Anxiety affects approximately one in three U.S. adults, making it one of the most common mental health conditions in the country. There are many types of anxiety disorders, with symptoms ranging from mild to debilitating.
Thankfully, online therapy services can be an excellent resource for people living with anxiety.
To help you decide if meeting with a therapist online is the right choice for you, let’s take a look at the benefits of online counseling for anxiety and how to find a therapist who fits your needs.
What are the common symptoms of anxiety?
It’s important to note that there’s a difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a natural (and necessary) part of the human experience. However, when a person’s anxiety becomes so overwhelming that it affects a person’s daily life, it becomes a problem.
That said, anyone with anxiety (disordered or not) can express similar symptoms and may find therapy beneficial. Some of the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Persistent worry and fear
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle aches and pains
- Shortness of breath
- Avoidance of people, places, or things
- Restlessness or difficulty sleeping
Does therapy help with anxiety?
The short answer is yes: Both online and in-person therapy can offer many benefits to anyone dealing with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or substance abuse. While everyone responds to therapy differently, psychotherapy has been found to be highly effective at treating anxiety.
Mental health professionals will commonly use multiple therapeutic approaches to create an effective treatment plan for treating an individual’s anxiety. These evidence-based approaches focus on:
- Helping you cope with stressful situations and negative emotions
- Reframing beliefs and thought patterns that are contributing to your anxiety
- Encouraging gradual exposure to anxiety-inducing situations to build resilience
Sometimes, medication may also be prescribed as part of an anxiety treatment plan under the care of a psychiatrist or other licensed professional.
Examples of online counseling treatment options for anxiety
Mental health care professionals will use a variety of therapeutic approaches to treat anxiety disorders, including:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is a widely recognized form of psychotherapy commonly used to treat generalized anxiety disorder and numerous other types of anxiety. CBT focuses on identifying and challenging negative thought patterns contributing to anxiety while teaching coping strategies for managing overwhelming emotions.
During live video sessions with an online therapist practicing CBT, your therapist will help you uncover the behaviors, beliefs, and thought patterns causing you to experience anxiety. They may also provide at-home exercises and worksheets to reinforce healthy beliefs, behaviors, and thoughts they’re helping you develop.
Mindfulness-based interventions (MBI)
Mindfulness-based interventions (including mindfulness meditation and mindful breathing exercises) encourage you to develop a sense of peace, acceptance, and present-moment awareness.
MBI is designed to help you develop a non-judgemental attitude toward your thoughts and emotions, promoting better emotional regulation and reducing anxiety symptoms.
Online therapy platforms can give you access to guided mindfulness sessions via video chat — a convenient way to make these relaxing exercises a part of your routine.
Psychodynamic therapy (PDT)
PDT offers a unique approach to treating anxiety. It involves delving into the unconscious processes and unresolved conflicts that may contribute to emotional distress. Through video sessions you’re encouraged to engage in meaningful discussions with your therapist to uncover the root causes of your anxiety.
PDT aims to increase self-awareness, facilitate emotional healing, and foster personal growth — all of which can be highly beneficial when trying to reduce stress and anxiety.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
DBT combines elements of cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness practices. While CBT focuses on challenging and reframing negative thoughts, DBT focuses on helping people accept and regulate their negative thoughts and emotions.
DBT strongly emphasizes acceptance, validation, and emotional regulation strategies. Along with these cognitive-behavioral techniques, a therapist using DBT may also use mindfulness practices such as mindfulness meditation to help you develop a sense of relaxation and present-moment awareness.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
IPT focuses on improving interpersonal relationships with your partner, friends, and family members to treat anxiety. This approach recognizes the impact of a person’s relationships on their mental health and aims to help develop healthier relationships and better communication skills.
IPT helps you explore your relationships, address conflicts, and learn effective ways to manage the anxiety caused by interpersonal challenges. This type of treatment is especially helpful for anyone whose anxiety is closely tied to their interactions with others.
Benefits of choosing an online counseling platform for anxiety treatment
Compared to in-person therapy, online counseling for anxiety treatment offers many benefits. When you use a service like SonderMind to connect with a therapist to treat your anxiety, you can look forward to benefits like:
Larger therapist selection
With in-person therapy, you’re limited to local therapists. For people who live in rural areas, this can be especially limiting.
Online therapy platforms allow you to work with any therapist licensed to practice in your state. Having a much wider selection of therapists to choose from makes it a lot easier to find one who fits your needs and preferences.
Best of all, SonderMind can also match you with a therapist automatically, so you don’t have to research each one individually.
Convenience and accessibility
Online therapy allows you to attend live sessions with a therapist from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Unlike in-person therapy, it doesn’t require traveling to a therapist’s office or waiting in a lobby.
Online therapy platforms offer greater accessibility to mental health services. Some people may have physical health conditions that make it challenging to leave their homes. Similarly, mental health conditions like social anxiety may sometimes deter someone from seeking in-person therapy, making online therapy a much more accessible option.
Online therapy providers offer secure and confidential communication between therapists and clients, using HIPAA-compliant communication tools and data security controls to ensure that your private information stays private.
Privacy and security are important concerns whenever you share your medical information online. By trusting a service that takes your privacy seriously — like SonderMind — you can make sure your personal information never ends up in the wrong hands.
Additional support and resources
Along with providing access to online counseling, telehealth platforms can provide other helpful resources for people with anxiety, like educational materials, mobile apps, and information about additional resources in your area.
SonderMind provides a broad range of educational resources to support people with anxiety. If an individual needs immediate care for crisis intervention, we refer them to emergency resources. For individuals with urgent (but not emergent) needs, we connect and get them to a scheduled session with a therapist within 48 hours.
Find the right therapist to treat your anxiety with SonderMind
Working with a licensed therapist is one of the best decisions you can make if you struggle with anxiety or any other mental health condition. At SonderMind, we make it easy and convenient for anyone to find their ideal therapist.
With SonderMind’s personalized matching process, you can connect with an online or in-person therapist based on your unique needs and preferences in as little as 24 hours. From there, SonderMind provides everything you need to begin online therapy, including tools for secure, convenient communication with your therapist.
You don’t have to struggle with anxiety on your own. Get connected with a therapist through SonderMind today.