Has anyone tried online therapy sites? What was your experience?

Posted by lsittll @lsittll, Mar 7 10:15pm

There are sites where therapists do online psychotherapy. It is very difficult for me to find a social worker locally who takes my insurance. Many therapists do teletherapy and Zoom. Online therapy sites where there are therapists who take my health insurance is an option I am greatly debating. Has anyone tried online therapy sites, if so what has their experience been. Is it recommended or not?

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Hi @lsittll, Thanks for starting this discussion. In these difficult times it sounds like something that could be of help to a lot of different people. While we wait for others to respond and share their experience, I thought you might find this article from the American Pyschological Association helpful.

What you need to know before choosing online therapy — Become an informed consumer of telepsychology services—learn factors to take into account when considering online therapy and explore additional resources.
https://www.apa.org/topics/telehealth/online-therapy

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my psychiatrist is online almost weekly with me but i was seeing him before covid hit. i found my social worker who did work at a clinic prior to covid but i didn't start seeing him until he was doing therapy online. both are just fine and no better or worse than in person.

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@lsittll There are many psychologists and social workers who offer online therapy. The "corporate" online therapy sites such as betterhelp.com typically do not take insurance. It's all out-of-pocket that you would pay with a credit card and the therapist has contracted with betterhelp.com. I personally do not like that model or option for mental health treatment. Depending on the state you live in it is generally the case that the therapist you see online must be licensed in your state. So, for instance, if you are receiving your online therapy in Illinois your therapist must be licensed in Illinois.

Psychology Today has listings for psychologists and social workers who see clients in person and online. The individual clinician will indicate in their advertisement if they do online therapy. You can locate a clinician by state, and speciality and then check their qualifications, and their payment options including insurance.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists
While I prefer therapy in person I have had therapy online and I'm comfortable with that option too.

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@naturegirl5

@lsittll There are many psychologists and social workers who offer online therapy. The "corporate" online therapy sites such as betterhelp.com typically do not take insurance. It's all out-of-pocket that you would pay with a credit card and the therapist has contracted with betterhelp.com. I personally do not like that model or option for mental health treatment. Depending on the state you live in it is generally the case that the therapist you see online must be licensed in your state. So, for instance, if you are receiving your online therapy in Illinois your therapist must be licensed in Illinois.

Psychology Today has listings for psychologists and social workers who see clients in person and online. The individual clinician will indicate in their advertisement if they do online therapy. You can locate a clinician by state, and speciality and then check their qualifications, and their payment options including insurance.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists
While I prefer therapy in person I have had therapy online and I'm comfortable with that option too.

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Hello @naturegirl

Thank you for the information. I have noticed betterhelp.com does not take insurance but sondermind.com does accept some insurances.

Today most therapy is teletherapy or Zoom so if I need a counselor I'll do it this way as long as Cigna says its okay.

@ldittll

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@lsittll

Hello @naturegirl

Thank you for the information. I have noticed betterhelp.com does not take insurance but sondermind.com does accept some insurances.

Today most therapy is teletherapy or Zoom so if I need a counselor I'll do it this way as long as Cigna says its okay.

@ldittll

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@lsittll I wonder if the therapist you liked when you lived in you other town, would be able to "see" you via Zoom or telephonically? You might want to check with your insurance first, to see if they would cover that, then reach out to that person.
Just a thought, you know.

Are you journaling your thoughts? I find that helps me a lot.
Ginger

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@naturegirl5

@lsittll There are many psychologists and social workers who offer online therapy. The "corporate" online therapy sites such as betterhelp.com typically do not take insurance. It's all out-of-pocket that you would pay with a credit card and the therapist has contracted with betterhelp.com. I personally do not like that model or option for mental health treatment. Depending on the state you live in it is generally the case that the therapist you see online must be licensed in your state. So, for instance, if you are receiving your online therapy in Illinois your therapist must be licensed in Illinois.

