We debunk the most common myths about online therapy and find out how you can find online therapy that takes your insurance.
Recently, mental health has gone from a taboo subject to a commonly discussed topic in casual conversation. Staying on top of our mental health and assessing the way that we feel is slowly being recognized on the same level as addressing physical health issues. However, even though mental health is now something we hear about every day, there are still a lot of misconceptions about how we address mental health and the benefits of in-person and online therapy.
When it comes to therapy, a lot of people have outdated misconceptions that prevent them from getting the help they need. That’s why, today we’re going to be looking at 9 of the most common misconceptions about therapy to get to the bottom of why people are reluctant to pursue therapy—especially virtual therapy services.
Myth #1: Online Therapy Will Not Accept My Insurance
More virtual therapy services than ever are accepting insurance. Finding an online therapist that accepts your insurance doesn’t have to be difficult.
Attending therapy in person is not for everyone, which is why online therapy services have become so popular recently. That, and COVID-19 limiting any in-person care have led to an explosion in demand for online therapy services. For those who had been attending in-person therapy before, it may have been difficult to find an online provider that will take your insurance and provide the kind of therapy that you require.
Thankfully, there are more options now than ever for online therapy that takes your insurance. It doesn’t matter if you are moving from in-person therapy to online or if you are trying therapy for the first time—finding an online therapist that takes your insurance is a huge relief. If you are worried about finding your perfect therapist and then later discovering that they don’t accept your insurance, some services will be able to find you a therapist based on your insurance provider. That way, you won’t have to waste time trying to match your mental health needs with a therapist who takes your insurance.
Myth #2: I Struggle With my Mental Health, But I Don’t Need Online Therapy
It is always preferable to pursue preventative virtual therapy services. Life catches up to us all, so we must check in with our mental health.
There are a lot of different misconceptions about attending an online therapy session, but the most prevalent is the theory that therapy is not necessary unless you are experiencing severe mental anguish. This is far from the truth as mental health is a lifelong journey for everyone and it takes a lot of work to maintain good mental health. There are some instances where therapy can be used during a mental health emergency, but the overall goal of therapy should be to prevent these emergencies from happening in the first place.
Virtual therapy services are very helpful for people who are at a crossroads in their lives or are experiencing feelings of purposelessness. While these may not seem like major psychological issues or might seem like something that “everyone goes through,” these are feelings that can be easily worked through by attending virtual therapy. As you work through your thoughts and feelings with your therapist, often these overarching concerns can be minimized and become much more manageable.
To summarize, it is always better to attend therapy as a preventative measure. That way, when other life stressors come into play—as they always do—then you’ll be ready to address issues as they come. Without the help of therapy, negative thoughts and feelings can compound and lead to greater issues—so it is best to address all of your feelings in real-time. People who attend therapy can deal better with conflict and can work through complicated issues at work and in personal relationships.
Myth #3: My Therapist Will Be Judgemental of My Feelings and Actions
When you pursue virtual therapy services, you can find a therapist that makes you feel comfortable discussing your thoughts and feelings.
Therapists are professionals who deal with clients every day—they won’t pass judgments on your condition.
Though the conversation surrounding mental health has drastically improved, many people considering virtual therapy services may still feel shame surrounding getting help. It can also be difficult to find the motivation to get assistance with your mental health when you are experiencing symptoms.
It is worth noting that it can be very difficult to express your deepest worries, concerns, and in some cases, faults in any capacity. It can not be understated how much courage it takes to open up to someone, even if it’s over a virtual therapy service.
That said, even though it is difficult to open up, you must express all of your feelings to your therapist so they can help you process them. During your session, your therapist will never belittle you or make you feel less than for expressing your feelings. Therapists are professional counselors and see many patients every day—meaning that they are trained to listen, understand, and empathize with the whole range of mental health issues. Your therapist is there to help you understand your emotions—not to make you feel worse.
Myth #4: I Don’t Need Online Therapy. I’ve Got My Friends
You might think that your friends are a substitute for virtual therapy services, but it is always better to see a trained professional.
Your friends are your closest allies, but they aren’t qualified therapists.
If you haven’t previously attended a therapy session—either virtual or in-person—then it is easy to assume that a therapy session is similar to talking with a group of friends. In reality, there are a lot of differences between attending a virtual therapy session and talking with your friends. First off, your friends are not professional therapists. This might sound like an obvious point, but it is the most important difference between your friends and a therapist. Your friends are not trained on how to deal with sensitive topics, especially when it comes to the symptoms of your mental health disorder. When you rely on friends for help with mental health, you not only put them in a vulnerable position, but you put yourself in a vulnerable position. Since your friends are not trained to deal with mental health issues, they could give you incorrect advice which could worsen your condition. Not only that, but you could be putting your personal relationships at risk by relying on your friends for mental health support.
During a session with a professional therapist, your therapist will guide you on how to manage your emotions, how you can control thought patterns, and how you can maintain your intimate relationships. Your therapist also provides a third-party, unbiased opinion on your condition that your friends won’t be able to provide.
Another difference between your therapist and your friends is that your therapist is not allowed to talk about your thoughts and feelings with others. Your confidentiality agreement provides an extra layer of privacy and comfort so you can feel comfortable expressing all of your feelings—no matter how embarrassing.
Myth #5: Talking About My Problems Means I Am Living in The Past
Pursuing virtual therapy services might seem like you’re living in the past, but you are really setting yourself up for future success.
Discussing your past helps you process unresolved feelings. While it may seem like revisiting issues that have caused you problems is dwelling on the past, you are actually putting in work to feel better in the future. Since our lives move so fast, it can be difficult to process all of our emotions as they happen. It is important to go back and analyze how you feel by pursuing virtual therapy services.
