Online Therapy for College Students: 7 Reasons You Should Give It a Try


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It seems impossible to find a task that can’t be completed online these days. You can see what your high school friends are up to, pay a bill and even support yourself financially. For college students, a majority of the coursework is done online, from taking notes in a lecture to writing a research paper. That’s why it makes sense that college students can improve their mental health online as well. Not only that but there is evidence that online therapy can be as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy for certain mental health conditions.

College students can get the mental health support they need without leaving their homes or dorms. Online mental health care increases accessibility to services. It helps people overcome barriers to treatment such as geographical location, mobility limitations, or the stigma associated with seeking traditional face-to-face treatment. Are you trying to decide if online therapy is right for you? We’re here to let you know why it’s worth trying.

Read on to learn the basics of online therapy for college students and reasons why you should give it a try. We’ll also cover how Lightfully U can provide it for you.

The rundown of online therapy for college students

Therapy, specifically psychotherapy, is a type of health care that’s designed to improve someone’s psychological well-being through discussions with a mental health professional. The goal of talking to a licensed clinical therapist is to determine the root cause(s) of your mental health disorder and distress. They’ll help you develop coping strategies and practical skills to better manage the stressors in your day-to-day life.

Online therapy allows you to gain the support and resources you need through virtual communication with your therapist.

College students can attend online therapy for any reasons that are interfering with their emotional, mental or behavioral health. Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health disorders that are prevalent among college students.

College students can seek online therapy for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Persistent or worsening mental health disorder symptoms
  • Struggle with changes of attending college, such as moving away from home
  • Overwhelm due to stressful coursework
  • Concerns about body image
  • Trouble coping with trauma and past experiences
  • Difficulty coping with the stress of academics
  • Issues with loneliness and isolation
  • Struggle with anxiety and depression

7 reasons that college students should try online therapy 

If you’re on the fence about whether online therapy is right for you, it can be helpful to learn about the advantages you can gain by giving it a try. Some of the reasons below highlight what you can gain by talking to a therapist online, while others depict why online therapy may be preferable over in-person therapy:

  • Convenience — Online therapy puts treatment at your fingertips without a commute, so you have the energy to be fully engaged in the session without leaving your home or dorm.This is a significant advantage for individuals who have mobility issues, such as an injury or a neurological disorder.
  • Privacy — It’s not easy to be vulnerable about your mental health struggles in front of other people. That’s why privacy is one of the main priorities of both in-person and online therapy. But online therapy can offer an additional level of privacy. Not only do you have control over who is around you during your sessions, but there’s no waiting room where you may risk running into someone you know.
  • Comfort — When you’re in a familiar environment, such as your bedroom or dorm room, it’s easier to feel comfortable being your authentic self. You’re able to be as engaged as possible during your online therapy sessions and feel safe enough to open up to your therapist. If you’re shy or introverted, virtual care allows you to access mental health services in an environment where you feel safe without the potential distress of commuting to an unfamiliar setting.
  • Flexible scheduling — Many people brush off mental health treatment by saying, “I don’t have time.” Online therapy provides flexibility that works around your schedule. You can often have your therapy sessions through video chats on your phone, using headphones, which can be especially helpful if you’re unable to have privacy at home due to having roommates.
  • Feeling less alone — For students struggling with the isolating symptoms of depression, for example, the fewer care-access barriers, the better! Have you ever skipped classes or therapy on days when the idea of getting up, getting dressed and showing up seems impossible? If so, having a therapist you can access remotely might actually change your life.
  • Stress management — It seems like stress is built into the college experience, but that doesn’t mean you have to grin and bear it until you graduate. Instead of searching for stress reduction techniques online, it can be more effective to develop stress management techniques by talking directly to an online therapist who can guide you.
  • Navigating challenges — You can talk through the issues with your online therapist, and they can help you navigate them by addressing the root of the problem before guiding you to the right solutions.

Lightfully U provides virtual mental health services for college students

While it may seem like your entire focus should be on your coursework, it can be nearly impossible to thrive in your classes if you’re struggling to manage your mental health symptoms on a daily basis. That’s why you should consider getting help with your mental health struggles through Lightfully U.

Online therapy is a great first step for people struggling with mental health challenges. But it may not always be enough. If you’re a UC student who needs mental health support that goes beyond online therapy sessions, Lightfully U is here to support you.

While it’s not the same as virtual therapy, our Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program can be an effective option for many college students. It takes the benefits of online therapy and combines it with daily programming, group sessions and ongoing family therapy. It provides you with mental health support over the course of two weeks. It’s often used as a transition from higher levels of care, such as a Residential Treatment Center. It can also be a good way to test out therapy if you’re at the beginning of your mental health journey.

Learn more about how Lightfully U can help you or start up a conversation with us. We’re ready to help you take your next steps toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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