This article is sponsored by BetterHelp, the world’s largest professional therapy platform, done online. 

You think you may be struggling with anxiety, but you’re not completely sure. This is where most people start getting curious about everything from their symptoms to the different types of treatment that could help them manage them. 

Especially since there are so many types of anxiety — from generalized anxiety to postpartum anxiety — wanting to lean on an expert makes sense. 

Melissa Hummelt, LPCC, is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with a clinical focus on CBT, and the Senior Clinical Operations Manager at BetterHelp. She offered four tips to help you decide whether online therapy is the best option for you. 

woman doing online therapy

Notice how your anxiety is showing up in your life 

Statistics show that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the world, but this does not mean that each person experiences anxiety in the same way. Instead, it’s more likely that two people who struggle with anxiety would probably describe how their anxiety manifests differently. Taking the time to notice how your anxiety shows up in your life can help you figure out how to approach your care better. 

Hummelt recommends asking questions like: 

  • Is it interfering with school or your job? 

  • Is it impacting the way you socialize or want to spend time with people? 

  • Are you noticing uncomfortable physical symptoms such as chest tightness, GI discomfort, headaches, or fatigue?

Consider any new life circumstances you’re moving through 

Like looking at your everyday life, you also want to keep an eye on new experiences and any anxiety they may bring up. For instance, if you’re reading this and you’re navigating an infertility journey, Hummelt notes it’s normal for the journey to bring up all kinds of big feelings, including anxiety. 

“In my experience, those struggling with infertility can often experience a lot of frustration, fear, worry, and negative thoughts,” explains Hummelt. “It can all feel very overwhelming and lonely. These feelings can, in turn, create more stress in other areas whether it be negatively impacting a couple’s sexual relationship, experiencing financial strife, or feeling emotionally distanced from family or friends.” 

The same goes for individuals or couples leaning into new life experiences, like parenthood. 

woman struggling with anxiety

Hummelt adds: “For many parents, anxiety can come from a well-intentioned place of wanting to provide as a caregiver. Most parents want to be as prepared and/or informed as possible. However, this worry or preoccupation can reach a level where it results in a negative impact on either the caregiver or the child.” 

Remember that anxiety and therapy actually go hand in hand 

“Anxiety disorders are very treatable, and there are a lot of different therapy modalities that can help,” explains Hummelt. “In fact, there is a lot of scientific research that demonstrates how effective therapy can be.” 

If your main worry is that you’re not sure how a typical therapy session would go, Hummelt shares some insight on how she runs her sessions. 

Be the expert in you.

Take the Quiz

“In my sessions, I aim to first understand someone’s perspective of their challenges and learn what goals they may have. We might work together to better understand how their thoughts, beliefs, and feelings play a role in how anxiety shows up for them. Through exploration and collaboration, we can identify any root causes or triggers. From there, therapy can be a place to continue processing anxious thoughts, feelings, and situations with a professional who is trained to provide feedback and support as well as exercises to build skills.” 

woman finding equilibrium in online therapy

Decide if virtual care makes sense for your life

One of the biggest roadblocks to starting therapy is often getting to the session. Virtual therapy can be especially convenient for those whose schedules are tighter or who don’t have therapists readily available to them. 

“Online therapy has removed so many barriers to receiving care,” explains Hummelt. “As long as you have access to a smartphone or computer with wifi, you can get professional help. With BetterHelp, clients can choose if they prefer to speak with their therapist via video sessions, phone sessions, live chat sessions, or asynchronous text messaging. Having less logistical and scheduling blockers can make getting and keeping appointments much easier. I also find that clients often feel much more comfortable in their own homes which allows them to feel safe during what can be very vulnerable and sensitive sessions.”

Navigating how to support your mental health, especially when so many have been taught to only take care of others, can be difficult. It may take research, talking to others who are also struggling with anxiety, or even interviewing potential therapists. There is no one right way to tend to your mental health. Instead, what you want to build is a mental health toolkit. Virtual therapy can be one part of that.

Learn more about BetterHelp, and get 20% off your first month!