What Is A Therapist - Man Having Counseling

What Is A Therapist?

How we view and decide on where to find ways of solving our problems whether it is something basic like where to buy our groceries from or something more serious like book a therapy session is very different to how we used to.  I mean, who would have thought that online therapy would become a thing?  But here we are and doing A LOT of things online now.  Online therapy and counseling included.  What is a therapist exactly and what does therapy aim to do? 

There are many different types of therapy covering a range of subjects and issues but the general definition is:

 

THERAPIST

Someone whose job is to treat a particular type of mental or physical illness or disability, usually with a particular of therapy:

a speech therapist

a music/an art therapist

see also psychotherapist

I’m seeing my therapist on Friday morning

Cambridge Dictionary

There are also physiotherapists, massage therapists, physical therapists and occupational therapists.

But that’s not what this article is about.  

With our fast pace of life, isolation and addictive technologies people are turning to a different type of therapist, specifically, mental health therapists.  Online mental health therapy is becoming more and more popular.

My blog talks a lot about doing certain things yourself to help you with mental, emotional, or relationship issues but sometimes that just won’t cut it.  Sometimes you need a mental health professional.  Finding one will depend on what you need and what you want.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. I’m not a health care provider of any description. The internet is a monster of information and you can get swallowed up by it. That’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to resolve any mental health issues or are just not feeling up to the search and research involved. I’ve searched and researched for you and that is my intention now, to show you what I’ve found. My aim is to provide you with information in one place and a helping hand with your first steps to mental wellness.

First, let’s look at the benefits of therapy.

I want this post to be useful and beneficial to you and me.  That said, I have added affiliate links to this article and would love it if you decide to use them.  😘

READING TIME:  15 Mins.   Or JUMP AND SKIM:

We can all have days where we feel sad, depressed, and anxious.   I’m sure most have also experienced Murphy’s Law – what can go wrong, will go wrong. But things generally pick-up as we pick ourselves up and carry on with living our lives.  It is when the depression and anxiousness last for weeks, months, or even years that therapy can provide the very thing you need to get unstuck.  

Asking for help can be a little scary, especially when you are used to doing things for yourself.  Therapy is misunderstood by some and people seen as weak who sought out this kind of assistance.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Here’s why:

1.  Better out than in, I say!  Talking to someone and discussing how you feel can be liberating in itself.  Plus therapists have lots of techniques they can teach you to use so that can you apply to them to your life and feels loads better.

2.  Those techniques have a long reach and you will find that long after therapy you have your toolkit to facilitate peace of mind when life throws you a curveball.  Those tools put you in a strong position to deal with life, whatever happens.

3. It can be difficult to see the woods for the trees when we feel so low for so long, wrapped up in our thought processes.  We think we’re the only ones who feel like this.  Knowing that you are not alone is very comforting.  

4. A bonus is that those little aches, pains, and physical niggles can disappear after “talking therapy”. I’m a strong believer in the connection between mind and body and it is possible that solving some mental problems could well have a positive effect on your physical body.

5.  You will change your mind by having therapy and not only will you see yourself differently but you will see other people and the world differently too.  In a good way.  Having happy, positive thoughts will give you a completely new perspective.

Sounds good, right?  Let’s take a look at therapists in more detail.

What Is A Therapist - One to One Therapy

What's The Difference Between A Counselor And A Therapist?

Along with therapy you also have counseling.  Therapy will treat a range of issues whereas counseling will focus on a particular issue and is usually more of a short term process than therapy. 

Counselors may have the word “professional” in their title but always check their experience and qualifications.  The same is to be said about therapists but I’ll go into more detail about that later.  Types of counselors:

  • Addiction counselors
  • Relationship counselors
  • Family and Marriage counselors

What Is A Mental Health Therapist?

There are lots of difference titles used in the mental health industry and there are subtle and not so subtle differences:

  • Psychotherapist

You may have heard of CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?  It is a very popular form of “talking therapy”.

 The general term of psychotherapy includes different types of “talking therapy” and is used to change thoughts and emotions that have a negative impact on your life.

  • Psychologist

They tend (usually) to have a Ph.d, and focus on helping people with their thought processes, emotions and behavior.  They cannot write prescriptions.

  • Psychiatrist

Think Frasier from the long running, hugely popular TV show from the 1990s.  Both Frasier and his brother Niles were psychiatrists in the show.  A very funny show (in my opinion).

