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Best online counselling services you can access during COVID-19

Whether you’re looking for a way to maintain your regular therapy sessions or need someone to talk to amid the coronavirus pandemic, these sites have you covered.

As well as putting a serious strain on our healthcare system, businesses and physical health, the COVID-19 outbreak is also taking a serious toll on our mental wellbeing.

Every day there seems to be a new headline to worry about, stricter lockdown laws and more intense physical distancing rules, so it’s no wonder many of us are feeling anxious, lonely and having trouble ditching our screens.

Thankfully, the Federal Government announced on Monday that telehealth services will now be covered by Medicare, which means not only do you not have to risk your health by going outside, you can now give your mental health a leg up with online counselling sessions.

Here, Lysn psychologist Nancy Sokarno explains what to expect from online counselling – and how you can make the most of it.

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How different is online counselling to face-to-face counselling?

“Although face-to-face counselling allows you to engage in activities and worksheets more easily and read the language of the room, online counselling means you can access therapy from any location with more flexibility,” explains Sokarno.

And if you’re wondering if online therapy will be as effective as meeting your psych in person, the answer is yes. Since you have more time for online sessions, you may be able to make more progress – and you also have the added benefit of feeling comfortable in your own home.

How can I pick the right therapist for me?

According to Sokarno, it’s important to do your research. “Choose a psychologist who works closely with the issues you want to discuss, then choose an age range or gender you feel most comfortable with when it comes to discussing sensitive topics.”

You can also do a background search on potential psychologists to get a sense of what therapies they’ve used before, and if the company offers free trials, definitely take advantage of them.

How can I get the most out of my session?

“Organise points you’d like to discuss prior to the session so you have a sense of direction and can cover all the topics you want to cover during the time you have,” explains Sokarno. “Track events, feelings, thoughts, emotions that have been difficult to manage or cope with and bring them up to source more clarity or understanding.”

The best online counselling services to try

As well allowing you to connect with a psychologist of your choosing either online or over the phone, Lysn also provides you with a personal online dashboard where you can track your mood, receive personal insights and access a learning centre so you can learn more about your condition and how to handle mental health issues. Simply browse their directory to find which psychologist is best suited to your needs or sign up for ‘Matching Consultation” and do a meet and greet. They’re also offering free 30-minute consultations at the moment.

Every psychologist at Positive Mind Works has a minimum of three years post-registration experience, so you know you’re in safe hands. They also cover a variety of fields, such as educational psychology, clinical psychology and health psychology, provide a bunch of free resources and you can access even more once you’ve completed a session. Join a psychologist over the phone, via video call or web chat.

A purely online psychology clinic, the therapists from PsychHelp are dedicated to bringing the latest research-backed therapy techniques to you over video, online chat and email. Offering treatment for depression, anxiety, financial hardship and work-life balance issues, their practitioners are perfectly suited to help you through the stress of COVID-19.

More essential coronavirus reading:

Read up on what the government lockdown means for you, understand why Aussie doctors are up arms, be aware of the ‘hidden symptom’ of COVID-19 carriers, prepare yourself for the long-term mental health effects of the pandemic, get your sweat on at home with these free online workouts before reviving your over-washed hands with this DIY balm, and then console yourself with these unexpected joys.