Being successful might be your most important goal in life, but you can’t accomplish it if you’re distracted by depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems.
Truly successful people set concrete goals and take definitive actions. So, if you’re considering whether to fit online therapy into your busy schedule, you need to ask yourself three questions – what are your goals, what actions will you take, and will it be worth your time in the long term.
Question 1: What Are Your Goals for Online Therapy?
It’s interesting that a part of therapy is setting goals for therapy. The first time you talk to a counselor, through an online therapy site like BetterHelp, they’ll probably ask you what you want to accomplish in the sessions. They’ll ask pertinent questions, possibly suggest options, and generally guide you through the goal-setting process.
Still, it’s good to think about your goals ahead of time so you can decide whether to start therapy in the first place. Of course, if you’re considering therapy, you probably have an overall goal of dealing with whatever mental health problem is bothering you. You may also have secondary goals like improving your living conditions, relationships, and self-confidence.
Some of your goals will likely be related to your work to some degree, too. For example, you might want to tame your anxiety so you can concentrate on the work instead of your fears. Perhaps you want relief from depression so you can pursue your work goals more vigorously. Or, maybe you want to overcome social anxiety so you can build better relationships with coworkers, supervisors, associates, and your employer.
Take some time to map out all the goals you want to achieve through online therapy. If they seem like worthwhile goals, move on to the next question.
Question 2: What Actions Does Online Therapy Entail?
Now that you know your goals, it’s time to think about what you would have to do to achieve them. Don’t get the wrong idea about therapy. It isn’t something someone does to you. It’s something you do for yourself with guidance from an expert. Knowing that, consider these things you might need to do to start therapy and as a part of the therapeutic process.
Sign Up for Therapy
Signing up for online therapy is easy. You simply go on the site, fill out a brief survey, and select your therapist from a list the site provides for you. Each therapist has a profile, but you may want to do further research off the site if you’re unsure.
Of course, there will be a fee. However, the cost of online therapy is usually very reasonable, especially when you consider what you’re saving in time and transportation. You’ll set up the payment and set your first appointment.
Prepare for the Appointment
Depending on the online therapy platform you’re using, you’ll likely have to prepare for a video conferencing session. That’s easy, too. Usually, all you have to do is download an app to the device you’re going to use, whether that’s a phone, a laptop, or some other internet-connected device. From there, you’ll just need to set aside the time and find a private place to have your session.
Talk about Your Mental Health Problems
Strangely, some people believe that a therapist can help them without knowing the details of their problems. Most people, though, understand that you need to get to the heart of the difficulty before you can find the solution. Talking about certain issues can be very uncomfortable or even distressing. But, if you want to have a successful therapy experience, you’re going to have to address them.
Learn How to Manage Your Problems
You have to be willing to learn if you want to benefit from online therapy. Through your discussions with the therapist, you can learn things about you that you never realized before. You can also learn things about others and about the world.
In addition, your therapist may teach you techniques for managing your mental health issues. For instance, they may teach you cognitive behavioral techniques for examining the thoughts behind your emotions and replacing them with more helpful thoughts. If anxiety is a problem for you, they may teach you relaxation techniques you can use on your own no matter where you are.
One of the hardest things for independent people is to accept help. But, if you don’t want someone else to offer their assistance, there’s no need to go to the effort of trying online therapy. The good news is that if you do allow yourself to benefit from your therapist’s training and experience, you can work towards achieving your mental health goals.
Is Therapy Worth Your Time and Effort?
Once you decide that you’re willing to do the work to meet your goals, you can move on to deciding whether online therapy is worthwhile for you. That decision comes down to weighing the costs against the benefits. If achieving your mental wellness goals is important enough to justify doing what it takes, you have your answer right there.