Should You Consider Doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Online?

Cognitive behavioral therapy online

When we think about therapy, even when we realize the benefits it can bring to our life, it’s easy to become distracted by the potential obstacles. Namely, convenience and the ability to find time to visit a therapist regularly can be big roadblocks to receiving care. So how does doing cognitive behavioral therapy online change that? What are the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy online, what should you know, and is it effective?

We’ll explore in general what cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is, how it works and the conditions it can be helpful for. We’ll also talk about what you can expect, and then, anything to know specifically about doing this type of therapy online.


Online-Therapy—Top Provider of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Online

If you’re looking for computer programs for online therapy and you decide this approach is right for you, we partner with a provider of online cognitive behavioral therapy. Online-Therapy.com includes the following:

  • Patients are connected with a personal, qualified therapist who they can communicate with in the way that works best for them including live chat and through messages. Each week, patients have access to 30 minutes of live chat with their therapist, so they can go over the work they’re doing and get guidance and support.
  • There are modules and worksheets that you complete as part of your program, and anytime you need help or have questions you can also directly send a message to your personal
  • Online-Therapy features a journal that’s designed to help people start and end their day in a positive way. The journal is a helpful tool to change attitudes about yourself and your life in just a few minutes each day.
  • The platform features an activity plan where you outline the specific things you’re going to do and add to your life. By writing down your plans, it significantly increases the likelihood you’ll achieve your goals.
  • Online-Therapy offers something called the happiness These are quick, effective videos that help people cope with depression, stress or anxiety, and they’ve recently introduced yoga videos into the toolbox, as well as meditation.
  • Each therapy program contains eight sections, geared toward specific issues such as anxiety. These sections include the information that helps users identify challenges and then overcome them. It’s interactive and includes reading materials and hands-on tools.
  • Your personal therapist uses the worksheets in each section, and you receive feedback within 24 hours after completing a worksheet.
  • An Online-Therapy subscription includes a forum so that you can connect with other people in similar situations and talk with them anonymously. Social support is an integral part of overcoming mental health challenges, so this is an important tool.

Some of the many categories you can receive treatment for with Online-Therapy include:

If you’re interested in learning more about Online-Therapy, you can visit their site, and if you use our link, you’ll receive 20% off your first month.

 


What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Whether you do cognitive behavioral therapy online or otherwise, you may wonder what it is. Also called CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of talk therapy that’s been shown effective to treat a wide variety of problems. CBT can improve quality of life and functionality for people with conditions such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Substance abuse problems
  • Relationship and marital problems
  • Eating disorders
  • Severe mental illness

The core concepts of cognitive behavioral therapy online or in-person include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy online or otherwise is a form of talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy.
  • You work with a therapist or counselor in a structured way, and CBT isn’t usually something ongoing. Instead, there is a duration that you’ll attend sessions or participate in therapy, and there is an endpoint.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you to become aware of thought patterns or attitudes you have that are inaccurate or negative, and then it helps you change those thoughts and respond to situations in a better way.
cognitive behavioral therapy
Image SourceL

What are the Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is beneficial for many people because it can be used to treat so many different types of issues, and it can help participants quickly identify issues and make specific changes.

Cognitive behavioral therapy also requires fewer sessions than many other forms of therapy.

Some of the things that cognitive behavioral therapy might help with include:

  • Participants can manage symptoms of mental illness or work to prevent the relapse of mental
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used with medication to help with symptoms of mental illness, but it can also be useful for someone who can’t use medication for any reason.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy can help the participant learn specific ways to cope with stressful situations in their life.
  • This form of psychotherapy can help with healthy management of emotions.
  • CBT may be an option to deal with conflicts in relationships and learn better communication.
  • Someone going through a loss or grief may benefit from CBT.
  • This is a form of therapy that people who have experienced trauma or violence find helpful.
  • CBT can be used not only to help with the symptoms of mental health disorders but also chronic physical symptoms.

Most people will participate in cognitive behavioral therapy online or in-person for around five to 10 months. Sessions usually occur once a week, and every session may last anywhere from 30 to 50 or up to 60 minutes. The idea is that the client and their therapist work together to identify problems related to feelings and behaviors and create strategies for dealing with those issues.

When someone goes through a full CBT program, they can use what they learn throughout their lifetime, unlike something like medication which is a temporary solution in some cases.

Things that might happen during CBT include:

  • You will learn how to identify problems
  • You’ll become aware of your automatic thoughts, which is detailed more below
  • You’ll start to be able to make the distinction between reality and irrational thoughts and beliefs
  • You’ll work collaboratively with your therapist to challenge the assumptions you carry that may be wrong
  • You’ll examine the role of past experience and how it affects your present beliefs and feelings
  • You’ll stop assuming or fearing the worst
  • You can take yourself outside of your beliefs and see a different perspective
  • You’ll become more aware of your mood
  • You can learn how to avoid generalizations or putting yourself into the box of all-or-nothing thinking
  • Learn how to take a situation for what it is, instead of what you think it should be
  • You can face your fears instead of relying on avoidance

The Role of Negative Thoughts in CBT

One of the core components of this form of psychotherapy is that it isn’t specific events that cause us distress or upset us. It’s the meanings that we give those events.

If we continue negative thought patterns, it can prevent us from seeing reality. It’s about continuing to hold onto old ways of thinking and not learning new ways to think and approach situations.

