Online Therapy Benefits With Licensed Therapists

Updated January 21, 2022
Medically Reviewed By: Nicole Gaines, LPC

Is Online Therapy Worth It?

Millions of people turn to a therapist to help them through tough times in life. 

An increasing number of people are seeing a counselor with online therapy. Virtual therapy allows you to access professional counselors virtually and has numerous advantages over in-person counseling.

Mental health help with online therapy with licensed professionals, that can be counselors, can have benefits in every aspect of your life. Reaching out can be difficult, but you are worth it. Get started today!

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These advantages include lower cost and the convenience of completing therapy from your own home.

Seeing a therapist is a research-backed and supported way to get care for various concerns, whether those concerns are related to life stress, relationships, or something else. According to the CDC, 9.5% of adults in the United States saw a provider such as a therapist for therapy in 2019.

However, just because someone chooses to undergo therapy does not automatically mean that online therapy will work for them. Just like in-person therapy, various elements of online therapy like what therapist you see and what therapeutic modalities are used matter.

If you decide to seek help via online therapy, here are some ways to ensure that you get the most out of your experience.

How to Get the Most Out Of Your Sessions With Your Virtual Therapist? Answer Questions Truthfully With Your Therapist in Virtual Counseling

When you search for a counselor in person, you might spend weeks or months looking for a counselor who specializes in the concern you’re there to address, making phone calls, and spending time on waiting lists. One of the best parts about connecting with a therapist through a platform like ReGain virtually is that you get to skip all of that. 

Instead of searching high and low for a counselor, the first step to getting a counselor through ReGain and many other online therapy platforms is to take a short questionnaire. During the questionnaire, you’ll answer questions like, “What are the benefits you're looking to achieve?” that will help you get matched with the right virtual counselor. 

Make sure that you answer honestly. No one in your personal life will know what you said - unless they’re next to you and are involved in the process, such as when you’re looking for a counselor as a couple and are discussing the questions together - but you’ll have a higher chance of finding the right therapeutic match. 

Help Online: Do You Need An Online Therapy Plan?

It’s often helpful to go into a therapy session with a virtual counselor to clarify what you would like to accomplish. If you keep a journal, try to write about any challenges you face that you would like to discuss with your virtual counselor.

If you do not have a journal, a simple list will do the trick. You can even use the notes app on your phone to jot down things to tell your therapist. In the week leading up to your first therapy appointment with your therapist, anytime something makes you feel a negative emotion, write it down. One of the advantages of online therapy over traditional therapy is that you can have these materials right before working with the therapist.

Going into the session with a clear idea of the things you want to work on means you and your therapist can focus on the important things and not waste any time simply trying to decide which areas of your life you want to discuss.

If you don’t necessarily have a plan, your virtual counselor can help you create one.

Virtual Help: Is it Important To Set Counseling Goals During Your Therapy Session Online?

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This is an elaboration of the first point. Beyond simply planning what you want to discuss with your virtual counselor, think about what you’d like to achieve in your time with your counselor. Knowing what you want to accomplish with your counselor, and communicating these things, will make your sessions with your counselor much more worthwhile.

Having an idea of your goals for online therapy ensures that the time you spend chatting with your virtual counselor will not be wasted. Plus, doing so before starting therapy can help you find the therapist that is the right fit for you. Take some time to think about how you want to feel and what would put you at greater ease in life, and then, relay what comes up to your counselor.

Taking some time to reflect before you see your virtual counselor is helpful not just at the beginning of the therapeutic process but throughout the therapeutic process. If you’re already seeing a counselor and haven’t set goals or don’t know what you want, know that it’s never too late to think about it and bring it up with your counselor.

Tips for Setting Goals in Virtual Therapy

  • Be realistic with your therapist.

  • Create specific goals in online therapy with virtual counselor.

  • Ensure your goals are about you.

  • Create a goal action plan in virtual therapy with therapist.