Psychology Today has listings for psychologists and social workers who see clients in person and online. The individual clinician will indicate in their advertisement if they do online therapy. You can locate a clinician by state, and speciality and then check their qualifications, and their payment options including insurance.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists
While I prefer therapy in person I have had therapy online and I'm comfortable with that option too.

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I have received an online site that is used by Cigna. There are therapists and different different types of doctors. It doesn't sound quite like what I want. It seems like it's more 24 hour medical care. But if I must do things Cigna's way I must. I get such a runaround from it. The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

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@lsittll
It doesn't sound very promising but I suppose you won't know until you try.
My drug plan used to be through Cigna. They denied my Brand name seizure med until my doctor convinced them to cover it.
Maybe your doctor could arrange an exception.
Good luck,
Jake

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@jakedduck1

@lsittll
It doesn't sound very promising but I suppose you won't know until you try.
My drug plan used to be through Cigna. They denied my Brand name seizure med until my doctor convinced them to cover it.
Maybe your doctor could arrange an exception.
Good luck,
Jake

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@jakedduck
Cigna primarily has many Medicare Advantage (HMO ) plans. That is what I have. T here is a copay when I see a doctor. I do not pay anything for behavioral health services.

One representative says social workers online accept Cigna and the site is trustworthy and another representative says I must do things at MD Live (strictly a Cigna site)..

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@gingerw

@lsittll I wonder if the therapist you liked when you lived in you other town, would be able to "see" you via Zoom or telephonically? You might want to check with your insurance first, to see if they would cover that, then reach out to that person.
Just a thought, you know.

Are you journaling your thoughts? I find that helps me a lot.
Ginger

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Hello @gingerw
Ginger

My other therapist is out-of-network and I'd have to pay 100% of the fees. As far as journaling I've never done that or thought that would be any benefit.

Laurie

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@lsittll

Hello @gingerw
Ginger

My other therapist is out-of-network and I'd have to pay 100% of the fees. As far as journaling I've never done that or thought that would be any benefit.

Laurie

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@lsittll You may be pleasantly surprised at how much will come spilling out if your mind onto paper! No need to be fancy, no need for perfect grammar, just let words and emotions flow. It has been a staple of my mental health journey for a long time!

Here is a link to a discussion on https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/journaling-the-write-stuff-for-you/?pg=2#comment-314171
Will you give it a try?
Ginger

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@lsittll

Hello @gingerw
Ginger

My other therapist is out-of-network and I'd have to pay 100% of the fees. As far as journaling I've never done that or thought that would be any benefit.

Laurie

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@lsittll Hi Laurie. I second Ginger. She is an amazing resource. I think you will be surprised by the benefits of journaling. I learned great mental health tips while attending Mayo Clinic's Pain Rehab Center and have really fallen back on them. Here's a bit of what I learned.

Writing down feelings is a great way to free your mind and move thoughts to paper. Take only 5 – 15 minutes each day to list anxiety, depression, stress (midday works best, not first thing in the morning or before bed). From there, you may find it helpful to make an "Emotional Distress List". I have found this very useful. Make two columns, one of what you CAN control and one of what you CAN NOT control. It's important to see what you can't control so you move on and work on the things you can.

Also, you may find the 5 P's helpful:
– Pause
– Process
– Patience
– Perspective
– Plan

Have you made a list of POSITIVES? Seeing the good is powerful too. Write down the good things in your life, and about yourself. Find small tokens of joy each day. In my darkest of times I started a gratitude journal. I needed to find good and pull myself up even in the smallest ways. I continue my daily gratitude and some days it simply may say, "the sun was shining".

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@lsittll

Hello @naturegirl

Thank you for the information. I have noticed betterhelp.com does not take insurance but sondermind.com does accept some insurances.

Today most therapy is teletherapy or Zoom so if I need a counselor I'll do it this way as long as Cigna says its okay.

@ldittll

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Better health.com is substantially less expensive than most, e.g. $40 per session versus $200-$300 in person. However, they don’t offer psychiatric level MD, able to prescribe medications.

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