Telephone Counseling Therapy: What Should You Know And Who Is It Good For?
If you’ve been putting off taking care of your mental health needs because you don’t have time to make an appointment, let alone to visit a counselor’s office, there are still alternatives to take care of these important needs. There are numerous remote therapy modalities, including therapy via phone, video chat, or text messaging.
Below, we’ll look at how free and subscription-based phone counseling services are closing the therapy gap for people looking for convenient, affordable therapy.
What Is Distance Therapy?
Distance therapy is a type of therapy that involves virtual or remote contact. Phone counseling is one form of distance therapy. Other forms of distance therapy include audio sessions via a therapy platform, SMS messaging, and video chat.
This makes scheduling phone therapy sessions simple for clients who keep odd hours or who work nontraditional shifts.
Phone therapists intend for telephone therapy services to act as non-emergency services only. People who are experiencing dangerous situations, having suicidal thoughts,* or facing other forms of imminent harm should contact their local authorities or visit their local emergency room to get immediate support.
If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for help immediately. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline can be reached at 988 and is available 24/7.
Subscription-Based Phone Counseling And Therapy
One option for getting telephone counseling is to use a subscription-based online therapy service. You may have already heard of popular online therapy services like BetterHelp and Regain.
The fees charged for subscription-based remote therapy tend to be substantially lower than the fees for traditional in-office therapy sessions. For example, in the United States, in-office therapy sessions typically range from $65 an hour to $200 an hour. The rate is generally on the higher end of the spectrum for specialized sessions or in cities and states with high costs of living.
Remote therapy sessions tend to cost substantially less than in-office therapy sessions and range from $35 a week to $99 a week.
When it comes to online therapy, the time savings are clear, as you don’t have to travel to appointments. You can also save on gas and other expenses that relate to an in-office therapy commute.
Who Is Distance Therapy Good For?
People experiencing all kinds of challenges or mental health conditions can benefit from distance therapy. Let's explore a few of the groups who might reap particular benefits from participating in distance therapy.
Individuals Needing Support
People who are experiencing mental health concerns or relationship questions often reach out to free or subscription-based counseling services to get support. Oftentimes, people are just looking for another point of view or contact with another person to reassure them they can resolve the challenges they are facing.
Some people use free phone counseling and subscription-based therapy to gain insights into personal behaviors and relationships and to learn about other support options and services that they can use to mitigate their mental health concerns.
Also, people who are experiencing anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other chronic mental health conditions often reach out for phone support during times of crisis, confusion, or overwhelm to get advice or reminders on how to regain their composure in between therapy sessions or other medical appointments.
Dating And Married Couples
Couples can contact therapists via phone to have sessions that help them keep their lives and their relationships on track. Today’s couples don’t have to leave home to learn how to cope with the stress of heated arguments or financial disagreements or to learn better communication skills. Research shows that couples therapy delivered remotely is just as effective as in-person couples therapy. Thanks to distance therapy options like telephone therapy, couples can get support from the comfort of their own homes for solving everyday life and relationship challenges.
Families In Distress
Families can now log in or call into online therapy platforms and gain professional advice and insight into family concerns. Families can now call in using conference-based audio or video systems to connect with relatives across the country and family conflict in a healthy way.
Try Phone Therapy
If you’re interested in trying therapy but are nervous about going to a therapy practice, you might try remote therapy, which research has shown is just as effective as in-person therapy. With a service like Regain, you can connect with a licensed therapist via phone or video chat at a time the works for your schedule. You can also contact your therapist with questions or concerns via in-app messaging, and they’ll get back to you as soon as they can.
“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”
“Dr. Bown has made significant impact in our lives … She is always giving honest advice and we feel she genuinely cares about our family. She is a valued treasure that we are grateful for in our lives :)”
Whatever mental health or relationship concerns you’re facing, you are not alone. With Regain, you can be matched with a therapist experienced in whatever you’re going through, and you can connect with them via phone or video chat from the comfort of your own home. Take the first step and contact Regain today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can Telephone Counseling Help Your Mental Health?
Speaking with a licensed therapist can help maintain your mental health. Healthcare doesn’t necessarily offer many options for affordable therapy. However, telephone counseling can be an effective way to receive treatment for many conditions, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more.
Telephone counseling can help with your mental health because it’s an easy way to see a therapist without actually “seeing” them. It’s flexible, and you can build it around your busy schedule. You can speak with a telephone counselor from your home or on a work break. The counselor will be on the other side of the phone listening to you, and knowing that someone is listening and cares can help your mental health.