Our negative ways of thinking often begin in childhood, and they can become a nearly fixed part of who we are. If you experience something that you feel is out of your control, you may revert to automatic thoughts that are negative and detrimental.

With CBT online or traditional therapy in person, you focus on recognizing the role your negative thought patterns and beliefs have in your life and how you respond to certain situations. You can start putting yourself outside of your automatic, negative thoughts that have become your go-to and instead see things as they really are.

Cognitive behavioral therapy doesn’t attempt to teach you that bad or negative things don’t happen, because that’s not true. However, what it does seek to do is show that your biased views of situations can make facing them harder than they need to be.

CBT is unique from most other forms of psychotherapy because it’s rooted in the present. It’s about facing the current challenges in your life and doing so in more healthy, productive ways. Other forms of therapy tend to be more about the events in our lives that happened in the past, and how they brought us to where we currently are.

If you were to sum up the objective of CBT in one sentence, it would be that it’s preparing you to be your own therapist for a lifetime.

Does CBT Work?

CBT is one of the most effective forms of therapy available, based on thousands of clinical studies that have looked at how it works for nearly every conceivable psychological disorder. CBT can work especially well for specific medical conditions such as anxiety or moderate to severe depression. For depression, CBT is often as effective as antidepressants.

Does Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

The concept of doing cognitive behavioral therapy online or computerized CBT has become popular in recent years, but a lot of people still wonder how it works and if it’s as effective as in-person CBT. Is it really a substitute for professional, in-person treatment?

Research looking at online CBT has found that guided online programs produce equivalent effects to face-to-face CBT. It’s important that an online cognitive behavioral therapy program include not just the worksheets, homework and framework to work through the issue, but also contact with a therapist.

When you have contact with a therapist, whether that’s via instant messenger or email, it helps you be accountable. It also helps you receive important feedback as you work through CBT sessions.

According to Harvard, in one study that looked at a comparison of in-person and online CBT, both groups saw significant improvements in their symptoms. Another study even found that online CBT offered better outcomes than in-person therapy, while other studies showed equal results between the two types of therapy.

In all of these studies cited by Harvard, participants did have access to a clinician, who was usually a psychologist and that may be a critical part of why cognitive behavioral therapy online works so well—without access to a therapist, it’s possible results wouldn’t be as strong.

The Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Online

If you’re considering cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, depression or something else, you may wonder what the benefits of doing it online are. There are quite a few, and for some people, the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy online are enough to motivate them to begin a treatment program.

Cost

A big barrier to traditional, face-to-face cognitive behavioral therapy is the cost. Many insurance plans don’t cover this type of therapy, and meeting one-on-one with a clinician can cost upwards of $200 a session. If you’re participating in sessions for several months or more, once a week, these costs can add up quickly.

With options like Online-Therapy.com, the costs are significantly lower. Their programs begin at $39.95 a week and with the 20% discount for the first month, it’s only $31.96 a week. For this price, participants receive access to the full online therapy program including daily contact with a therapist.

There are also flexible subscription options, and you can upgrade your plan or cancel it whenever you want.

Convenience and Accessibility

Another hurdle that can make cognitive behavioral therapy online a better option for many people are the convenience and accessibility.

When you participate in online CBT, you can do your worksheets and talk with your therapist on your terms and when it works for you.

You don’t have to take time off from work or family responsibilities, and you can fit in your therapy and exercises when it works for you. Most cognitive behavioral therapists work similar business hours to other people, which means that they’re working when you’re working, making scheduling an appointment difficult.

online therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy online, CBT online, online CBT, online cognitive behavioral therapy
Image Source: Online-Therapy

You would be not only paying $150-$200 per session but also missing time at work to facilitate it if you go with an in-person therapist.

Also, many people who don’t live in urban areas don’t have access to mental health care. With cognitive behavioral therapy online, convenience and accessibility aren’t barriers at all.

Comfort

If you’re struggling with psychological issues or especially with something like social anxiety, the idea of seeing a therapist in-person can trigger your symptoms. You may avoid it altogether, but with cognitive behavioral therapy online you don’t have to worry about the discomfort of meeting face-to-face.

You’re also more likely to be open and honest if you’re working with a mental health professional online, as opposed to in-person when you might be afraid of embarrassing yourself or what they might think of you.

A Few Takeaways about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Online

Participating in a CBT program, whether online or in-person can be life-changing and for most people who do it, it is.

There are some things to remember though.

First, no matter how you participate in CBT, it’s not a quick fix, and no one can do the work for you. You will have to be willing to put in work to make the changes you want to see.

Cognitive behavioral therapy online might not be the right option for everyone, either. For example, maybe you need more accountability to motivate you, and that might come from face-to-face sessions.

Otherwise, we encourage you to learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy online and maybe give it a try if you’re struggling with something in your life.

 

Sources

 

APA. “What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?” Accessed March 26, 2019.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.” Mayo Clinic. March 16, 2019. Accessed March 26, 2019.

Martin, Ben PsyD. “In-Depth: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.” Psych Central. October 8, 2018. Accessed March 26, 2019.

Cartreine, James PhD. “Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: The Latest Trend in Mental Health Care.” Harvard Medical School. November 4, 2015. Accessed March 26, 2019.

Gans, Steven MD. And Lombardo, Elizabeth PhD. “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Online.” Online-Therapy. Com. November 7, 2018. Accessed March 26, 2019.

Davis, Kathleen FNP. “How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?” Medical News Today. September 25, 2018. Accessed March 26, 2019.

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