Psychiatrists diagnose and treat a wide range emotional and behavioral problems.  Being doctors they can subscribe medication.

  • Psychoanalyst

Using Sigmund Freud’s theories a psychotherapist will work with someone to uncover repressed feelings that unconsciously to the person could be causing them to repeat old non-beneficial patterns of behavior.  Note: anyone can give themselves this title and advertise their services.

Question is how do you check to see if a therapist is the real deal?

How Can I Check A Mental Health Therapist's Credentials?

YOU could be anywhere in the world as you read this and therefore knowing how to check if a therapist’s is licensed to work will depend on what country you are in.  Having said that there are some general things you can do (apart from your own due diligence, of course).

Let’s say, you have the name of a therapist you may be interested in but you are not sure if they are qualified.  Possible next steps:

1. ASK THEM – ring or email them and ask for their licence identification number.  (If they don’t give it to you, you may want to rethink your choice).

Once you have the license ID you can use it to check their credentials online, we’ll talk about that in number 3.

2. SEARCH ON A THERAPY DATABASE – 

PSYCHOLOGY TODAY  

GOOD THERAPY 

They both have Find A Therapist section.  You can select your country or city and look for verified mental health professionals.

3.  ONCE YOU HAVE THE LICENSE ID NUMBER you can then use it to check the license is legitimate.

If you live in the US, then you can check here:

American Counseling Association – there is a list of states, pick your state from the drop-down, and then click the link, enter the therapist’s name and license number, and verify it.

Not all countries require therapists to have a license.  The UK and Australia do not regulate therapists in the same way as the USA.

This is where it gets a bit tricky online.  For other countries, you’ll need to search locally and in your own language.  Here are some useful websites for the UK, Australia and Canada.  

UK – the NHS state that you can Find A Psychological Therapies Service (England only) on their website as long as you are registered with a GP.   In the link here you can refer yourself without asking your doctor and the service will contact you.

Australia – Find a professional counselor or therapist near you.

Canada –  Find a Canadian certified counselor at the CCPA-ACCP.

4.  GET A REFERRAL – Just because a therapist is licensed, does it mean they are a good therapist?  Not necessarily, therefore getting a recommendation from a friend or acquaintance is ideal.  Word of mouth and talking to someone who has either used the therapist or knows someone close that has is a definite advantage.

What's The Easiest Way To Find A Therapist?

It depends.  

Are you comfortable and happy with skipping the traditional route and using an online therapist? 

Yes?  Okay then, the easier way to find a therapist is to let someone else find them for you.  

Using an online therapy network that checks the therapists qualifications and does the background checks for you is the ideal solution and will save you tons of time.  

This virtual solution is perfect for many reasons:

  1. You don’t need to spend time looking on many different websites for your therapist – they are all in the same place and vetted, ready to go
  2. No travel hassle to and from the appointment saves time, just switch on your laptop
  3. Social distancing is not an issue
  4. It’s more comfortable sitting in your own home
  5. Saving time means saving money.

There are lots of therapy networks online that provide the ability to reach out and talk to someone.  Not everyone wants to talk though but they do need to work through their issues and the great thing here is – there are online therapies for both.

That being said, I will list 7 online therapy networks that cater for people who want to talk face-to-face and who prefer a completely different approach.

What Is A Therapist - Girl On laptop

7 Online Therapy Networks

(1) Online-Therapy

As mentioned earlier, one of the most popular and widely used forms of “talking therapy” is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  This is the approach used by Online-Therapy.com.  CBT helps you to manage and control your problems by giving you the tools to change the way you think and behave.

The website is easy to use with a video explaining up front how their subscription works and what it includes.  

Not only are you provided with online support from your own personal certified therapists but you will have access to a complete online therapy toolbox which includes:

  • Worksheets
  • Live Chat
  • A Journal
  • An Activity Plan
  • An 8 module CBT course
  • And there new feature – Yoga

It’s FREE to get started with access to the online therapy program with easy-to-follow sections and worksheets.

The weekly subscriptions ranges from $36 to $71.

Choose the subscription that suits you and get 20% discount for your first month. 

This online therapy platform will ask you to complete a questionnaire that forms the beginning of you assessment so they can match you to the right psychologist.  

All their therapists are qualified and receive regular supervision from experts in the field from both the UK and USA.

Most engagements are with psychotherapists but they offer psychiatrists help too in case you have a medical enquiry or require specialist assistance.

Fees are different depending on the treatment you receive.

