Online therapy programs for anxiety offer a variety of benefits, including flexibility, convenience, and privacy. They are an excellent option for those unable to travel and those with limited access to mental health services.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common online treatment for anxiety option, and it’s been proven to reduce symptoms by changing harmful thoughts. Negative thinking patterns fuel the negative emotions associated with anxiety and can make it challenging to problem-solve. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) assists individuals in regaining control over their lives by recognizing and substituting unhealthy ideas with more constructive ones.
Online therapists that offer CBT can provide patients with a variety of tools for dealing with anxiety and other mental health issues. Some techniques this therapy uses include journaling about one’s thoughts throughout the day, engaging in mindfulness meditation, practicing thought-challenging exercises (like imagining a worst-case scenario), and exposure therapy.
While these tools can be effective in treating anxiety alone, they’re best when combined with other methods of treatment. In particular, medication can increase the effectiveness of CBT and improve a person’s quality of life.
One of the few companies that provides both online CBT and access to a psychiatrist for those who need medications. This combination of empowering practices and comprehensive care made it the top pick among online anxiety treatment providers in our review. With an extensive network of therapists and multiple billing options, it’s an excellent choice for anyone needing mental health help.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT is a nonjudgmental approach to dealing with unwanted internal experiences, including anxious thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. It uses mindfulness and behavioral change techniques to encourage people to stay engaged. It also helps patients move toward what is important to them.
Unlike other cognitive-based therapies, ACT emphasizes accepting difficult experiences instead of trying to overcome them. This can be done through mindfulness activities, such as noticing five things with each sense or taking ten deep breaths. It can also involve completing questionnaires and surveys about how satisfied you are with your life. Ultimately, a therapist will use these tools to identify barriers that may keep you from moving forward with your goals.
The underlying idea of ACT is that psychological human suffering is often caused by experiential avoidance, cognitive entanglement, difficulty with perspective-taking, and a lack of contact with the present moment. This kind of activity might result in anxiety disorders, among other mental health issues.
ACT practitioners believe that the root cause of most psychiatric conditions, including anxiety, is a preoccupation with and struggle against unpleasant internal experiences. It is thought that these struggles cause more suffering than the anxiety itself. Russ Harris likens it to sinking in quicksand, and he suggests that the best way to reduce suffering is to accept the discomfort and engage with your life meaningfully.
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Motivational interviewing is an effective short-term therapy used independently or in conjunction with other treatments. It focuses on empowering people to find their reasons to change. The therapist’s role is to help them articulate those reasons by listening and encouraging discussion. In one study, researchers found that patients with more sessions were likelier to show positive outcomes.
While many counseling models rely on therapist insight and directive advice, MI counselors encourage patients to generate their rationale for change. They do not attempt to dismantle denial or confront irrational beliefs, but they may subtly help clients detect possible contradictions in their thoughts and actions. They also encourage clients to explore discrepancies between their current behaviors and broader values and goals.
This approach is beneficial for individuals in the early stages of change and need to understand how their ambivalence can be a natural part of the change process. It is also effective for those who have relapsed and need to be reminded of their motivations to stick with their recovery plan. To master this style, a therapist must learn reflective listening, rolling with resistance, and eliciting change talk. This allows them to genuinely partner with their clients in a supportive and collaborative way.
Some people have a predisposition to anxiety disorders through genetics, while certain environmental factors can lead to the development of specific forms of the condition, like panic disorder or agoraphobia (fear of open and crowded spaces). People with busy schedules or transportation challenges often find online therapy sessions more convenient, as they eliminate the need for travel time.
One advantage of online therapy for anxiety is that it allows one to have video or audio sessions from the comfort of one’s home with a mental health professional. Depending on your chosen service, the platform may offer features like a symptom tracker, data-driven prescription technology, or other tools that support your treatment.
When choosing an online therapist for anxiety, make sure that they are licensed and trained to treat the condition. You should also ensure they accept your insurance and can provide medications.
For example, online companies offer various services from licensed therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. The minimum degree required for its therapists is a master’s in clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, counseling, psychology, or counseling. Additionally, the company offers individual and group therapy sessions in addition to psychiatry and medication management. According to its website, its therapists may assist with a range of concerns, such as relationship challenges, depression, and anxiety.