Why would I see a psychologist?

There can be many different reasons for seeing a psychologist: you might be going through a particularly challenging time in your life and need some support; you might feel frustrated by the repetition of certain patterns in your life and relationships and wish to understand yourself better and make more helpful choices. Also, you might be suffering from certain symptoms and need help with those or have a wish to develop new coping skills; seeing a psychologist could be a part of your own process of personal development. Whatever the issue might be, our initial consultation can help you understand how psychological therapy could be of help and how it might address your current concerns.

Why should I choose My Online Therapy?

Unlike other therapy platforms, My Online Therapy is an integrated virtual clinic. Each psychologist has been selected through a rigorous process and works as part of a team. This allows us to be confident in the quality of the therapy that our clients receive and ensure that it meets the highest standards.

Many other online platforms operate on a ‘marketplace model’. This means that they have hundreds of therapists of different levels of professional qualification and training offering therapy through their platform. This is often reflected in either a lower price structure or great variability in fees between therapists leaving users feeling confused. The quality of the therapy you receive will greatly vary as a result.

Our offer is completely different: our therapists are all qualified psychologists who have years of experience working in the NHS with a range of difficulties from mild to moderate to complex and severe presentations. They also all have specialist training in a range of contemporary therapeutic approaches that have the best evidence base for a range of difficulties. Our psychologists receive regular supervision from experts in the field both from the UK and the US. They engage in continuing professional development and work with the highest standard of professionalism.

Why do I have to fill in an online questionnaire?

Our online questionnaire is part of your initial assessment: we have developed it in order to match you to the right psychologist depending on your presenting difficulties, needs, history and therapy goals. The information you provide us with will only ever be shared with your chosen psychologist once you decide to book an initial session with them.

How do I choose what type of online therapy I need?

You don’t need to choose the right type of online therapy you need because we will make that clinical judgement for you. Our questionnaire which has been designed by our team of expert clinicians allows us to match your difficulties to the right psychologist and therapy approach on the basis of your answers. If you are not satisfied with our suggestion, we are happy to offer you alternative psychologists.

Why should I trust an online therapy service?

Our online therapy platform is the only online service that is comparable to a physical clinic. We offer the same type of interventions through video conferencing that you would receive in a physical clinic by psychologists who are highly qualified, work as part of a team and receive regular in-house clinical supervision.

Does online therapy work?

There is growing evidence that online therapy works just as effectively as face to face therapy. Moreover, at My Online Therapy we ensure that you don’t miss out on any of the elements of the real human connection that is necessary for the therapeutic process to yield good outcomes by offering face to face video conferencing in real time.

What is the difference between a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a therapist and a counsellor?

A psychologist has studied for a minimum of seven years to acquire their first degree of Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and subsequently a Doctorate in a form of applied Psychology. Psychologists have training in a range of different therapeutic approaches and also in research and evaluation of treatment outcomes. This allows them to take a scientific and informed approach to the treatment of mental disorders and emotional difficulties. Therapists and counsellors have variable training and are often only able to deliver one therapy model as opposed to multiple approaches.

A psychiatrist is a medically qualified doctor who has specialism in the field of psychiatry. This means that a psychiatrist can rule out the physical cause for your difficulties and also order tests and prescribe medication. This is something that only medical doctors can do. Some psychiatrists have also undergone specialist training in psychotherapy which places them in a unique position to be able to understand both the body and the mind, and work flexibly between the prescription of medication and talking therapy.

Why do online therapy fees vary?

The fees for online psychological therapy vary significantly as they reflect the nature of the training of the therapist. Psychologists are trained to doctoral level and also have experience in multiple therapeutic models. This allows them to offer the right approach for specific difficulties rather than a more ‘generic’ approach. Due to this difference, psychologists’ fees are higher than those of counsellors or therapists, equally the treatment you receive has a much greater likelihood of a positive outcome as it is scientific and evidence-based.

At My Online Therapy we believe that face to face online therapy is the most effective therapeutic approach. Our fees reflect the quality of our clinical model and treatment you receive.

Do I need a psychologist or a psychiatrist?

As we are an online therapy platform most of our interventions are delivered by qualified psychologists who are experts in the delivery of a range of psychological therapies. We also offer consultations with a psychiatrist in the event that you have a concern about medication or require that type of specialist input. Which therapist you are connected to depends on your answers in our online questionnaire – this matches you to the right professional for you. If you wish to receive a consultation with a psychiatrist you can indicate this in your answers whilst responding to the questionnaire, or email us at [email protected] with this request.

What happens in the first appointment and why is it only half an hour?

During the first appointment you will meet your matched psychologist and have a ‘taster’ session. This session is in place to help you get to know each other before you make a decision as to whether you feel that they are a good fit for you and you can develop a therapy plan for some ongoing sessions. The psychologist will go through all the practical information you need to know about how the sessions will work. You will also agree on the goals of your work together and the number of sessions you would like to have in the first instance. The session is shorter in duration because it is an introductory session that is in place to ensure you are well informed about the process and happy to commit to the therapeutic work. It is a way to ‘dip your toe in the water’ so to speak before making the decision to engage with a course of therapy.

How many appointments will it take to make me feel better?

The pace of progress and change differs greatly depending on the nature of your difficulties. Some therapeutic approaches we offer are short-term, so you should be able to notice a change within a few sessions. Other approaches are long term as they address long standing patterns in the individual that have developed in early life. During the first few sessions, your psychologist should be able to give you some guidance about what therapeutic approach is most indicated and the likely duration of the therapy.

As a rough guideline, short term therapy is considered to be between 6-12 sessions and is mainly focused on symptom relief. Medium to longer term therapy is between six months to a year and is aimed at addressing deeper, underlying vulnerabilities that increase the risk of difficulties resurfacing in the face of adverse life events.

I’m not sure if therapy is for me, should I book?

Having an initial session with your matched psychologist will give you a sense as to whether therapy is for you. You are not committed to any further sessions after the first appointment. Our clients often find that this first experience is helpful in deciding what they need and if the psychologist they have been matched to is the right fit for them.

Is everything I talk about confidential?

Yes, everything you talk about is confidential. The only exceptions to confidentiality are if your psychologist or psychiatrist thinks that you are a risk to yourself or others in which case they may contact other professionals involved in your care such as your General Practitioner or a next of kin. This will always be discussed with you first. During your initial session, your psychologist will cover all these agreements with you to ensure you given have informed consent.

Does my GP have to be informed?

My Online Therapy is a private virtual psychology clinic, so we will never communicate with anyone about your care unless you give us explicit permission to do so. The only exception to this is highlighted in the section about confidentiality. For professional and ethical reasons, it is good practice to have the details of your GP should we ever need to contact them. If you have any concerns about this issue, please discuss them during your initial session. We will respect your decision and your confidentiality.

What is your cancellation policy?

Appointments can be cancelled with 48 hours’ notice. If you cancel an appointment with less than 48 hours’ notice the full fee will be incurred.

Can I contact my psychologist out of hours?

Depending on the therapeutic approach you are receiving it might be possible to have email contact with your psychologist outside your session time. This is something that is discussed and negotiated on an individual basis and may vary between psychologists and therapeutic models.