Unlimited Talk Therapy (Messaging / Chat)
Unlimited Talk Therapy
Unlimited talk therapy is a relatively new type of clinical therapy and counseling that allows patients to reach out to therapists whenever and wherever the need arises. This type of therapy is cost-effective, and you don’t even need insurance to participate.
What Is Unlimited Talk Therapy?
Unlimited talk therapy isn’t technically ‘talk’ therapy at all. Instead, it’s unlimited messaging therapy with a licensed and board-certified online therapist.
Instead of sitting down face-to-face (or even via video call) for a therapy session, you send a chat message to your therapist via an online platform, and your therapist sends back a message when they are available.
Patients and therapists can chat back and forth ping-pong style to resolve issues.
Benefits of Unlimited Talk Therapy
This type of therapy is obviously very different from traditional treatment. The ability to message your therapist whenever a problem arises — day or night, 24 hours a day — is especially helpful for patients who just need to get stressful situations out in writing.
It’s also extremely beneficial for patients who find themselves unable to remember the problems that surfaced throughout the week by the time their thighs hit the therapist’s chair.
Some of the other benefits of unlimited talk therapy include:
Message whenever/wherever you want
Work through problems by getting them in writing
No need for health insurance
No need to schedule a therapy appointment
Unlimited Talk Therapy Vs. In-Person Therapist
Unlimited messaging is a very different experience than in-person therapy (or even video therapy). This type of therapy might not be for patients that need to chat with a therapist in real-time or that want to work through their feelings orally. Yet, most unlimited therapy platforms, such as Talkspace, offer the option to send a video, text, or audio chat.
Types of Unlimited Talk Therapy
When we think about going to therapy, we typically think about which specific therapist we’re going to use and if that person will be a good fit. Well, it’s also important to consider which therapy approach will work best for what you’re going through.
There are five main types of psychotherapy used for talk therapy, according to the American Psychological Association. These types include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is the most commonly used approach to therapy where the therapist will have you more focused on what you think than what you do. CBT is best suited for people dealing with depression, anxiety, and other related mental health issues.
When this approach is used, the goal is to reduce or eliminate self-destructive or unhealthy behaviors by first addressing them, then facing them head-on, and finally reinforcing more desirable and positive behaviors. Behavioral Therapy is geared more towards people struggling with eating disorders (bulimia or anorexia) or trauma and uses self-destructive tactics to maintain control over their feelings, such as cutting.
PT is an approach for therapists that want their patients to take a deeper dive into why they unconsciously do the things they do or why they make certain choices or behave a certain way. A trusting relationship between the therapist and patient is necessary for this type of therapy to work, as it requires the therapist to break into their patient’s inner psyche.
HT is an amalgamation of three subtypes of therapy, including client-centered therapy (therapist offers their patient unconditional support), existential theory (finding purpose and meaning to the patient’s life), and Gestalt Therapy (treatment focused on relieving or healing a disease).
In Laymen’s terms, Humanistic Therapy = support + finding purpose + recovery.
Holistic or Integrative Therapy
This approach takes a little bit from each of the above types of therapy to create an integrated style that is tailored to what the patient needs.
Is Talk Therapy Effective?
Many studies have shown talk therapy to be effective, especially if it’s paired with medication. However, the bottom line is that therapy is an extremely personal journey, and what works for some may not work for others.
Unlimited talk therapy seems to be best suited for people dealing with mild to moderate mental health concerns or those on the road to recovery that need to chat with someone about how they’re feeling and don’t necessarily need to sit face-to-face with a therapist for an entire session. It’s entirely up to you.