Many Options Available To Suit Your Needs: It's Important That You Do Not Settle With Your Therapist in Professional Help Online

Another advantage of online therapy is the amount of choice you have as a client. When working with a traditional in-person counselor, your choice is restricted by which counselors are practicing in your area. Finding a therapist who takes your insurance, among other factors, are another possible barrier. But, when you are working with a counselor virtually or over the internet, your amount of choice with your counselor is multiplied.

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The best online therapy services will have a wide variety of therapists who you can choose to work with. These therapists may have or be of various specialties, backgrounds, and genders. For many, having the right counselor is the most crucial part of getting a quality therapeutic experience. If there’s something specific you want in a counselor, it’s probably out there.

Finding the right therapist for you can be a lengthy process, but online therapy can make the process easier by providing you with a variety of counselors with different licenses and specialties to suit your needs. With ReGain, your online therapy plan will not start until you’re matched with a counselor.

If you are unsure where to start with finding a counselor, reach out to the virtual counseling platform’s customer service to help point you in the right direction. Perhaps you already know that you would prefer a therapist of a certain religion or a therapist of a specific race and ethnicity.

The best online counseling platform’s services will be able to match you to a counselor of your known preferences with open availability. When you use a platform like ReGain, you can get matched with a counselor quickly. When you first get started with a therapist, you can ask them any questions you have about how they work as a counselor, their education, and so on, which will help you feel more comfortable.

You deserve to get the help you need. You are worthy of being supported in the way you need to be, emotionally and mentally. Online therapy with licensed therapists is a great way to take that first step.

Some therapists in online therapy specialize in topics such as:

marriage therapy

mindfulness therapy

family therapy

psychodynamic therapy

narrative therapy

Some services, like ReGain, match you with a licensed counselor based on your wants and needs for counseling. That said, if you feel the counselor you get is not a good fit, you have the freedom to switch to a different therapist who you feel is better suited for you. We all have different personalities, and sometimes, what it comes down to is finding a therapist who meshes well with yours. When it comes to finding the right therapist, it’s okay to be picky. Do not settle for a therapist that you feel cannot help you accomplish your goals.

Your counselor won’t be offended if you have to switch to a new therapist or counselor. Counselors are aware that everyone has different needs. A counselor won’t take it personally, and they want you to succeed.

Online Therapy: I'm Ready For Therapy Virtually But How Do I Schedule Therapy Sessions Online for Therapy Online? 

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Some online therapy services will have you schedule a 30 minute or hour-long session with your therapist as you would for an in-person session. Others are 24-hour services, in which you have an ongoing dialogue with your therapist and can update your therapist on how you are feeling at any time of the day.

Often, therapy virtually will be a mix of both formats. You will schedule certain times to have a long talk with your therapist but can also contact your therapist at any time if something comes up. How much you use this feature to talk with your therapist is up to you.

Regardless of which form of online therapy you choose, it is important to prioritize time to work with your virtual counselor. Once you decide to work with a counselor, figure out when you can carve out some time to dedicate to your online therapy sessions in your day or week.

You may decide a certain day of the week is when you want to do one long update, or you may want to write a shorter message to your counselor every evening.

Whatever you choose, make the time you chat with your counselor your "me" time. If you live with other people, ask them not to bother you while you plan to chat with your counselor. This way, you can fully focus on your conversation with your counselor and make sure you can communicate everything on your mind during virtual counseling.

Of course, if you choose a 24-hour virtual counseling service, you can always send a quick message to your virtual counselor if there is something you feel you need to tell them immediately. But, it is also important to set aside some scheduled time to talk to them to get the most out of your online therapy experience. Use your best judgment, and don’t be afraid to talk with your counselor if you have any questions or concerns.

Online Therapy: It's Important to Be Realistic with Your Online Therapist in Online Therapy

What should you remember when setting goals or scheduling time for virtual counseling? First, be realistic about any time constraints you may be facing that limit your time with a counselor. While therapy virtually is far less time-consuming than traditional, in-person therapy in the sense that virtual counseling doesn’t require a commute, it is still important to commit yourself to dedicate the necessary time and energy towards your therapeutic efforts.

