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What is Text Therapy, and Is It Better than Traditional Therapy?
Text therapy, as the term describes, is the delivery of mental health counseling via text messaging or other electronic means.
People also refer to this form of therapy as:
- distance therapy
- Online therapy
- Internet therapy
- web therapy
Therapists who offer online therapy to their clients, use a variety of mediums to communicate and counsel their clients, such as texting apps, video chatting programs, voice messaging and audio messaging services.
Why Consider Text Therapy?
With people leading busier lives today due to hectic work schedules or other commitments, not wanting (or able to) take time off of work to see a therapist, the high cost of therapy and the fear that friends, family or co-workers will find out that they are seeing a therapist or receiving mental health counseling, has given rise to a new form of counseling where the patient receives counseling via electronic form rather than in-office appointments, such as text messages, video chatting, voice messaging or audio messaging with a licensed therapist.
With online counseling, you can maintain your privacy and talk to a therapist without disclosing this to family, friends or co-workers. Also, due to online therapists being anywhere in the country and online counseling networks generally having thousands of participating therapists in their network who specialize in just about every type of counseling for many issues and conditions, you are able to find a therapist who can accommodate your needs and schedule, such as early morning sessions before you leave for work, late at night, or even during weekends.
If you travel for work and can’t easily attend an in-office appointment, you can log on to your private chat room and chat with your therapist when you have free time or leave them a massage. Your therapist will log on and respond when they are at their computer, tablet or smartphone.
This is a benefit, since traditional therapist are generally only available for in-office counseling sessions Monday -Friday 9-6, and people may worry about the stigma of in-office therapy sessions, or clients may be concerned people they know will see them enter or leave a therapist’s office, or question why they are leaving work in the middle of the day.
Is Online Therapy Cheaper than Traditional Therapy?
Studies have proven the efficacy and safety of online therapy to the point where it has become a viable alternative to an in-office therapy visit.
Therapists who offer online counseling should have the same credentials as therapists who offer in-office counseling, and online therapy networks should disclose how they verify the credentials, to ensure your therapist has had the proper training and possesses legal credentials.
Online therapy is much more cost effective and cheaper than traditional therapy. Online therapy costs range from $25-$50 week for unlimited text therapy sessions, depending on the network vs In-office therapy, which can cost as much as $75-150 per session.
Traditional therapist generally only available Monday -Friday 9-6.
What If you Have a Question for Your Therapist?
If you have a question or a problem arises that you want to address with your therapist? With traditional therapy you may have to call your therapist and schedule a 30 or 60 minute session, even if you have a small issue to discuss or just have a question and you don’t want to schedule a full session?
With online therapy, no problem. You send your therapist a text message, video chat, or voice message about your issue, and they will get back to you, often within an hour to address your issue.
Since you pay by the week or month, you can talk to your therapist for 5 minutes or 45 minutes as often as you need. You have unlimited access to your therapist, and you don’t have to schedule an appointment then wait days or weeks to speak with them.
What If You Want Privacy?
Some clients feel online therapy provides greater anonymity, since you communicate with your therapist via text messaging, and no one will hear you, and you don’t need to find a private time or place for your therapy session.
Online counseling may be a ideal option for people in an abusive or troubled relationship, and want or need to receive mental health counseling without their partner knowing, especially if them knowing could lead to physical or verbal violence.