Content Warning: The beginning of this article may be too disturbing for some.
After earning a culinary degree, I started working in some famous restaurants in New York until a world-class chef offered to mentor me if I agreed to become the head chef in his newest restaurant. However, the catch was that the new job was in London.
I was excited because I could finally get out of my family’s grasp. Although they would undoubtedly consider moving to the UK to be with me, I knew that they had limitations, too. None of them could leave everything behind in the US, especially not my father, who had a construction company to run. Hence, after some push and pull, I got their approval.
Before I could board my plane, Mom hugged me tightly and said, “Make sure to have your pepper spray with you all the time. Aside from the big one in your bag, buy a keychain-sized bottle or three.”
I rolled my eyes. This was the stranger-danger talk again. I never encountered anyone who tried to act untoward around me, so I felt like it was a useless reminder at that point.
The Harsh Truth
The first few days in London were beyond incredible. My new boss got a cozy apartment and a Mini Cooper for me, so I got to travel around the city independently. He even gave me access to the gyms and spas that he owned, saying that I could use the amenities anytime. It seemed like I got lucky in the boss department because of all the benefits I got before the actual job even started.
Then, a night before my first day at the new restaurant, my boss invited me over to his house, claiming that his wife wanted to get to know me better. I drove to their place at once, eager to please everyone. However, when I arrived, I sensed that no one else was there except for my boss. I still did not think bad of the situation; I kept telling myself that the wife would pop up anytime soon. My boss offered red wine to me, and I accepted a glass politely.
The topics that my boss wanted to talk about were quite casual, to be honest. He asked about my family; he spoke of the early days of his relationship with his wife. Just then, he asked, “Don’t you have a boyfriend back home?”
“Oh, no, sir,” I replied hurriedly, worrying that my boss might take that against me.
To my confusion, my boss smirked. “Well, my wife is actually out of town, so I’m practically single this weekend.”
My confusion turned into horror as my boss grabbed my head and kissed me roughly on the lips. I tried pushing him away, but he didn’t budge. Worse, he kept forcing his tongue into my mouth. Luckily, I remembered self-defense 101: crush the man’s jewels. I held on to my boss’s shouldered and kneed him between the legs so hard that he let go of me immediately.
“You’re fired!” he yelled angrily at my fleeting back.
Collecting The Pieces
I packed my clothes in a hurry and took the earliest flight back to the US that night. My parents were surprised to see me, but their faces hardened as I told them that my boss tried to molest me. The entire family convened at the house, and they all got busy calling every authoritative figure they knew to make sure that my boss would pay for what he did to me. And he did – he lost his wife, businesses, and reputation and even went to prison.
All these happened in a couple of months, and I barely had time to process what I went through. I would sometimes have nightmares about the whole thing, but I never told my loved ones about them to avoid worrying them further. Before I spiraled down, though, I learned about online counseling through friends.
What are the advantages of online counseling?
Online counseling makes mental help accessible to people from different parts of the globe. It is an advantage, considering not everyone lives close enough to a psychologist or psychiatrist. This form of therapy promises that the patients can be guided through their issues without traveling anywhere.
Another advantage of online counseling is its affordability. You won’t need to shell out more than $30 or $40 for every hour you spend talking to a licensed therapist. That amount is not enough for traditional counseling.
Online counseling also offers convenience, considering you don’t have to schedule appointments or wait for hours at a counselor’s office. When you sign up, it will only take minutes to connect with a counselor.
Why is counseling important to mental health?
Counseling is vital to mental health because psychological problems are not like physical ailments that can mostly be treated by medication. When the patient goes through counseling, the counselor can walk them through acknowledging and assessing their problems and then coming up with solutions. Thus, the patient may never need to get prescriptions.
What is online mental health therapy?
Online therapy is a modern form of counseling in which patients can receive treatment through virtual communication. Some say that it can be as effective as face-to-face therapy, but further research is essential before mental health professionals recommend it to more people.
What are the benefits of teletherapy?