Is Telephone Counseling Effective?
According to the American Psychological Association, studies show that telephone counseling can significantly improve people’s health, specifically their mental health. One of the reasons that telephone therapy is effective is that some services offer unlimited messaging; you can communicate with a counselor on the phone at scheduled times, but you can contact them in between sessions, too. Unlimited messaging can be an incredible resource because it can enhance your connection with the therapist and allow you to express yourself at any time.
How Do You Know When You Need To Talk To A Therapist?
One of the signs that you may need to talk to an online therapist is that your emotional state impacts your quality of life and you can’t function optimally. It could be that you’re experiencing a mental health condition like anxiety or are having symptoms like panic attacks, or it could only be that there are life challenges that you can’t seem to work through yourself.
Talking to a telephone counselor can help you navigate through any challenges that arise in your life. You don’t have to go through the difficult times alone. Also, you don’t need to be in a crisis to receive counseling. Sometimes, it could be that you want to vent. If you need someone to vent to, a telephone counselor may be an effective outlet. If you’re interested in seeing a professional remotely, it doesn’t necessarily have to be on the phone. There are many forms of remote therapy you can receive, including online therapy and text messaging.
What Can Telephone Counseling Help You With?
You can talk to a telephone counselor about relationships, depression, anxiety, trauma history, ways to cope with executive functioning problems, stressors at work or school, parenting struggles, and more. You can use your counseling sessions for whatever you need; it all depends on you and what you’d like to accomplish.
How Many Sessions Of Telephone Counseling Do You Need?
According to a study from the APA, four sessions of telephone counseling may be enough to help people. However, as with with any therapeutic relationship, you can decide how long you want to be in counseling, depending on your needs.
Contact a ReGain professional to learn how to get started with affordable telephone counseling services or online therapy options.
Is Therapy Over The Phone Effective?
While therapy over the phone may not be for people who find themselves in emergencies, it can be a great way to have therapy delivered to wherever you are. Just like in traditional therapy, phone therapy is conducted by licensed therapists. These therapists are licensed to provide therapy in general and often receive extra and ongoing training in order to offer therapy over the phone.
While face-to-face therapy may seem like the most trusted way to receive psychotherapy, phone therapy is becoming more and more popular. People realize that phone therapy works for their busy lives and allows them the time and resources to continue seeing the best therapist for them, despite distance and time constraints.
Can You Do Therapy Over The Phone?
Yes. Just like normal therapy, phone therapy is mostly based on talking to licensed therapists about your mental health or relationship concerns. You can call your therapist from anywhere in the world and complete your sessions over the phone. This can be a useful option for people who live far from their preferred therapist or for people seeking couples therapy when both they and their partner have a busy schedule.
Also, therapy over the phone doesn’t necessarily have to involve talking exclusively. There are also a lot of options for text therapy. One option is therapy that includes unlimited messaging; you can communicate with your therapist via text message. Unlike traditional therapy, unlimited messaging therapy allows your communication to be written and reviewable. Unlimited messaged therapy may be great for people who feel shy when they speak and who may be more comfortable writing out their feelings and ideas.
What Is The Best Therapy?
The best therapy for any given situation is largely based on the individual’s needs and specific circumstances. However, one of the best types of therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This is one of the most widely used and most deeply researched forms of psychotherapy. This type of therapy usually involves understanding the patient’s thought processes and decision-making models in order to promote better behavior. CBT seeks to draw connections between the patient’s thought process and actions in order to help them identify and solve problems in their life.
Does Insurance Cover Phone Therapy?
While many insurance companies don’t cover therapy, it’s best to check with your insurer. Also, you’ll likely have to ask specifically about phone therapy. Some insurance providers may require that distance therapy has a video element, so a simple phone call may not suffice. If your insurance company does not cover therapy, ask if there are any discounts available for seeing certain therapists. Finally, you might check with your employer to see if any wellness programs cover any therapy costs.
How Do You Get Therapy If You Can’t Afford It?
If you find yourself in a place seeking therapy with a limited budget, there are a couple of ways that you can get help even if you can’t afford it. The first step is to check with your insurance provider. If you have therapy coverage, your provider can give you a list of therapists who are covered by their plan, and you might end up paying only a small co-pay.
If your insurance plan doesn’t cover therapy, check to see if the plan covers services provided by social workers, and then check with local social services to see what therapy services are provided. Also, community mental health centers may be an option to find local social services.
