Is something bothering you, but you have nobody you feel you can tell? And is texting your preferred method of communication? Text therapy (also known as 'chat therapy' and 'messaging therapy') might be for you.
Text therapy means your therapist can’t see your facial expressions or body language, which gives them clues as to how you are feeling. On the other hand, it might work for you if:
If you’ve never done therapy and feel too anxious to speak to a stranger over video counselling, or visit an office? Chat therapy is a great ‘soft start’. It can give you an idea of how talk therapy works, and how it can benefit you.
For some of us, texting is our comfort zone. It’s the only way we can currently express ourselves.
If it's your first time talking about what’s going on for you, texting can be an easier way to start opening up.
Living at home with your parents? Or with roommates who never seem to leave the house? Video counselling might feel impossible. But messaging therapy means nobody can overhear what you are saying.
In-person counselling and online therapy tend to take place once a week. For the rest of the week you don’t have access to your therapist, unless otherwise arranged. Text therapy can be more frequent and give you faster access, depending on what you and your text therapist agree to.
Messaging therapy is often cheaper. That said, it is also possible to find low to no cost online and in-person counselling. And with text therapy you need to be careful that you are not being trapped into a subscription model you can’t get out of.
Do you like to take your time thinking things over? Chat therapy means you have a written record you can read later, perhaps having new 'aha' moments.
Taling about our low moods, school and work stress, anxiety and anxiety disorders....these all translate well over text. But if we have something traumatic or big to work through, it often deserves more than a typed message.
Unlike therapy via video conferencing platforms such as Skype or Zoom, which has been the subject of extensive research? There are not yet any serious studies done on chat therapy, unless you count the biased research funded by companies pushing subscription packages.
On the other hand, research does show that writing things out is in itself powerful and beneficial. For example, a study at North Carolina State University that saw students write for seven weeks about their thoughts and feelings found they then had less intrusive negative thinking about their stressful experiences.
How do you know if text therapy isn’t for you? Just as the therapist can’t see you, you can’t see the therapist. Which can be a little less intimate. So it isn’t the best if you:
In these cases, it is advised to try online video therapy or in-person therapy.
Ready to jumpstart your life? Find your perfect, affordable therapist now, and talk over video or text.