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Most people are very busy, and that is okay. If you only have thirty extra minutes in your week that you can devote to virtual counseling, that is perfectly fine, but you need to keep that in mind when setting goals for yourself and your therapy experience. This is part of why having a plan for therapy, whether virtually or face-to-face, matters. If you know what you want to talk about with your therapist, you won’t waste a second.

If you have major goals you want to accomplish, be realistic and realize that it may take a long time to get there if you only do a little bit of work a week. Sometimes, you won’t realize how much progress you’ve made while working with your therapist until some time passes. You might react to a situation differently one day or notice that you feel better about what you decided to see a virtual counselor for and think, “wow, I’ve come a long way!”

Remember that little things eventually add up to big things, and something is always better than nothing. But, be realistic about your time, and do not get discouraged if you feel that things are not moving along as quickly as you would like.

Honesty With Therapist in Virtual Therapy

Another way you can think about being realistic is, to be honest with yourself about the time you can commit to therapy and what you can expect to accomplish in that amount of time with your therapist. But, honesty is not only important when it comes to your goals or when answering questions. It’s vital to be honest throughout the entire therapeutic process.

When making your initial plan about what you want to work on with your therapist, you want to be honest about any struggles you face with your counselor. The best part about seeing a therapist is that it’s a safe place to be vulnerable. What you say to a virtual counselor will be kept confidential just as it would be with a counselor in person. When you see a therapist, there are laws in place that protect your confidentiality, and these laws are still relevant when you see a therapist virtually.

Therapists are trained professionals and will never judge you for anything you tell them. Rather, it is crucial to be honest with your therapist if you want to get the best possible outcomes from your experience. You’ll likely find that when you get the things you’re afraid to say to your therapist off of your chest, you’ll feel better. Therapy is a space where the client or clients are the focal point, so give yourself the chance to share. This is part of where the ability to message a therapist can be helpful. If it’s too hard to say out loud during a session with your therapist, message your therapist and let them know you want to talk about it later.

You should never feel embarrassed or ashamed about anything you need help with when talking with your therapist. Therapists chose their career path because they want to help people overcome challenges. If you keep things concealed from your therapist, you will not get the maximum benefit out of the time and financial investment that you make in online counseling.

Should You Always Follow The Guidance of your Therapist in Virtual Therapy?

Your therapist cannot force you to do anything. All a therapist can do is offer their opinion on your situation and give you suggestions on how you can work on things to feel better. Other than that, the power is in your hands. While a therapist can make suggestions, a therapist is not there to control you, nor does a therapist want to.

That being said, it is important to take the guidance of your therapist to heart. Some people feel better simply having someone to whom they can unload all of their worries, and for them, less outside work might be necessary. But, most people seek more from their therapy experiences virtually. Of course, if you don’t feel that certain guidance from a therapist is right for you, it’s okay to look at the situation objectively and decide not to take it. You can explain this to your therapist, and in most cases, you’ll be able to find common ground. Again, whether you see a therapist online or through other means, they can’t force you to do anything. Just make sure that you’re honest with yourself throughout the therapeutic process.

There’s a saying that goes, "it won't work unless you do." This applies to virtual counseling. If your counselor instructs you to do something or give you homework, such as writing in a journal, it is because those activities are crucial to your treatment and will have a positive impact on your life. A lot of people enjoy the homework provided to them by a counselor and find it incredibly advantageous, so it’s something to make time for. You can give a counselor feedback on your homework and other activities so that your therapist can get a feel for what works for you.

If you cannot do everything your therapist asks you due to time constraints, that is okay, but be sure to let your therapist know that you want to work on a new plan. Counseling is a collaborative process, and your therapist is there to work with you. Doing at least some of your therapist's work is key to getting the most out of the therapeutic experience.

Talking to Your Partner About Virtual Therapy

If you seek online therapy for personal problems and would like to keep the things between yourself and your therapist private, do not feel pressured to share these things with anyone else after you see your therapist. But, if your reasons for seeking counseling have to do with your relationship, it can be very beneficial to discuss what you talk about with your virtual counselor with your partner. If you feel you need to seek help from a counselor to work on your relationship, your partner must know this to improve the relationship.

