OpenCounseling is user supported. We may earn a commission when you follow links to sponsored providers. Learn more.

5 Ways You Can Be a Better Online Therapy Client

5 Ways You Can Be a Better Online Therapy Client

The growth of online therapy services such as BetterHelp and TalkSpace has been tremendous, and many clients who are looking for affordable care turn to them in lieu of face-to-face therapy because of the differences in cost and other benefits.

While online therapy may provide just the help you are looking for, it is different from traditional therapy in a number of ways. In this article, we’re covering some of the major differences that can make online therapy a challenge and what you can do to make your time in online therapy as effective as possible.

Making the time for therapy: No matter what service you sign up for, the plan used, or the amount of text versus face-to-face interaction you have with your therapist, you must make a commitment to taking the time to communicate regularly with your therapist. Does your service include face-to-face sessions? Schedule them! Do you get a certain number of messages to send each day? Send them! Make sure you make time to use the service – don’t allow yourself to put it off until “the next day.”

Put thought into what you want to say: Whether you are attending a live session or writing your therapist a message, take the time to gather your thoughts. How have you been feeling? What stresses are you dealing with? What questions do you want to ask? Your therapist can only help as much as you communicate how you are doing and what you need – be open, honest, and clear in what you write and say.

Listen to or read what your therapist says: Remember that your therapist is a professional, and the suggestions they make and questions they ask are based on years of education and experience. Pay attention during therapy for suggestions and read messages from your therapist carefully. If you aren’t sure about something they say, ask them to clarify!

Participate in therapy in a distraction-free space: If you do hold a face-to-face session, be careful about things that might distract your attention away from counseling. Find a quiet space and be on time. Make sure your computer or smartphone meets the system requirements for a video meeting. When you are doing text-based therapy, make sure to review messages from and write replies to your therapist when you are able to devote your full attention.

Online therapy has a lot of power to make positive changes for you as a client, but this method of therapy requires you to be accountable for good communication if you want it to work well. The above techniques will make your relationship with your therapist stronger and your online counseling experience more effective.

Search for Affordable Counseling in Your City:

Jennifer Novack
Posted on 01/22/2018 by Jennifer Novack

Jennifer is a writer for OpenCounseling. She has worked at a number of state and non-profit organizations, providing counseling, training, and policy development