Professor Green (UK rapper and TV personality) has teamed up with My Online Therapy and shares his own struggles with mental health with the intention of encouraging others to open up and get the therapy they need.

Behemoth health and beauty store Superdrug have also jumped into the picture with My Online Therapy.  Mental Health Services is now on the Superdrug menu and will take your through to the therapy website.

Talk Space is a subscription therapy service that you set up and you are billed for automatically.  

Offering support to people at affordable prices and providing convenient access is their mission.  You send a therapist text messages, audio messages as well as picture and video messages in a private, text-based chat room.

Talk Space therapists are licensed.

There are no contracts and you can cancel anytime.  Monthly, quarterly, biannual subscriptions starting at 260$ per month with unlimited messaging therapy.

(4) Renaissance Life Therapies

These guys provide private online psychotherapy sessions and self-help training courses in different therapeutic subjects with tutor support.

They are a 24/7 operation and offer counseling, psychotherapy, CBT, ADHD, Art Therapy, couple issues and life coaching from anywhere in the world.

The online courses are £200 and therapy session fees are arranged and agreed between you and your therapist.

With fully qualified experienced professionals, appointments can be available within the hour.

And now for something completely different…

I found this fascinating.  I’d vaguely heard of light therapy before but didn’t know too much about it.  The cool thing with Somnilight is that they not only provide a different type of therapy but that they have a whole bit on the research of light therapy within their site.  

There’s quite a bit of research information but for instance, people with bipolar feel their sleep patterns are out of control and subsequently suffer from insomnia.  Research on light and dark therapy has shown to have positive effects on bipolar insomnia, with blue-blocking glasses. They use a mix of bright light in the morning and simulated darkness with amber sleep lights and glasses.  The bright (blue) light in the morning helps produce wakeful hormones and the absence of them tells our brain to slow down and this regulates circadian rhythms and therefore sleeping at the desired time.

Most of their therapy products are focused on relieving migraines, and assisting with sleep disorders.  Both of which can spill over into areas of your life if left untreated.  Migraines and not getting enough sleep can have a detrimental effect on your mental health and wellbeing.

There is a 60 day money back guarantee with products start at $30.

Let’s say you are a little uncomfortable speaking directly with someone about your emotional and relationship issues.  The answer?  Therapy at home workbooks.

Love and Life Toolbox have created these therapy at home workbooks but know also there are other things on offer.  

The website owner is Lisa Kift, MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) and she offers consultants on emotional and relationship issues.  But this is NOT psychotherapy.  A consultation is a one-off deal giving advice and creating an action plan to assist you in moving forward.  You choose how – by email, phone or video conference.

But, back to the workbooks.  These ebooks are interactive and a do-it-yourself therapist guided alternative to counseling.  For example her workbook The Premarital Counseling Workbook for couples can be done together in the privacy of your own home.

She also has a few other bits and bobs on her website including an online course called Break Your Unhealthy Relationship Patterns.

(7) Self-Therapy Journey

Their motto is:  A GPS for the mind.  As you know I’m all about building up self-esteem and confidence and that is what this online tool is all about too.  But not just that.  It’s about transforming yourself by yourself.  You can tackle and resolve many issues like procrastination, shyness, depression, anger, and more.

Once you’ve enrolled, you work through the course at home in your own time.  There are 5 parts to the process that help you identify patterns and behaviors that are not supporting you in living the life you want and then taking you from where you are to where you want to be.

Try their FREE quizzes if you’re not sure where to start on your self-therapy journey.

Is Online Therapy Legit?

Good question but you could also ask the question, is traditional therapy legit?

The short answer is: it depends on where you go and which therapist you choose.

I’m yet to do a thorough review of the above online therapy networks apart from Online-Therapy.   I will be doing reviews on some of others, if not all.  

I believe doing reviews will add value due to the rising popularity of online therapy. Along with these changing times of lockdowns and social distancing, people will be using the internet more and more.

Still Not Sure? Ask Yourself This

When I’m not sure on whether to do something I think about it completely differently.  I say to myself, if my best friend (or someone I really care about and have their best interests at heart) came to me and asked me what they should do, what would I say to them?  I usually get the answer pretty quickly.

Receiving therapy, learning and reaching out from anywhere in the world really is amazing.

What Is A Therapist - Girl Reaching out

If you need a helping hand, then for the love of lemons, REACH OUT!

The name of The Game is Experience so let us experience Connecting and Sharing. 

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