In some cases, you may even choose to ask your partner to participate in counseling virtually with you or see a counselor as a couple. This way, the dialogue with the counselor becomes three-way.

Couples therapy can be a positive addition to a relationship and teach partners things about each other that they continue to benefit from long after they cease working with a counselor regularly. People in relationships see therapists for many of topics or concerns, and there’s no right or wrong reason to see a counselor.

Choosing to get the help you need can be difficult, but extremely worthwhile. You can improve your self-awareness with a personal mental health professional or work through issues with your partner in a therapeutic setting. Couples see a lot of benefits from counseling.

It could be you and your partner participating in marriage counseling, couples counseling, or using counseling over the internet for long-term relationship concerns. Not only married couples attend couples therapy. Whether you see an individual counselor for counseling or see a couples counselor for you and your partner, you can get enormous benefits from counseling.

Compassion Is Important During Therapy

What typically happens during counseling virtually? Whether you see a virtual counselor or not, people tend to uncover things about themselves in counseling that they had been trying to push away for a while. Or, talking to a counselor may simply lead you to realize things about yourself that you never realized before. Seeing a counselor can help you gain confidence, communication skills, and so much more.

Learning these things is extremely beneficial in the long run, but it is not always pleasant in the present moment. Counseling may force you to face things about yourself that you do not like. If this situation occurs, remember to be kind to yourself and ask your counselor for support if you need it. Your counselor can help you remind yourself that this is not “bad.” The therapeutic experience comes with growth, and that can be uncomfortable, but that does not make it negative.

Do not get angry with yourself or beat yourself up if you realize some negative traits in yourself. Remember to be compassionate and that you are doing it to improve yourself. It is natural to feel upset upon learning certain things about yourself but try to keep in mind that counseling virtually is a learning experience. By learning these things, you can improve yourself and feel happier in the long run. Seeing a counselor can be hard work, but it’s worth it.

Get started with a virtual counselor using ReGain today or read the virtual counselor review below for more information. If you have questions about seeing an online counselor, read the FAQ section on the ReGain website or contact us.

Reviews

“Shannon is very knowledgeable, and skilled in knowing how to use that knowledge to help others. She is also very compassionate and encouraging. I was skeptical about using a counseling service, but this experience has been incredible. I highly recommend Shannon to anyone who needs guidance or help through a difficult time in life. I gave her some enormous challenges, and nothing has been over her head. She has been a tremendous help to me.”



“I don’t know what I would have done without Harry. I was in a super low place and I was not sure what my problems were or how to solve them, but he was able to help me get to the bottom of my problems and work through them. Today I am happy and feeling like myself again. He was so easy to talk to and worked with me whenever I needed him. Even on vacation he took time to call me and talk through whatever I was going through. I would highly recommend him.”

Meet Some of Our Therapists

All Therapists Are Licensed & Experienced With 1,000 Hours of Hands-On Experience

Lindsay Burke - Therapist

LMFT, Lifecoach, Burke

Therapists Specialties: Relationship issues & marriage therapy, Family conflicts, Parenting issues, Career difficulties, Pride Counseling

Therapists Years of Experience

8

Eric Anderson - Therapist

LMFT,CSAT

Therapists Specialties: Addictions, Relationship issues & marriage therapy, Family conflicts, Trauma and abuse, Pride Counseling

Therapists Years of Experience

7

Lynn Salsbury - Therapist

LCSW,MSW (Licensed and Background-Checked) - Live chat, live video, online chat rooms, unlimited messaging therapy

Therapists Specialties: Stress, Anxiety, Relationship issues & marriage therapy, Self esteem, Depression, Coping with life changes using traditional therapy, Pride Counseling

Therapists Years of Experience

12

Doctor on-demand coverage that accepts insurance not needed; aka, you don't need health insurance.

Carla Noto-Vencill - Therapist

MA,LMFT - Live chat, phone and video sessions & video conferencing, online chat rooms, unlimited messaging therapy

Therapists Specialties: Stress, Anxiety, Addictions, Relationship issues, Family conflicts, Parenting issues

Therapists Years of Experience

29

Doctor on demand coverage that accepts insurance not needed.



