Best Text Therapy Platform Reviews: Everyday Health

Our review team spoke with several mental health experts about text therapy, and their opinions on text therapy were varied. It is best to use audio therapy, video or in-person sessions to complement text therapy.

“I often advise my clients not to have tough or emotionally charged conversations with their loved ones over text,” she says Tara McGrath, a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in San Diego. “The same advice would apply to the sometimes difficult conversations that are often part of therapy. The intimate and powerful relationship between client and therapist does not function exclusively over text.”

Natasha Dean, a licensed professional clinical counselor in private practice in Silver Spring, Maryland, expands on the disadvantages of text therapy, including how it invites opportunities for misunderstanding and miscommunication. “There is a lack of context over text. We miss facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, affect, speech patterns, and many other verbal and non-verbal cues that therapists use to gather a range of information and assess situations” , says Deen. “This includes inconsistencies between content and tone, symptoms, diagnoses, problem severity, and more.” He adds that texting can also be more time-consuming than video therapy or audio therapy.

Lauren Hornbeck, a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Pueblo West, Colo., does not recommend text therapy for reasons similar to Deen’s, but adds that the preference for text therapy may involve a physical, mental, or relational barrier to the therapy “Text therapy has a distancing factor that doesn’t allow for an authentic psychotherapy experience,” he says. “I would recommend that a person challenge themselves to look at their underlying resistance to vulnerability. There is likely to be something mentally or emotionally preventing that person from being seen authentically and avoiding vulnerability.”

Steven Reidbord, MD, a psychiatrist in private practice in San Francisco, doesn’t consider texting a form of psychotherapy, adding that while texting can provide some degree of emotional support, you might as well talk to a friend no training in mental health. “Evidence for the effectiveness of text therapy for real emotional disorders is scarce,” says Dr. Reidbord.

Some of the experts we spoke to had more positive views about text therapy. Steve Carleton, LCSW, the executive clinical director of Gallus Detox in Denver, says the effectiveness of text therapy depends on the patient, their condition and the therapist’s approach, noting that it allows for greater flexibility and a sense of comfort for those who they prefer to do so. express themselves through writing or who struggle with social anxiety. “It is crucial to prioritize what will be most effective for the individual in achieving their therapy goals, rather than sticking with a particular mode of communication just because it may be convenient or familiar. Ultimately , it’s up to the therapist and the patient to determine what form of therapy will work best for them,” says Carleton.

Seconds Kara Nassour, a licensed professional counselor in Austin, Texas, “Text therapy can be effective, especially for people who are deaf or have difficulty communicating in real time.” Nassour adds that text-based therapy options can help more people with disabilities access health care.

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