Weather extremities are a fact of life in Chicago. But don’t let blustery winters and scorching summers prevent you from getting therapy!
Connecting with a local therapist who offers online therapy sessions is a convenient way to ensure ongoing support, even on days when you want to (or need to) stay at home.
There are several different types of online therapy. Below, we discuss two great options – entirely remote therapy, and in-person therapy with the option of remote – plus what to expect from each.
Ready to find an online therapist in Chicago? Start your search with vetted therapists listed on Zencare!
Option 1: Entirely remote therapy sessions
This option involves having all your sessions with a therapist via an online platform, such a secure video platform.
Remote sessions are particularly helpful if:
- You are located outside the Chicago-proper region, and don't have ready access to therapists whose approaches or specialties align with your needs
- You travel for work, and cannot maintain regular face-to-face appointments with a therapist
- You are a new parent, and/or can’t leave the house for extended periods of time
- You are homebound
However, entirely remote therapy sessions are not typically suitable for high-risk individuals, such as those who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, who are struggling with an eating disorder, and/or who are at risk of harming themselves or others.
How to get started with remote sessions
To make sure remote therapy sessions will work for you, start with the following steps:
- If you're planning to use insurance, check your plan for coverage information (more insurance information can be found below)
- Assess client-therapist fit with a few different providers; this is just as important online as it is for in-person sessions. Check in with your therapist about things such as schedule, therapy style, and if you feel a connection
Option 2: Mostly in-person therapy, with remote sessions when needed
This option consists of both sessions that are in-person with your therapist, and online when you need them.
Optionally remote therapy is great if:
- You travel a lot for work, but also want to establish an in-person connection in your home base
- Occasional bad weather prevents you from getting around the city
- You like having the flexibility to talk in person or online
How to get started with optionally remote sessions
- You can either meet with your therapist in-person first (more common), or start online – with the option of meeting when you're next able. (This is particularly applicable if you have a situation that prevents you from leaving, such as a newborn child or mobility issue.)
- As with entirely remote therapy sessions, check with your insurance if online sessions are covered
What else to know about online therapy in Chicago
Does insurance cover online therapy in Chicago?
Yes, often times insurance does cover online therapy.
For example, if you have BCBSIL PPO, your plan likely includes access to Virtual Visits, an online service that provides mental health counseling.
Not every therapist who is in-network with BCBSIL PPO is signed up to offer Virtual Visits, though, so ask your therapist if it’s an option. (Some BCBSIL PPO plans will also cover online sessions with therapists outside of Virtual Visits.)
Is online therapy effective?
Yes! With increasing interest in online therapy comes various studies that look at its effectiveness. In one study, psychiatric patients reported that after only one month of online therapy, their mental health improved.
In addition, there are studies that show positive results for internet-based depression therapy and online cognitive behavioral therapy [2, 3]. Lastly, online therapy works as a tool to reduce depression and anxiety in children and adolescents .
The option of meeting with your therapist online makes receiving mental health services accessible for all, including those who previously did not have the ability to leave home. Weather, travel, and time are no longer barriers to seeking help!
Where to find online therapists in Chicago
Find therapists who offer online sessions in Chicago on Zencare! Browse by insurance and cost, specialties, approach, provider identity, and more.