How Do You Text With A Therapist?
Updated: Aug 29, 2022
Traditionally, therapy has been an hour-long, face-to-face weekly meeting in an office. And without a doubt, in-person communication is effective. You get the facial expression, body language, tone of voice, a sense of each person's mood and energy, and an overall full experience of them. All of that adds a lot to building the connection between therapist and client and working on the presenting issue.
But times have changed, people and their needs have changed, and technology has changed. The ability to conduct sessions by phone or video enables an experience close to the in-office session, despite distances. That means a person can move and still work with their therapist, and avoid having to start all over again. It also means that a client is no longer limited to finding a good match among local therapists. They can literally check across the globe and find the best match.
For a large number of people who would not otherwise physically go to sessions, and that was before Covid, online therapy is way better than no therapy at all. For example, the commute time to the office, finding parking, and budgeting weekly time for travel plus the session, have long prevented potential clients from jumping into therapy.
Additionally, the advent of messaging opens up the possibility to text with a therapist. For some, the entire therapy experience is conducted via texting. For others, the text and messaging communication continue the work and connection in between sessions, in person and online. Texting with a therapist enables you to be in touch with your therapist throughout the week, sharing about emotional triggers, relationships and work challenges, social struggles, and more as it occurs.
In general, Text Therapy is the same as regular therapy and counseling, just delivered via messaging and texts. It conveniently and effectively addresses all the same kinds of issues that people seek support for: relationships, depression, anxiety, communication, inner child healing, emotional triggers, low self-esteem, validation, etc.
Text Therapy is not live, back-and-forth communication. Rather, it's asynchronous. That means that you can message your therapist and write when you want and as much as you want. The therapist will typically sign in once a day, and do approximately 10-15 minutes of reading and responding. Some text therapy plans include as many as two daily responses. In addition, many text therapists and online therapy platforms offer a live texting session as an option in addition to live sessions by phone or video call.
There are also some added bonuses to text therapy, such as challenges and downsides to in-person therapy that are remedied by text therapy. For example, the regular contact relieves the pressure many clients feel to recall their experiences throughout the week and save them up for the session. Plus, there's the stress of trying to pack it all into an hour. Furthermore, text therapy clients don't have to wait for their next session to get crucial questions answered, and miss opportunities presented throughout the week to practice their skills and work on homework. Finally, as far as client growth is concerned, the ability to be in touch throughout the week and get regular support helps clients make greater achievements, and faster, in their healing.
“[Text Therapy is] the perfect therapy for me because I can release and talk about my feelings at the moment I am having them. And you get me and respond in a way that fits my personality.” — Jane, CA
Text Therapy is Unlimited
When you text with your therapist, you can write whenever you want and as much as you want. Once a day I sign in, read, and respond. Over the course of the week, that adds up to an hour's worth of therapy…the same as a therapy session.
Text Therapy is Empowering
It's easier to face fears and share difficult things without someone in front of you listening. And sharing such things is important for helping you grow and achieve your goals. It's also why in-person therapy often takes so long.
Text Therapy is An Easier Pace
When you text with your therapist, you get a slower, more natural pace. You have as much time as you need to contemplate a question or the feelings you’re having. Take your time to consider what you want to say. And it’s easier to fit into your schedule.
Text Therapy is Convenient
Text with your therapist at the moment you need it. As you're thinking and feeling, you can write about it. Share the experience. Convenient support wherever you are, and in all those powerful, growth moments throughout the day.
Text Therapy is Ongoing
Texting with your therapist provides an ongoing conversation and written record. Writing helps you get in touch with thoughts and feelings; improves your clarity and ability to express yourself. It's much easier to write when you know a caring professional is reading and responding.
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