Gina Found - Therapist

MA,LMFT - Live chat sessions, phone and video sessions & video conferencing

Therapists Specialties: Stress, Anxiety, Addictions, Relationship issues, Depression, Teen Counseling

Therapists Years of Experience

11

Doctor on demand coverage that accepts insurance not needed.



Sam Jenkins - Therapist

MSW,MFA,LCSW - Live chat, live sessions, phone calls, real time chat sessions

Therapists Specialties: LGBT, Intimacy-related issues, Self-esteem, Anxiety, Depression, Teen Counseling, Emotional Support, Peer Support

Years of Experience

25

Doctor on demand coverage that accepts insurance not needed to cover online therapy here.

Experience an easy sign up process with one of the best online therapy programs online.

Therapy Is Personal

Therapy is a personal experience, and not everyone will go into it seeking the same things. But, keeping these things in mind can ensure that you will get the most out of virtual counseling, regardless of your specific goals.

ReGain specializes in therapy virtually to help address all types of mental health concerns. If you're interested in individual therapy, please reach out to contact@regain.us. For more information about BetterHelp as a company, please find us on:

Pinterest
Linkedin
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
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If you need a crisis hotline or want to learn more about online therapy, please see below:

RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) - 1-800-656-4673
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255
National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-7233
NAMI Helpline (National Alliance on Mental Illness) - 1-800-950-6264

For more information on mental health and online therapy, please see:

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
SAMHSA Facebook
SAMHSA Twitter
SAMHSA Youtube

Mental Health America,
MHA Twitter
MHA Facebook
MHA Instagram
MHA Pinterest
MHA Youtube

WebMD
WebMD Facebook
WebMD Twitter
WebMD Pinterest

NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health)
NIMH Facebook
NIMH YouTube

APA (American Psychiatric Association)
APA Twitter
APA Facebook
APA LinkedIn
APA Instagram

If You're Interested in Learning More, Explore The Further Reading Listed Below of Other Medically-Reviewed Articles on ReGain

How Do Couples Therapists Use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Considering A Career In Mental Health? How To Be A Therapist

How To Choose A Therapist That's Right For You

How To Check If A Therapist Is Licensed To Practice Online Therapy In Your State

An Online Therapist Can Help You Communicate With Your Partner

Why Should You See A Divorce Therapist?

Family Therapy Online: Is It Right For You And Your Loved Ones?

Couples Therapy Cost: Finding the Right Counseling Therapist to Provide Couples Therapy and Counseling

How Does Therapy Chat Work, And Is It Effective?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Online Therapy

Is online therapy as effective?

If you are looking for the best counseling, the chances are that you’ve wondered whether or not online therapy programs provide as much therapeutic effectiveness as in-person counseling. It may surprise you that virtual counseling programs have been around for decades, even for specialties like psychotherapy, and are considered just as effective as traditional counseling.

When it comes to finding mental health treatment, what matters is that you are comfortable enough to communicate with a counselor during the process. Some people are simply more comfortable with counseling programs that offer virtual counseling. A virtual counseling platform gives people the option to get help without leaving their homes and can help people who have found that traditional therapeutic counseling isn’t a good match for them. The best counselor is the one you can communicate with, even if it happens via a virtual chat session with a counselor.

Virtual counseling programs offer the same array of specialties that traditional therapy does, including cognitive-behavioral counseling or behavioral counseling or psychotherapy, along with talk therapy and other therapy options. The best counselor for you depends on your therapeutic needs. You can search for family counselors clinical social workers, which can help you find family counselors licensed clinical social workers to help address family mental health issues. Marriage and family counselors help families experiencing issues between the parents that may not be appropriate for discussion in front of their children. Virtual marriage therapy is another option for couples who don’t have children or are thriving and aren’t involved in family discord. Anytime children are involved in the discord, however, seeking family counselors clinical social workers is important so that the entire family can benefit from the therapy sessions.

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