I Live In A Rural Area. How Do I Find A Mental Health Therapist (Near Me?)

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated April 19, 2022

Introduction

Have you been trying to get counseling (and you live in a rural area) or don’t have many available options for therapy in your town? You may be disappointed at the limited results you get when you do a Google search for “find a mental health therapist nearby” or find a “family therapist near me.”

For many people, finding a therapist in their neighborhood when they live in a rural area is often a challenge. People who are suffering from mental health issues that have limited access to therapy have been missing out on getting much-needed therapy because of being in a rural area, no access to childcare, issues with transportation, and having limited options for getting affordable therapy nearby.

Online therapy provides an avenue for people seeking therapy near me to find a resource even closer to home by getting therapy online. In this article, we discuss the benefits of online therapy, how to pay for online therapy, and how to know if you qualify for online therapy. Let’s begin with how to find an online therapist.

How To Find A Mental Health Therapist?

Many people who need mental health services have nowhere to start with getting help. Most people complete a Google search to find local, affordable providers in their region. But what do you do when your search for a “mental health therapist nearby” yields no results? There’s no need to panic. There are new options available for seeking mental health care services online.

Pay attention to the search results you get when you Google “child therapist near me, family therapist near me, or cognitive-behavioral therapist near me. Have you been bypassing the online therapy options? Telehealth and telemedicine providers do now provide distance therapy for basic medical and mental health-related treatments that don’t require a face-to-face visit in an office.

Today’s options for online mental health services include having access to leading therapy providers like BetterHelp.com. This popular therapy site provides non-traditional therapy options that include SMS messaging, video chat, and audio therapy for online mental health clients. Taking part in therapy online eliminates the need for searching only for local therapists and provides online mental health seekers with more options than ever.

Online providers hold the same credentials as offline providers. For example, the providers at BetterHelp.com all hold advanced degrees psychology and their niche field of study. Providers on the BetterHelp platform have 2000 hours of clinical service, which makes them hands-on-experts for diagnosis, treatment, and advice for non-emergency mental health concerns.

Examples of common providers that you’ll find online are psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists. Together, this group of mental health professionals provides online counseling, therapy, medication management referrals, and advice for mental health clients.

Today’s online mental health providers offer treatment and counseling services for chronic mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder. When you search for a cognitive-behavioral therapist near me, remember they do not equip online providers to manage more severe mental health cases like schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (MDD). Severe mental illness diagnosis requires more strict monitoring and medication management than milder forms of mental illness.

Other Things to Note About Therapy Online

There are several things that are very crucial for clients to note about getting therapy online. Finding a therapist is as easy as making a google search. However, there are other things that you should know about getting much-needed therapy online from a therapist. One of the very important things to note is the effectiveness of the online therapy session or the therapist. It would help if you got something different from traditional therapy. Moreover, it’s also vital to ensure that you are comfortable while receiving therapy from a trusted professional.

Most of these features are difficult to discover unless you subscribe to therapy. Fortunately, there are other helpful ways to know if you’re in the right hands. Take some time out to check for reviews and testimonies to guarantee that you’re utilizing a reputable therapy service. Since you may be receiving therapy online, you need to confirm how their communication works.

How effective are the communication channels and networks present in the therapy service? Please note that one of the most important things that you should always look out for is the license of the professional. A therapist that is not licensed shouldn’t take part in therapy officially. Most importantly, ensure that your data will be safe. You will share very personal things with your therapist; hence, it’s important that you are sure that the site is completely safe. Most websites with secure servers normally have SSL encryption, which serves as a sign of internet safety.

Who Benefits From Getting Psychotherapy Online?

Getting psychotherapy online is still a relatively new concept for many people. With this being the case, many people are wondering what the benefits are of seeing a psychotherapist online vs. an in-office therapist. The most common reason mental health clients are finding it beneficial to get therapy online is time savings.

Not having enough time to get things done is one of the main reasons people need therapy in the first place. Eliminating the need for a long commute – or any commute for that matter can go a long way towards restoring peace of mind. Clients who attend therapy online do so at their leisure, from the comfort and privacy of their living rooms, offices, or dorm rooms.

