There needs to be an understanding that there is always a cost involved for the online therapist or online therapy service when providing free counselling or psychotherapy online.
This often includes payments for managing websites, equipment, insurance, the therapists or website staff costs, and many other ancillary expenditures, so it’s not actually free of expense to provide therapy services over the internet.
Is Facebook free to use? No, it is not free, like many so called free online services, they sell your data for a considerable sized profit. So, no it’s not free to use, as there is a trade-off. But many people are very happy with the trade, they get free messaging and videos etc, so they don’t mind.
With online therapy provided for free by a website, you need to check the small print in the terms and conditions to see how they use your information. Think this way, why is it free? What is the advantage for them, and what is the hidden cost?
It is unfortunate that there are so many people in this world who are not able to realise the benefit of having counselling or psychotherapy through no fault of their own. It is very true that some people cannot get therapy due to their financial insecurity. So, people can become desperate and take more risks looking for free online therapy services.
Especially for vulnerable people in terrible emotional pain, they can find themselves saying yes to tempting offers that leave them in more financial stress. This can end in them getting into more dept creating even more stress.
There are some charities that will provide free counselling services, yes there may be a waiting list and it may be limited to only several sessions, usually around eight or twelve, but that may be all you need, so it’s worth the wait.
You can often find these free services provided by charitable organisations in your local area, so it is worth looking around, especially for any charities that provide help and support with your issues.
As an example, you may find support for people who have suffered from bullying or with eating disorders, and it is worth asking if they offer any free therapy or support groups.
Surprising how helpful looking in the local phone book can be, even today with the ability to search online it is well worth checking it out.
For people over the age of thirteen, there are online self-help sites that offer self-help forums, or supportive community’s where you can ask questions and seek information.
Seek one that offers help with your pacific problem, if you cannot find one, try a general mental health forum, they offer advice and guidance on all kinds of issues. They can also provide a valuable source of practical information and allow you to talk to people in the same or similar situation to yourself.
Do a search for “mental health charity organisations” and see what’s available, you can also add your problem in front of the search term such as depression.
Ask your local Doctor or medical centre for information on free counselling services, you may have to wait a while, but it is still worth adding your name to the list. Don’t forget to look in the phone book, it may be the old way of doing things but it can still help you find what you need locally.
free counselling is often available to students through schools and colleges, so it’s worth checking if your college or university provides any free counselling. You can usually find out on their website.
Some companies offer a free counselling service that workers can use, often over the phone, sometimes it’s in the company handbook or you may have to ask HR. Many companies now see that offering mental health support is an advantage for both worker and company.
When trying to find a therapist online, there are some conscientious therapists that do provide some limited access to free online therapy sessions for people who desperately need it but are unable to pay. They do not advertise this, but quietly offer it to people when they are able to. So, it may be worth asking a therapist via email if they can help.
Like me, many therapists do offer a number of options from reduced payments based on affordability. I did offer free advice sessions over Skype on a forum a few years ago, but that was not used so I ended the option. Who knows maybe I may restart it if there was more interest.
When it comes to websites providing something for free, there is normally a hidden cost, you may find it’s only free to join or register, or you only have access to a limited number of free articles and other relevant information regarding mental health issues.
Sometimes it is staffed by volunteers who provide free support on forums or chatrooms, this kind of online support can be very useful and maybe worth a try if you can’t afford to pay. But please remember these are staffed by untrained volunteers and not therapists. Don’t forget to check the terms and conditions, see what is in there.
Some of the volunteers have had some limited training and can be quite competent and supportive, but ultimately in some cases, it’s all designed to get you to eventually pay for a trained therapist or pay for more options.
You may be recommended special offers, perhaps 25% off your first few sessions with an actual therapist, or something similar, and may even offer the first fifteen minutes or so for free.
There is nothing wrong with offering this kind of service and making a profit, and you could find the end result very satisfactory, just be aware of what’s on offer, and why.
Some people say they want therapy but are knowingly or unknowingly sabotaging their capability to find it. Starting therapy can be scary and it is surprising how well people can distract themselves from doing what is best for them in the long run.
You can usually place the people who say that they can’t afford therapy into three main groups.
1st. Unable to pay. You can’t afford to pay due to your economic situation, maybe you lost your job and are in debt, or financially struggling from a life-changing event, like a divorce or serious illness and you’re just managing to pay the basics, like rent medication and food.
2nd. No financial independence. Unfortunately, there are people in a controlling or abusive relationship, who are unable to find the means to pay without their abuser knowing. This abusive control over a person is usually combined with violence or the constant threat of violence.
3rd. Can pay but won’t pay. You feel unable to afford to pay for therapy, but the reality is that you are avoiding responsibility by creating excuses.
For instance, some people will spend over £50.00 or much more having fun drinking over the weekend, or purchasing new clothes and yet think that paying £25 or £35 for a therapy session is too costly.
Going out, spending money on things you want is a common coping mechanism, and you’re not on your own, many people use all kinds of behaviours to help cope with life.
Drinking taking drugs, eating too much, watching films and playing online games. These are just a few ways people distract themselves from their problems, often referred to as self-defeating behaviours.
People may grumble and complain they can’t afford therapy, but they still afford that holiday or a new TV. If you look closer, it is either about fear of having therapy or a total lack of commitment.
Just another way of finding a reason to show others how it’s not their fault or responsibility. How much do you spend on things you don’t need or on things that help you feel better in the short term?
The sad part is that this usually means people who are struggling to cope continue to work against themselves, and remain unable to deal with their issues. You could say that by avoiding any responsibility they help maintain their own confinement.
Having therapy can take a lot of courage, and although it may be scary to think about, try working out a level of expenditure you can afford every week, or even if you could have one session every two weeks, check out prices for online therapists, look at what they charge per session, and if they have any other payment options or special offers.
Some people save for months to get the money for ten or more sessions, what can you save in three months?
I understand it’s not easy looking for therapy, and I hope you find an option that works for you.