You can also check out training clinics, which sometimes use a sliding scale model to charge for services. This means that if you have a low income, you may pay a lot less for therapy. Even though you’ll be working with a therapist-in-training, these training clinics are usually regulated and overseen by professionals in the field.
You can also attend support groups or seek help from a religious leader. The leaders of these support groups and many religious leaders undergo professional training in counseling and offer these services for free. To complement this, you can try checking out self-help books and podcasts about mental health. These resources can provide valuable insight about mental health so that you can take steps toward improving your mental health without spending a dime.
Does Online Therapy Really Work?
Online therapy can be useful for both individuals and couples, especially if you live in an area where it may be difficult to find a licensed therapist located near you.
Online therapy tends to work well for people who have a stable internet connection but may not have reliable transportation or time in their busy schedule to go out and do face-to-face therapy regularly. They can simply log in and meet with their online therapist from wherever they happen to be. This can also allow them to work with the best therapist for them, despite any distance between them.
Many people have reported that online therapy helped them during a difficult time. Online therapy can be an effective way to get therapy for depression or anxiety because the client doesn’t have to leave home when they’re not feeling well. Also, many people might consider choosing online therapy for couples therapy since it allows for flexibility when it comes to working sessions into two people’s busy schedules.
Online therapy doesn’t necessarily involve talking to a therapist over the phone or video chat. It can also be via text messaging. You can communicate with the therapist via a messaging app. Unlimited messaging therapy may be especially useful for people who are experiencing ongoing challenges that may require support from a therapist at any time of day or night.
How Do I Prepare For A Therapy Session?
If you’re preparing for your first therapy session, whether it’s online, in person, or over the phone, there are a few things you can do to prepare. First, you might do some research in order to choose a therapist who suits your mental health or relationship needs. You can read about therapists and see what types of therapy they practice, in addition to reading online reviews from other clients.
Next, you can define your goals for therapy. When doing so, you might try to make your goals specific and achievable. If you’ve been in therapy before, you can also make notes of what worked well (and what didn’t) with your last therapist.
You might also establish a little bit of communication with your therapist, like a brief phone call or short email exchange, before you have your first session. This may take a bit of the edge off of your first meeting and help to break the ice a bit.
You can also make a list of what you’d like to talk about in the first session, along with any questions you may have for the therapist. This may help keep things flowing and relieve any pressure you may feel to “fill the time.” Lastly, you can get in the habit of respecting the time of the session. This means turning off your phone, letting people know that you’ll be out of touch during that time, and devoting your attention to the session.
Is Online Therapy Cheaper?
One of the main reasons that many people are choosing online therapy is because it is usually less expensive than face-to-face therapy. Even in cases where online therapy isn’t much cheaper than in-person therapy in terms of cost per session, you can save money by meeting with your therapist online. This is because you don’t have to spend the time and resources to travel to your therapist’s office.
What Are The Four Types Of Talk Therapy?
Talk therapy, also called psychotherapy, can fall into four types:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This type of talk therapy often involves working toward goals while assessing the client’s problem-solving and decision-making processes. The aim is to alter the way that people see or think about certain situations in order to also change their reactions and behaviors in response to those situations.
Dialectic behavior therapy (DBT): This type of psychotherapy also focuses on changing negative thinking patterns in order to create changes in the client’s behavior in the long term.
Psychodynamic therapy: Psychodynamic therapy include insight-oriented therapies, which tend to look at unconscious brain activity as the cause of a person’s actions. One of the goals is to boost the person’s self-awareness and help them understand the influence of their past on their present.
Humanistic therapies: Humanistic therapies tend to focus on helping an individual become their true self so that they can lead the best version of their life. The driving idea is that each person has their own unique perspective, and this view is the biggest factor when it comes to processing thoughts and feelings. According to this approach, it’s also the basis by which people act and make decisions.
Can You Get Counseling For Free?
If you’re looking for free counseling, you might check with a local community center. Many of these centers have mental health professionals on staff. While you may not be able to get free one-on-one therapy, you will likely be able to join a support group or mental health class for free. Also, other resources, like books or podcasts on mental health, can be great ways to get more information and learn new skills for maintaining your mental health.
Finally, if you need crisis counseling, you can always contact one of the following services:
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 (and press 1) or text 838255. For support for the deaf and hard of hearing community, please use your preferred relay service, or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255.
Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQ Lifeline): (866)488-7386
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