The Rapid Rise Of Online Therapy:

We recently created and uploaded an infographic on depression for Mindcology readers. One of the most shocking facts that we found was that nearly sixty-five percent of sufferers of severe depression never sought help. We later found more statistics on other conditions such as half of bipolar sufferers do not seek treatment or have a proper diagnosis. We can only imagine how many additional days, months or years that they may have spent suffering unnecessarily with depression or other conditions by not seeking help.

It’s an interesting dilemma as to why someone with depression or similar issues might not seek help. It’s possible that these reasons include the stigma that goes along with therapy or the cost. It’s understandable that many people don’t want to spend thousands of dollars a month on therapy, take medications that often come with harsh side-effects, or feel stigmatized as ‘crazy.’

Enter An Alternative Solution: Online Therapy

Thanks to the fact we live in the 21st century, we have alternatives to going to standard run-of-the-mill therapy. Technology changes have allowed online therapy companies to emerge and provide a valuable service to the mental health community. One such company is BetterHelp, which offers online therapy services for about the cost of your daily coffee. Services start at 35 dollars a week and give patients the ability to have daily conversations with their licensed therapist via chat, text or video call. The second most popular online therapy service is Talkspace, which operates and functions in a very similar fashion to BetterHelp.

Chat Example (BetterHelp)
Video Chat Example (BetterHelp)

BetterHelp, besides being more affordable, has many advantages over run-of-the-mill therapy. BetterHelp is a credible leader in online therapy with over 2,000 licensed therapists from around the world. The company also has standard confidentially practices in which the therapist must abide by. You get daily check-ins with your therapist, which work wonders for keeping you on track. Compared to traditional therapy, where you schedule once a week or biweekly to speak with your therapist, online therapy allows you to have daily contact with your therapist. You also get to be in control of your environment by being in the comfort of your own home. You have complete anonymity, and there are no worries about someone seeing you at the therapist’s office or judging you for seeking help.

From BetterHelp messaging service F.A.Q, “You can exchange messages with your counselor at any time, from anywhere, using any Internet-connected device. The room is open 24/7 and since messaging is not in real-time it doesn’t require scheduling. Instead, you can choose whenever you want to write or respond to your counselor. You will get a notification by email when the counselor has sent you a message.”. 

In addition to the fact that online therapy gives you more frequent contact with your therapist, there are also additional benefits. Location independence may be a significant benefit for many people who are seeking therapy services. This independence allows for patients to remain anonymous, schedule their therapy around their time and essentially have a ‘therapist-in-your-pocket.’ Maybe you only have a few minutes on your lunch break to respond to your therapist, well, with online therapy that works perfectly.

Cost is also a big difference with most online therapy services ranging from $35 to $65 dollars a week. In most cases, standard therapy can cost anywhere between $75 and $150 dollars per session. If you schedule one to two sessions of traditional therapy a week, you can look at a cost of $600 to $1200 a month. However, with online therapy, the total monthly cost range is generally between $150 and $250 a month.

Possible Benefits Of Online Therapy:
-Frequency Of Contact
-Licensed Therapist
-Convenience, No Offices
-Anonymity (no one will recognize you at the office)

Possible Cons Of Online Therapy: 
-Less intimate setting with therapist
-Some people do better with face-to-face contact

Is Your Mental Well Being Worth It?

With affordable solutions such as BetterHelp or TalkSpace’s online therapy, it’s important to ask yourself if your mental well being is worth the investment. Many of us spend hundreds of dollars a month on gym memberships, on coffee or movie rentals, but what about our mental health? If you are unhappy or struggling with mental health, then everything you experience in life suffers. These types of issues can damage relationships, zap the joy out of the things that you do, cause you to lose motivation and make life much harder than it needs to be. When your mental health improves, everything in life improves with it.

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