You will realize that teletherapy ensures that the patient’s treatment does not halt due to the get-go’s distance issues. They need not travel to receive therapy – it can be done wherever they are in the world.
Since the treatment takes place at home most of the time, the patient may seem more at ease than ever. That is another plus because it allows them to open up to the counselor and speed up their healing process.
Furthermore, online counselors are not tied to the eight-to-five schedule that traditional ones follow. Whether you feel blue at 2 P.M. or 3 A.M., a mental health professional will be available to help you get through your thoughts and emotions.
Is online therapy effective?
Yes, online therapy is technically effective. Many individuals have claimed to get better after a few sessions with their virtual counselor.
What are the pros and cons of Internet-based counseling?
The primary advantage of internet-based counseling is that it is more affordable than traditional counseling. For instance, BetterHelp may charge you $30 per hour, while a regular counselor may ask for $150 for the same kind of therapy. Should you choose online counseling, you only need to pay for a fifth of the latter charges.
The convenience of receiving mental health assistance at home or anywhere you are is unrivaled, too. It entails that you need not be in the same place as the counselor before guiding you well.
Aside from that, there is no risk of anyone else knowing that you get counseling. Privacy matters for a lot of people, after all. Sometimes, even if the counselor keeps your files confidential, a colleague or relative may still catch you walking in or out of the facility and coax you to reveal your condition. The fact that you can even chat with the counselor allows you to be as discreet as possible.
Meanwhile, the disadvantage of internet-based counseling is that it is not recommendable for a broad range of mental disorders. Sure, it may work for people with depression or anxiety, but it cannot help folks with severe psychiatric illnesses.
Online counseling may also take place through texts. While it seems like a pro, it is a con because many individuals cannot convey their thoughts and emotions in written form. Hence, the counselor may find it tough to help them.
Is online therapy expensive?
No, online therapy is inexpensive. If you want to avoid the services for free, there’s 7 Cups of Tea for you. In case you do not wish to see your therapist or be seen by them through a video call ever, you may get therapy from Talkspace. If you want the latter’s opposite and get the full experience without leaving the house, BetterHelp is an ideal mental help provider for you.
What is the best online counseling?
According to research, Talkspace is the best online counseling provider. People like the fact that its app is easy to navigate and excellent therapists and customer support team.
Does insurance pay for online counseling?
In reality, insurance companies do not pay for online counseling. However, some states have parity laws in motion that necessitate them to reimburse their clients’ virtual counseling payments.
Is online counseling Safe?
Yes, online counseling is safe. That is especially true if you sign up for counseling at a trustworthy platform.
Which is better, BetterHelp, or Talkspace?
BetterHelp is better in the sense that the platform offers a live video session to clients. Talkspace has more straightforward features, considering they only allow the patients to chat or text with the counselors.
Will insurance companies pay for telehealth?
The answer is mostly no, considering there is no national law at the time of writing that requires insurance companies to reimburse a patient’s telehealth fees. Luckily, a growing number of states have parity laws that require them to do otherwise. If you are unsure, you may ask your agent about it.
What is a 95 modifier?
A 95 modifier refers to the total number of minutes that the mental health professional and the patient consumed during their video interaction. The former typically uses it to claim their fees.
How do I pay for my telemedicine services?
The payment method for telemedicine services is similar to that of anything you purchase – it can be through credit or cash. You may ask the provider which one they prefer to use.
What is the difference between e visit and telehealth?
When a mental health professional does an e-visit, you interact with the patient through texts or chats. As for telehealth, it involves the use of a camera to do a virtual face-to-face consultation.
Technically, online counseling is not designed for victims of sexual abuse. However, because it caused me to develop depressive symptoms, talking to a counselor virtually allowed me to have a confidante who would not look at me pitifully or say that everything would be okay. I preferred taking action more than being idealistic about my situation, after all.
Am I 100% okay now? No. I don’t think anyone will ever feel that way after such an ordeal. But what’s important is that I’m learning to be better every day. It’s all thanks to online counseling.