Should you see a therapist or use a therapy app?

Mental health counseling is one of the fastest-rising therapy options around the world. In the past, mental illnesses were hidden, shamed and considered an embarrassment. Individuals did not always get the help they needed.

Fortunately, activists are pushing for better access to mental health resources. Depression and anxiety are treatable medical conditions and should be taken seriously at all times. A mental health therapist is educated and trained to treat these symptoms and help patients get back to feeling like themselves.

Therapy for depression is extremely common, as more individuals across the U.S. recognize a need to treat chronic feelings of sadness and fatigue. Depression affects nearly 17 million Americans 18 years of age or older.

The effects of depression can be deadly if left untreated. Suicide is a leading cause of death among young people, but it is 100 percent preventable. Treatment was not always an option for individuals with depression. Luckily, the new age of technology brings vital therapy right to our pockets.

Some online therapy free of charge may be offered by counselors and therapists around the globe. Other individuals benefit from using an app to chat with therapists, find resources and discuss treatment options. Learn more about in-person and online therapy to determine which method of treatment may be the most effective for you.

Learn About the Benefits of Traditional Mental Health Counseling

Traditional mental health counseling can be extremely helpful for those with feelings of anxiety, depression, chronic sadness and loss of interest. Traditionally, therapists and patients sit down together and discusses these feelings face to face.

The goal of therapy for depression or other mental illnesses is to determine a root cause, engage in a course of treatment and track progress using measurable goals. However, mental illness is not always a two-way street. There are often underlying causes that pair with chemical imbalances in the brain, which often requires long-term therapy.

Mental health is crucial to an individual’s overall wellbeing. Speaking to a mental health therapist in person may be beneficial for those who communicate through body language. Texting, chatting online or speaking to a therapist over the phone does not always convey true feelings.

Also, traditional therapy does not always rely on verbal communication. There are many other ways to treat mental illnesses aside from speaking about one’s feelings. These include:

  • Expressive arts, like sketching, drawing or dancing
  • Music therapy
  • Animal-assisted psychotherapy

These forms of mental health counseling simply cannot be executed through online therapy or over an app. Likewise, some types of mental illness require a hands-on treatment approach. In cases where individuals present a danger to themselves or others, in-person therapy is likely the best approach.

Learn About the Benefits of Using a Therapy App or Online Therapy

Searching for a “therapist near me for depression” may return online results that are nearer than you think. In fact, quality mental health therapy is located right on your own smartphone or laptop. Seeking online doctors and therapists is especially convenient for those who do not have the means to travel to a therapist’s office.

Online therapy for depression, anxiety and other forms of mental illnesses is a viable option for many individuals. Some patients may not feel comfortable speaking to someone in person about their symptoms.

Searching for “mental health counseling near me” provides a list of local therapists and doctors. However, these offices may not work with your schedule. If you work off hours or need to speak with someone in the middle of the night, in-person therapy isn’t the best option.

Using a therapy app provides the most convenience. Many apps are available 24/7, meaning patients can log in and chat with someone regardless of the time of day. Individuals can access therapy apps wherever they are, whether it be at home, on the go or across the country.

Traditional mental health counseling can be expensive. Even with mental health insurance coverage, some patients may be expected to pay up to $150 per session. The cost can quickly add up, especially since therapy is proven most successful when patients are consistent with treatment.

Online therapy and therapy apps can be more affordable than visiting a therapist’s office. Online therapy free of charge is not too common, but some therapy websites may include things like free trials and sign-up discounts.

Therapy apps may provide free chat sessions with qualified mental health counselors, but the services may only be accessible through payment. Even so, the cost of this form of therapy is a more affordable option.

Which mental health counseling option is right for you?

Choosing between BetterHelp vs. Talkspace or traditional therapy can be a tough decision. It is important to consider your situation before choosing a form of therapy. Your choice depends on a few key factors, such as:

  • Affordability.
  • Location.
  • Communication preference.
  • Insurance.

Traditional therapy for depression is expensive. Patients with insurance can still owe a considerable amount of money out of pocket. It costs money to keep an office up-and-running, money which is often included in a patient’s bill. This includes electricity, staffing, rent or mortgage and doctor fees.

While online therapy isn’t always free, it is typically extremely more affordable than visiting a doctor in person. If you’re looking for “affordable counseling near me” and cannot find a therapist within your budget, perhaps it is best to consider online therapy.

It can be difficult to speak to a stranger about very personal feelings and experiences. Some patients find in-person therapy very intimidating. If you prefer typing out your feelings and symptoms or speaking over the phone, online or app therapy may be best for you.

Even choosing between apps and online portals requires some critical thinking. Finding information on BetterHelp vs. Talkspace can help you decide between these mental health app giants. Both platforms provide 24/7 behavioral counseling and support.

BetterHelp matches you with a licensed therapist after considering your personal situation and symptoms. Then, you can message your therapist any time of day through web-based chat or through the mobile app. You can even choose to speak over the phone.

Talkspace is another counseling platform available online and through a mobile app. After answering a few questions, you are matched with a licensed therapist and can send a message any time you wish. For more regular sessions, you can choose to video chat your therapist.