Online Counselling: A Modern Approach To Therapy

June 5, 2020
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Online counselling is a way to provide people with the tools they need to improve their mental health and handle difficult situations. Nowadays, there are different platforms (both paid and free) that offer services like these.

If you’re struggling with mental health and need to see a professional, we recommend BetterHelp. It has the biggest online counselling community, with affordable plans and versatile paying methods that will give you access to licensed counselors every day, whenever you need them.

Telemedicine is evolving, and the way we reach out to others is too. People who are struggling with their mental health don’t have to deal with face-to-face therapy sessions anymore, instead, they can resort to their phones/computers while still reaching out to a professional.

In this article, we’re going to talk about online counselling, as well as the many different options Canadians have today to help them deal with their mental health struggles.

What Is Online Counselling?

Much like regular, face-to-face counselling, online counselling focuses on providing you with a set of tools that can help you redirect, manage, and deal with any emotional issue you might be going through. The only difference with the regular counselling and therapy visits we’re used to is that it’s online.

This means you can have access to a consultation with an expert right through your phone and/or computer. Making mental health much more accessible to everyone, virtually anywhere.

Online counselling is all about making these spaces more open and convenient for everyone. This way, you’re able to connect and talk with an expert whenever you might need to. 

RELATED: Feeling a little bit off? Read our blog on walk in clinics and how to find one near you.

The Opportunities Online Counselling Offers You

When knows there is a problem, seeking help to improve our mental health is always an important step in the right direction. And if you choose to do so using online platforms that connect you with experts, you can expect to see some very noticeable benefits and results as time goes on. Some reasons why online counselling can be a great way to deal with mental issues are:

1. It’s A Convenient Option

Not everyone has access to counselors, psychologists, and therapists, or the time to make face-to-face visits every week. Online counselling platforms simplify this, by taking transportation out of the picture, they make counselling more convenient for you.

These platforms give you a secure, private place where you can connect and contact your counselor any time you need to, anywhere you are.

2. It Reduces Anxiety

Some people deal with severe anxiety when interacting with others, even with doctors. The fact that they don’t have to physically interact with people, or expose themselves to small talks in the way to the clinic, in the waiting room, and more, it’s an extra benefit this option represents.

3. You Will Be In A Secure Environment

Not only will you get the privacy you need, but you’ll be using secure, legit platforms that will keep your information private, to communicate with counselors. 

Whether you choose text messages or video calls to talk to them, you can have a peace of mind knowing your personal information is safe.

4. You Will Be Talking With A Licensed Counselor

Online counselling is a form of telemedicine, and as such, it means every counselor available is licensed and qualified to help you manage your problems and give you solid, useful advice.

5. It’s Significantly More Affordable

There’s a lot of variety when it comes to prices for online counselling. However, ranging from platforms that offer services for free, to the ones that do require payment, these options are all way more affordable than regular counselling. Meaning people that need help will be able to continue with their counselling without having to worry about payment as much as they’d normally do.

Truth is, telehealth options that cater to mental issues have been around for a while, and they are opening up a new door of opportunities regular health care practices can’t offer.

Where To Get Online Counselling in Canada

There are several different platforms and applications that connect you with licensed counselors, here’s a list of the most popular online counselling options in Canada so you can pick the best option for you.

BetterHelp

BetterHelp is the biggest online counselling community in the world. Their mission is all about “Making professional counselling accessible, affordable and convenient” by acting as a bridge between you and a licensed therapist.

Their counselors are always available, and you can use BetterHelp in your computer, smartphone, or tablet to talk to them whenever you need to.

How Does It Work?

The way BetterHelp works is simple. You’ll have to choose a plan (they have personal, couples, and teen counselling) and create an account. Once you sign up, you’ll have to answer a few questions to be matched with a counselor that matches your needs.

Then, you’ll have complete access to your counselor and will be able to communicate with them by exchanging messages, chatting live, speaking over the phone, or even through video conferencing.

How Much Does It Cost?

BetterHelp has different price ranges that start as low as $40, up to $70 per week, depending on what plan you end up getting. The total is billed monthly, and you have the option to cancel out your membership whenever you want to.

As to their accepted payment methods, you can choose to pay wither with PayPal, or a credit card.

This online counselling platform is great for everyone in Canada that is looking for affordable counselling. It’s accessible, affordable, and very easy to use.

LifeLine Canada

LifeLine Canada is a foundation dedicated to positive mental health and suicide prevention with an online platform full of different programs, guides, and resources to help people with mental health issues, including online counselling.

