What Therapists Can Provide Online Therapy and Counseling Services?
Both counseling and therapy can help people get empowered to cope with their personal, social, emotional, and mental health problems. These terms are often used interchangeably, although there are some distinctions between them:
- Counseling is often short-term, while therapy is often long-term.
- Counseling targets a specific symptom, issue, or situation. Therapy is a more deep, comprehensive process aimed at addressing a wider range of life problems. It helps focus on you as an individual and your underlying patterns of thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.
- Counseling is focused on the present. Therapy can help you explore your past, present, and future as part of healing from whatever issues you’re struggling with.
And both terms fall into the umbrella term psychotherapy. However, only competent and experienced psychotherapists (or therapists) can provide psychotherapy. It means that they must be licensed and qualified by their state’s professional board after completing the necessary education, training, exams, and practice.
Licensing requirements can change from state to state, but in general, these specialists have to complete an education program, obtain a degree, have a certain amount of internship and/or supervised hands-on clinical experience, pass an examination, and then be licensed.
On average, therapists licensed at the master’s level have about 2,000-4,000 hours (or 2-3 years) of supervised clinical experience.
Besides, mental health professionals are required to renew their license based on the rules of their state every 1-3 years. And some states also have continuing education requirements.
There are different types of mental health professionals:
- Clinical psychologists — professionals who have highly specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of emotional, mental, and psychological problems. They can work with people of all ages, with individuals, families, teams, and organizations. They can also supervise other providers.
- Psychiatrists — medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. They have expertise to prescribe and monitor medications. They can also provide or assign therapy.
- Psychiatric nurses — skilled healthcare professionals with expertise in mental health. They are trained in assessing mental health needs, addressing and monitoring mental health conditions, improving coping abilities, helping with self-care activities, and providing psychoeducation.
- Mental health counselors — mental health specialists who are trained to assess and diagnose clients and provide psychotherapy. They use a variety of psychotherapy methods and techniques to help people cope with a wide range of mental health concerns and improve mental well-being. They are not licensed to prescribe medication.
- Clinical social workers — highly trained professionals who can evaluate people’s mental health and help overcome a variety of personal, interpersonal, and social psychological problems. They create treatment plans and provide psychotherapy services.
- Marriage and family therapists — work with couples, families, and individuals to help them solve problems and improve their relationships, communication, and conflict resolution skills. They help people deal with specific issues in marriage, relationships, parenting, adoption, divorce and also with depression, anxiety, or grief.
All of them can provide online therapy and counseling services. And all of them can join Calmerry to start their online practice.
Credential Titles of Mental Health Professionals
All above mentioned providers can call themselves as therapists, counselors, mental health professionals, mental health providers, or clinicians. However, there’s a legally regulated difference in their license credential titles.
For some areas of expertise and training, there can be several job titles and abbreviations. For example, for clinical social workers — Licensed Independent Social Worker (LICSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
Paying attention to them can give you a better understanding of what type of professional will fit you better.
Here are some of the most common ones:
- Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
- Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
- Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor of Mental Health (LPCC)
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
- Licensed Clinical Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselor (LCADAC)
- Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)
- Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP)
On the Calmerry platform, you will work only with fully-licensed mental health professionals. Our therapists are competent, trained, and experienced professionals. They hold a master’s or a doctorate degree in their field and are experts in evidence-based techniques.
Who to Choose?
With so many mental health professionals to choose from, what type of provider may be the right fit for you?
Finding your therapist among these numerous titles can be confusing. But it’s a crucial step on the way to the happy life you truly desire.
It’s better to start from asking yourself questions like:
- What are the issues/issues I struggle with?
- What mental health concerns do I have?
- What goals do I want to accomplish?
Each of these questions and your honest answers can lead you to the type of therapist who best suits your needs.
In making that choice, there are also several things to consider:
- Specialty of a professional
- Their training, certification, and education
- Methods, approaches, practices, and techniques they use
- Recommendations and reviews
- Your preferences regarding offline or online therapy
- Modes of communication
- Schedule and availability
The Internet made it easier than ever to find and choose the right therapist for you. On Calmerry, there are over 600 licensed, carefully vetted mental health providers. And we have trained agents who match you with the best-suited professional in less than 24 hours. They consider your answer in the survey, preferences, and needs while matching.
Nevertheless, the only way to make sure that you and your provider click well and that they can help you achieve your goals is through one-on-one sessions. If you want to change your therapist, on Calmerry, you can do it anytime for free, as many times as you need.
Is Online Therapy Right for Me?
Therapy can be a powerful tool for self-care, for improving your mental health, and for making significant positive changes in your life. Still, there are some cases when we don’t recommend using online therapy and counseling platforms.
Please, don’t use Calmerry if:
- You’re under 18 years of age
- You don’t have an Internet-enabled device and reliable Internet connection
- You’re looking for medication prescription and management services
- You need official diagnosis
- You’ve been diagnosed with a severe mental health illness
- You have a condition that requires face-to-face appointments, more intense mental health treatment, or on-site medical assistance
- You were required to undergo court-ordered therapy
- You demonstrate self-harming behavior or have thoughts of hurting yourself or others
- You experience suicidal ideation or exhibit suicidal behavior
- You’re in a crisis or life-threatening situation
In any of these situations, Calmerry recommends that you seek local face-to-face help. If you need immediate assistance, call 911, or contact a local crisis hotline or emergency assistance service.
If you’re or someone in your family or community may be at risk for suicide, contact your healthcare provider, local mental health authority, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889).
Visit this page to find helpful emergency resources.
Also, these medically reviewed articles may be useful:
How to Help Someone Who Is Suicidal
What to Know About Relationship Abuse and How to Get Support
Looking for More Information About Mental Health Counseling and Online Therapists?
Still not sure whether online counseling is a good option for you? Check out these medically reviewed articles to learn more about psychotherapy.
What is CBT? – Learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy, its potential benefits and disadvantages, and what to expect during CBT sessions.
Who Is Who in Psychotherapy: Titles of Mental Health Professionals – This article can help you understand the differences in their education, training, licensure, areas of expertise, and services they offer.
What Should I Expect from My First Online Therapy Session? – Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about what’s going to happen in the first session to get acquainted with the process.
8 Benefits of Online Therapy – Discover why online therapy can be a valuable experience for those who need help to overcome life challenges and mental health issues and find information about the research that proves its effectiveness.
Types of Psychotherapy for Depression – This article will walk you through different types of psychotherapy for depression to help you understand the differences.
Therapy for Anxiety – Here Is What You Need to Know – The article covers the most effective therapies for treating anxiety disorders.
What You Need to Know About Relationship Therapy – Learn when to seek therapy, how to find the right therapist, what to expect, and how to get most out of online relationship counseling.
If any questions remain unanswered, visit the Helpful Tips section in your account. Also, can contact our tech support 24/7 — they will provide all the necessary information to ensure a smooth therapy process.