21.3% of adults in Canada find themselves battling with some sort of mental health issue. With mental health issues on the rise, it's crucial now more than ever that people can access services.
Most sessions aren't being conducted in-person.
With COVID-19 still a presence in Canada, you might be searching for an online therapy provider. If you're not sure what you should look for when it comes to online therapy in Canada, we're here to provide you with a comprehensive guide.
Figure Out the Type of Provider You Need
There are several types of mental health providers available to conduct virtual online therapy sessions. Depending on the issue you're dealing with, it will give you insight into the type of online provider you need to look for.
If you're unsure of the mental issue you have, you might need to speak to someone who can diagnose your disorder. In this case, seeing a psychiatrist would help to make this diagnosis.
Psychiatrists can also prescribe medication that will help you gain better control over your mental health. A professional counsellor is best if you've got several issues that stem from your mental health issues.
While they cannot prescribe you medications to help with your mental health, they can help you discover ways to improve your current health and adapt to life with a mental health disorder. Psychologists are licensed to treat several disorders.
They do this by providing counselling in the form of both group and individual therapy sessions.
How Will I Know Which Provider Is Right for Me?
While one type of provider might seem like the right choice, there are some ways to rule out the ones that aren't going to work for your specific situation. If you need medication to cope, you will need to find someone that is licensed to prescribe it.
Some providers can provide both counselling and medication to the clients that they see regularly. Another defining factor in choosing one of the providers we've detailed above for you is the type of condition you have.
Some healthcare professionals are better equipped to deal with a range of conditions, whereas some providers specialize in one or two areas.
Check With Your Insurance
Receiving virtual online therapy is an ongoing process and can become costly. For this reason, when finding the right online mental health care professional, you first need to check with your insurance.
Most mental health care providers will have an area on their site where you can view the insurance types that they accept. Once you've checked to see if the provider accepts your insurance, you can contact your insurance to find out how much coverage is included.
Getting online therapy covered by insurance in Canada can be tricky if you don't know about your insurance plan. Before entering into treatment, it's helpful to know what types of services your insurance will cover and the portion of treatment you'll be responsible for.
Read the Reviews
It's always a good idea to refer to reviews before you move forward with one mental health provider. Reviews will give you better insight into what you should expect when working with a specific provider.
Reviews tend to provide feedback about red flags that other clients experienced when working with the therapist. Or the reviews will give positive feedback on the things that the former client found useful.
If you cannot find online reviews to read, you can always ask close family or friends if they have any recommendations.
Check Company Assistance Programs
Most group benefits programs have access to free counselling such as the Employee Assistance Program. In another example, police officers, paramedics and firefighters have access to one on one therapy with an in house Psychologist.
Therapist Training Credentials
The last thing you want to do is receive services or advice from someone that isn't licensed to treat people. Before deciding on a provider, something to consider is where they obtained their certification and how long they have been practicing.
Therapist Specialization Areas
Earlier, we stated that you need to consider the area of specialization a professional is skilled in. The specialization may not correlate to your condition.
The area of specialization is crucial because they have studied the ins and outs of your condition. They have learned specific techniques to help treat it. They understand triggers and will help you identify and manage them.
Before setting up appointments, take the time to ask the provider about the treatment methods they use and whether or not those tactics would be suitable for your treatment.
Years of Experience
Sometimes someone with more experience can provide better help than a recent graduate. This isn't to say that someone fresh in their career isn't helpful. It simply means that someone with more experience has had more time to apply certain techniques and to asses what their success rates are.
As a result of the situations they've been exposed to, they can provide better assistance to clients. Clients that are entrusting them with their mental wellbeing.
One thing that you need to ask about before moving forward with therapy is the therapist's availability. If you're facing an emergency and need to speak to someone desperately, does the therapist offer an emergency helpline that clients can use?
Most therapists have a list of hours listed on their site to offer help when you're scheduling your sessions. It's useful to know the availability in case of an emergency, or if you need to speak to someone outside of your regular therapy sessions.
Therapy Session Methods
When it comes to virtual therapy sessions, there are several methods that you should have made available to you by the therapist. The therapy methods you're able to choose from should provide you with the flexibility to fit your schedule.
The first method that might work for some people is video calling. You would set a time with your therapist and chat with them using a video streaming platform.
If you're looking for more availability because you need to speak to someone at various times throughout the day, it might prove useful to have access to text sessions. This is beneficial if you're someone that's not comfortable speaking to a person face-to-face.
It gives you the freedom to get all your thoughts out at once without the anxiety of having to speak the words out loud. If you find that the help you need isn't as urgent, you might opt for email therapy sessions.
What Happens During an Online Therapy Session?
In the first online session, you can expect to do the same thing you would do during in-person sessions, fill-out paperwork. The paperwork that your therapist needs you to fill out will likely be sent via email.
This paperwork will provide your therapist with the information they need to provide you with the best care. We recommend before your session begins, you write down any questions that you have for the therapist.
You can probably expect to do most of the talking during your first session as he or she will want to understand your thought process. You will be asked a few probing questions as well. Which direction it goes from there will be dependent on your condition, the technique used by the therapist and how much time is left in the session.
Get to Know Each Other
You should expect to become close with your therapist. This is the only way for them to help you with your specific mental health issues and help you identify problems that might have led to your issues.
The therapist will provide you with the space you need to get things off your chest. And occasionally will interject with questions of their own to help steer the conversation in a way that helps you get the most out of the session.
Entering into therapy doesn't only take place in the clinic or office of the therapist. You may be given coping techniques to apply to your every day life.
You've got to do the hard work of breaking down barriers and being honest with yourself about things that you've never addressed before. Without this groundwork, it can be challenging to achieve what you're looking for in therapy.
But, your therapist understands the importance of what you're doing in therapy and how it will help set the tone for your life moving forward.
Online Therapy in Canada: What to Look for?
When searching for online therapy in Canada, we've provided you with several factors that you need to look for or consider before settling on a therapist. You should consider reviews that have been left by previous clients, and also take the time to check with your insurance company about the services they cover.
If you need insurance or are looking to improve your current insurance plan, get quotes from Insurdinary.