This platform isn’t only just available for Canadians, but worldwide. You can reach their website from any computer, or download their app (available for iOS and Android) to get access to counselling services.

Keep in mind that, although you all the resources on their website are available worldwide, their app is only available in Canada.

How does it work?

They offer help through their downloadable app. Once you get it, you’ll have access to proper guidance and support to handle mental health crisis or difficult situations that may be affecting you.

The app is free, and anyone can get it. If you’re in Canada, you can even use the app to dial a crisis center and be connected immediately with a professional.

If you don’t feel like calling, LifeLine also gives you the option to chat, text, and/or email the crisis help center. Keep in mind, this app shouldn’t be used in an emergency, nor can it be considered as a counselling session.

How Much Does It Cost?

All the features on the app are free, just like the resources you can find on their website. You can donate and contribute if you’d like to, but you don’t have to pay to access their services.

This online counselling platform is great for: Someone that might need help managing a difficult situation, suicidal thoughts, the loss of a loved one, or a personal crisis (not an emergency!)

Maple

Maple is an online, accessible health care service that connects patients all over Canada with licensed doctors in a matter of minutes. All through their unique online platform that works both in desktop and smartphones.

Their services include online doctor visits, access to prescription, and sick notes. It allows you to get the same help you’ll get from a one-to-one doctor’s visit, without having to leave your house.

How does it work?

Maple got together with Shift Collab to offer online counselling, anyone in Canada with an internet connection can easily get this service. The way it works is really simple: You register on their site and wait to book an appointment with a professional.

Keep in mind, counselors and therapists will be available in under 12 hours after you book the appointment, and then you’ll be able to communicate with them through a secure video platform. Sessions last 50 minutes, and you’ll be able to discuss the situation you are experiencing and address any specific feelings you might have. 

How Much Does It Cost?

Maple has different prices depending on what plan you get. You can per visit (the cost is $49 on weekdays and $79 on weekends), or you can subscribe to one of their medical membership plans.

RELATED: Read our article about Maple here and find out more about this platform, the many services it offers, pricing, and more.

This online counselling platform is great for: Anyone that needs ongoing therapy sessions but can’t/doesn’t want to assist in person to therapy.

Hasu

Hasu is a PHIPA and PIPEDA compliant online counselling platform and app that provides a safe and secure video, text, and phone counselling for anyone struggling with mental health issues. Hasu is all about trying to help Canadians who suffer from mental health problems, but also substance abuse, in this regard they’re a particularly useful resource for addicts who need emotional support and/or help in getting better.

How Does It Work?

You can use Hasu in your computer and/or smartphone either through their desktop version or their mobile application. You won’t have to register, you just have to fill in their form to get started.

They’ll request you select an appointment type, a clinic, and a date and time in which you want to book your appointment. Then all you have to do is enter your payment method and confirm.

How Much Does It Cost?

The costs depend on what type of counseling you want. If you want video or talk counseling sessions, the hour is $95.00 (plus HST), but if you want unlimited text therapy, the cost is $29.00 per week.

This online counselling platform is great for people who need counselling or therapy and are willing to wait a little bit to make an appointment.


PriceAvailable everywhere in CanadaAvailable on mobile
BetterHelp$40 to $60YesYes
LifeLineFreeYes (and worldwide)Yes
Maple$49 and upYesYes
Hasu$99.00 for video/talk counselling
$29.00 per week for unlimited text counselling
YesYes

So, Which Should You Pick?

All of these platforms have one thing in common: They are making mental health help accessible for more people. They’re just doing so in different ways.

Services like BetterHelp, Hasu and Maple have huge platforms with professional counsellors, therapist and psychologist available for very reasonable prices and offering accessible plans. They all offer video calls, phone calls and text chats, and are available anywhere in Canada.

Other sites like the LifeLine Canada are a bit smaller, and focus on giving out helpful information and resources to people struggling with mental health. Which one you choose, depends entirely on what you need and your personal budget. 

Online Counselling: Is It Really Worth It?

Online Counseling is a great option for anyone that might be struggling with their mental health, addiction or going through a dark time. It offers an accessible choice for those who can’t go to regular therapy sessions every week.

Online counselling is a convenient, legit way to get the help you need right through your phone and/or computer, without having to worry about your personal information being hacked, and paying way less than you’d normally do for a counselling session.

As you just saw, there are many options to choose from when in need for help. Which one you choose will depend on your budget, and what level of professional help you’re seeking.

If you need regular online counselling we recommend BetterHelp. They’re the biggest virtual counselling platform and have affordable plans that are billing monthly. It’s a pretty good option for anyone that needs counselling but can’t access regular therapy sessions.

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