Instead of viewing a therapy session as an exercise in dwelling on the past, it is beneficial to approach your sessions as a way to properly process your thoughts and feelings. If you have existing mental health issues and are not taking the time to process your emotions, it can lead to a buildup of negative thoughts that you carry around throughout your everyday life. When you are carrying around these negative thoughts, it leads to negative thought patterns.
As a part of keeping yourself healthy and happy, you must take time to discuss things in your past that continue to bother you. One of the great things about online therapy is that you can visit with your therapist and work through these issues without leaving the comfort of your home. If you have a busy lifestyle, you can work through your emotions without leaving the comfort of your home—or interrupting your schedule.
Myth #6: Handling My Problems By Myself is a Sign of Strength
Everyone needs help sometimes—and a virtual therapy service could be the help you need to push through hard times.
Sometimes you can’t solve all of your problems by yourself.
It would be amazing if we could fix all of our problems, but that isn’t the case in most scenarios—especially when it comes to our mental health. When we are struggling with our mental health, it can be hard to see outside ourselves and determine what we need the most. Additionally, the amount of pressure we put on ourselves, whether it is coming from work, our relationships, or other life events can be too much to handle all at once. That’s why so many people have pursued virtual therapy services when they need a helping hand—they realize it is impossible to fix all of their problems on their own.
Plus, when you choose therapy, it means that you are choosing to put in the work to start feeling better. It doesn’t mean,by any stretch of the imagination, that you are giving up. When you start seeing a therapist virtually, they can give you the tools you need to mediate the symptoms of your mental health issues. They can also give you advice as they have likely seen several clients who are dealing with similar issues.
Myth #7: One Virtual Therapy Session Will Solve My Problems
Seeking out virtual therapy services is not an instant fix—it requires work over a period of time.
Therapy isn’t an immediate solution—it’s a process. Some people who are seeking out online therapy for the very first time might think that they’ll begin to feel better right away. Though it would be wonderful if you could feel the effects of talk therapy after your first session, it simply isn’t realistic. As we mentioned before, your therapist can give you the tools to understand and process your emotions, which is a learning process that happens over time.
You might not even get to the root of what is causing your negative thought patterns for the first few sessions—that’s okay! Our minds are not as straightforward as we imagine, so it may take a bit of work on the part of you and your therapist to unlock what is troubling you the most. While this seems discouraging, it is all part of the process to get you feeling your best.
Myth #8: Talking About My Problems Will Make Me Feel Worse
With the expert guidance of a therapist, you can learn to talk about your problems in a constructive way.
Talking about your problems with a therapist leads to breakthroughs.
Talking about your biggest stressors, insecurities, or other issues can be painful—there is no debating that. However, when you find an online therapist you trust, you can begin to talk about these issues constructively with their guidance. Talking to friends or family about your biggest worries can be difficult as they could shut you down or respond negatively, which will only make things worse. When you choose virtual therapy services, you’ll be entering a safe space where you can speak candidly about your biggest troubles.
As you talk about your painful emotions with a therapist, they can direct your conversation and ask you the right questions to help you process the situation. When people don’t have therapy as an option, it can lead to unresolved conflicts and negative thought patterns that lead to problems in the future.
To summarize, it can be very difficult to express your problems and your fears candidly with your therapist, but it is ultimately worthwhile for your overall mental health.
Myth #9: If I Go To Therapy, That Means There is Something Wrong With Me
Going to therapy is a way to maintain good mental health, not a diagnosis of poor mental health.
Starting therapy is not a sign of weakness. If you are attending therapy for the first time—either in person or virtually—there is sometimes the fear that you are admitting that there is something wrong with you. However, this is far from the truth. While many people seek therapy when they have reached a low point in their mental health, many people use therapy to consistently maintain good mental health. In fact, many people go to therapy just to talk to someone about the stress in their lives.
Seeking out mental health services is not a sign that there is something wrong with you, it is a sign that you are working to better yourself. Life gets hard sometimes and there is nothing wrong with you for seeking help. No matter the challenges you are currently facing, your therapist will be able to help you find a way to mediate your symptoms and get back to feeling like yourself as soon as possible.
Myth #10: Online Therapy Won’t Help Me
In-person and virtual therapy services are proven to help people who are struggling with their mental health.
Therapy is proven to be effective. It can be easy to assume that online therapy won’t help you if you aren’t in a great headspace. When your symptoms get the best of you, it is often difficult to imagine how anything can help. And as we discussed before in section #6, many people believe that they need to solve their internal problems by themselves. With these beliefs out there, there are a lot of people who could benefit from therapy who are not taking the steps to work on their mental health.
In reality, virtual therapy services are beneficial for anyone who is struggling. Just getting your thoughts and feelings out in a supportive environment is often enough to start feeling better about yourself. Though this won’t be immediate, you’ll start to get in a groove with your therapist where you will feel comfortable expressing your feelings and working through them during your sessions. Studies have shown over half of the people who pursue therapy credit their sessions with helping them overcome the symptoms that they face daily.
In short, talk therapy works and you can trust that your therapist has your best interests in mind during your discussions. One of the great benefits of using a virtual therapy service is that you can set preferences for the type of therapist you want—and you can change your therapist as you see fit. While therapy is proven to work, not every therapist will work for you. When you opt for virtual therapy, you can easily switch your therapist by requesting a new one on the platform of your choice.
If you are interested in pursuing therapy for the first time, now is the time to start! It is never too late to seek help, but the sooner you do, the sooner you can start feeling better. Luckily, there are so many different options available for therapy including in-person and virtual therapy services. Depending on your lifestyle and personal preference, there is likely one option you’ll prefer. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so you must take the steps to feel better when you’re feeling down!