guidelines for online therapy. For example, online therapists must stay up-to-date with the best practice and the latest research in their field. Also, they should only provide services for conditions they are trained to treat.
Finally, online therapists need to have a good understanding of technology and tools to deliver online counseling.
Drawbacks of Online Therapy
One of the significant disadvantages of e-counseling is its limited scope when it comes to more complex mental health disorders. Online therapy may not be the best option for people who are diagnosed with serious psychiatric illnesses and addiction. For example, if you have symptoms of severe depression, in-person intervention should be the most appropriate treatment plan.
In addition, a lack of non-verbal communication in online therapy can be limiting, as your therapist cannot see your facial expressions or body language while using texts or email. However, non-verbal signals are often precious for a therapist to get a better picture of your thoughts and feelings.
Online counseling has made mental health support available to a greater number of people worldwide. While some people prefer traditional in-office psychotherapy, others may feel more comfortable undergoing counseling in a virtual setting. Younger generations and people who feel comfortable with technology more often opt for online counseling.
Also, the ongoing health crisis, stay-at-home orders, and social isolation have increased the number of people with mental health concerns and motivated those in need to seek psychotherapy online.
Some people argue that online counseling is not as effective as traditional psychotherapy because it lacks “real-life,” face-to-face contact. However, if you are motivated for psychotherapy and committed to change, there is no reason why online counseling would not work.
E-therapy is cost and time-effective, allowing you to schedule sessions from your home or any other place at any time.
While online therapy can help with various mental health conditions, it is not the most suitable option if you have a complex condition requiring in-office or institutional treatment. If you suffer from severe mental health symptoms, please talk to your health provider to consider the best therapy options.