Online therapy works well for people who live in rural areas with limited access to therapy. Getting distance therapy online is also a great option for college students away from home, stay-at-home parents, and others who have limited nearby therapy options – or who prefer the privacy and anonymity that going to therapy online providers.

How Do I Know If My Mental Health Issue Is Mild Or Severe?

If you haven’t been previously diagnosed with any mental health-related concerns, you may not understand what to expect when you reach out to a healthcare provider. Whether your initial visit is with an in-office therapist or online, your first consultation will involve you taking one or more assessments to determine what (if any) mental health diagnosis you have.

Based on the results of your mental health screening assessment and a few other factors, your mental health provider will determine if they can provide services for you online or if they need to refer you to an in-office provider for more intensive therapy or medication management. If your issue is severe or requires a prescription that your online provider isn’t able to prescribe, you’ll be referred to offline services available near you.

Otherwise, you’ll receive a treatment plan from your therapist. A treatment plan is an initial recommendation for how your therapy will progress based on your therapist’s initial assessment of your condition. We treat many mild cases of mental health concerns like anxiety and depression with talk therapy, medication management, concurrent in-office therapy, or any combination of the above. One of the most popular forms of talk therapy for today’s mental health providers is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy that helps mental health clients make positive changes in their behavior, by first acknowledging and recognizing negative behavior patterns and triggers. There are many variations of talk therapy, including exposure therapy (ERP) which helps mental health clients to overcome fears and negative behaviors by being gradually introduced to the trigger.

The amount of time that you spend in therapy depends on many factors. Some factors that affect how long you take part in therapy are your treatment plan, progress during sessions, and other external factors. Some clients have been able to resolve challenges and life issues within 16 weeks of cognitive-behavioral therapy. (You may need more or fewer sessions than this depending on your circumstances.)

How To Pay For Therapy Online

Another reason that many people aren’t getting much-needed therapy is that they think they can’t afford it. There is more than one way to get online therapy. Therapy options online range in cost from free to as much as in-office therapy sessions that can start as much as $200.00 an hour. Don’t let these numbers scare you. There is an affordable option for online therapy available to everyone – regardless of your income or insurance.

Let’s talk about subscription-based therapy.

Subscription-based therapy breaks your therapy costs into smaller payments to make them more easy to afford. For example, leading therapy platforms like BetterHelp.com offer subscription-based therapy services that start at just $40.00 per week. When you consider the national average, it’s much easier to afford $40.00 a week than $200.00 just for an hour. This is especially true when you’re paying for the same services that you would get in an office.

Today’s online therapists have access to the same technologies and diagnostic tools as their in-office counterparts. They are also equally educated and degreed. Most times, online therapists are more readily available than offline therapists as they don’t have to maintain strict office hours and can schedule therapy appointments any time of the day or night.

Sometimes, insurance companies who provide behavioral health coverage may cover the costs of online therapy with or without a copay. Insurance providers who don’t offer coverage may reimburse clients for sessions with certified mental health professionals online, like board-certified psychologists. If you’re not sure if your health insurance plan offers coverage or reimbursement for mental health care, check with your health insurance provider for details.

Final Thoughts

By now, you should have a better idea of where you can find mental health therapists, including cognitive-behavioral therapists and family therapists. You can feel confident that when you search for a “cognitive-behavioral therapist” near me, you’ll find options that range from in-office visits to online therapy.

Today’s online therapy options are easy to use, affordable, and offer alternatives for people who have limited access to licensed therapists in their immediate area. Online therapy is ideal for clients who have non-severe mental illness and have limited access to therapy because of location or other extenuating circumstances. Online therapy options are available for individuals, families, and people who are searching online to “find a child therapist near me.”

Platforms like BetterHelp.com connect today’s mental health seekers with board-certified and licensed professionals that provide diagnosis, treatment, and support for mental health sufferers. Getting started with mental health services online is easy. If you’re ready to get started, contact a BetterHelp licensed therapy expert today.

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