When life becomes difficult, and you find yourself struggling, it might be time to find some help. Having a therapist to talk to and help you work through your struggle can be a game-changer. Whether you are living with a chronic mental health disorder or you have recently experienced difficulties in your daily life, a therapist can help.
One of the latest advances in the field of mental health is the practice of providing therapy online. Online therapy or teletherapy is a way for people to find a qualified therapist, begin treatment, and never have to step foot in an office. Engaging in therapy from the comfort of home has many benefits for people who are struggling.
Once you have decided to start the therapeutic process, how do you know where to start? There is so much information out there, and it can be overwhelming.
Let’s take a look at a few steps you can take to find the right online therapist for you.
#1: Do your homework
The first step in finding a therapist that you can work with online is to do a little homework. Chances are the first therapist you find in your search is going to be a perfect fit. Start by doing a little bit of research on how online therapy works and what options are available to you. Think about some important questions, like:
- Do I want a therapist who is nearby?
- Would I prefer working with a female or male therapist?
- Is there a kind of therapy that sounds ideal to me?
- Do I need to find a provider who can prescribe medication?
One major benefit to services such as Lifehelp is that much of the guesswork is done for you. You may have no idea what kind of therapy is best to treat your condition, but we can help figure that out with you.
#2: Understand how teletherapy works
Another important step you can take before you have your first session is to investigate how online therapy or teletherapy works. Look into things like how you will meet with your therapist, what kind of connection you need to have, and whether you can video chat or talk over the phone with your therapist.
Having a basic understanding of the process will help you make a more informed decision about your provider. It will also help you ease into the process once you are ready to get started.
#3: Find the Right Kind of Therapist
When you first start looking for a mental health professional, you will quickly find that there are many different kinds of people offering treatment. Each has a different background, different educational levels, and different types of therapies.
To find an ideal person for your treatment, you will need to know what kinds of therapists there are and which is right for you. On Lifehelp you can find a lot of licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (Ph.D. / PsyD), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), or licensed professional counselors (LPC). And in order to make a choice, we suggest you learn more about these kinds of therapists.
Psychologists and Psychiatrists
Psychologists and psychiatrists are highly skilled mental health professionals that have spent many years of training at the graduate level. Psychologists earn their Ph.D. or Psy.D in order to practice in the field. Psychiatrists must earn their MD in order to practice. Licensing requirements do vary from state to state. Psychologists and psychiatrists can be trained to work in many different settings and with many different kinds of mental health or life difficulties.
Licensed Clinical Social Workers
While the licensing components vary across states, Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) must earn a graduate degree, typically at the master’s level. These clinicians have at least two years of clinical social work experience. They are qualified to work with individuals, families, or provide couples therapy.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs or MFTs) are mental health providers who have been trained specifically to work with couples and families. They must hold at least a master’s degree, and most graduate-level MFT programs require completion of an internship before entering clinical practice.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) are master’s degreed mental health service providers, trained to work with individuals, families, and groups in treating mental, behavioral, and emotional problems and disorders.
#4: Get Started
The only thing left to do is to make an appointment and meet with your new therapist. The early stages of therapy require some degree of patience as you begin to build a rapport with your new counselor. While you might want to dive right into what is bothering you, your therapist will need a brief period of time to get to know who you are and some details about your life.
These 4 tips can help you find a therapist online with as little headache as possible. When you realize that this is something you need to start living your best life, there is no better time to get started. Finding a therapist online can be very simple when you know how to do it right!