Taking psychotherapy online is a clever and efficient way to help more patients with the same high-caliber services you might offer in person. However, for new blended care therapists, “online psychotherapy” often conjures up images of live telehealth sessions and little else.
In fact, it’s a whole lot more.
Today’s psychotherapy software can be used for everything from treatment plan development to online psychoeducation and client engagement, helping you achieve the results your patients are after more effectively. Here’s a little look at how online psychotherapy works, and some of the best programs, apps, and software you can use to accomplish your goals.
Online Psychotherapy 101
Online mental health counseling is anything but new, and for over a decade it’s been an effective, scientifically demonstrated way to treat patients without face-to-face interaction.
Through HIPAA-compliant video-conferencing, digital activities, private messaging, and more, therapists, coaches, and e-counselors deliver mental health treatments to clients across time zones and huge distances, from the convenience of their connected devices.
This can involve implementing established therapies to help clients manage mental health conditions like stress, panic disorder, anxiety, and PTSD, improving their quality of life and supporting them with their wellness goals.
With more and more HIPAA-compliant, client-friendly software solutions, it’s becoming ever easier to deliver psychotherapy through the internet.
Taking Psychotherapy Online: Treatments and Applications
A sizable amount of evidence supports the efficacy of online psychotherapy, and e-psychology now plays a huge role in healthcare models worldwide, such as the United Kingdom’s IAPT initiative. Besides featuring in stepped care interventions, digital psychological solutions also help solo practitioners and smaller providers reach clients who might prefer online treatment for a range of reasons.
Whether for convenience, cost-effectiveness, avoiding perceived stigma, or for greater between-session engagement, psychotherapists are increasingly turning to dedicated mental health software to deliver treatments such as:
- iCBT, or internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, for trauma counseling, depression, and anxiety
- Mindfulness training, e.g., Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and meditation, and
- Mental health coaching, which involves any range of bespoke, patient-centered treatments, online courses, and homework for a huge range of client goals.
As the field expands, so too are the solutions available to practitioners. With more and more HIPAA-compliant, client-friendly software solutions, it’s becoming ever easier to deliver psychotherapy through the internet.
If you’re looking for tools and software to help you navigate the world of blended care, these are some of the best behavioral health and practice management solutions for therapists to help you on your way.
3 Indispensable Psychotherapy Tools
Whether you’d like to meet clients for video coaching sessions, apply mental health interventions, or design your own therapeutic treatments with between-session activities, these online psychotherapy tools will help you achieve your goals.
|Quenza is a versatile tool for therapists and e-counselors who want to build their own mental health, coaching, and wellbeing activities for clients, such as exercises, quizzes, and between-session homework. Through the software, these activities, e.g., PDFs, audio, and other multimedia, can also be sequenced as pathways and securely shared with patients to work through on their own time.|
With Quenza’s software library, therapists can also use pre-designed, science-based interventions to save treatment planning time.
This HIPAA-compliant, customizable software also sends secure notifications and messages to clients, while practitioners can monitor and manage their clients’ progress through the mobile app.
|Good For||Mental Health Coaching, Online Psychotherapy, Telepsychology, Telepsychiatry, Life Coaching, Online Coaching|
|EHR Power Diary is a coaching management solution with reporting, invoicing, and appointment scheduling functions. Practitioners can create custom forms such as Therapy Progress Notes, or use the Form Template Library to customize research-based scales and measures.|
This software includes telehealth video session functionalities, and a patient portal for secure document sharing, appointment requests, and rescheduling. While it’s lightweight with a clean interface, Power Diary does not have an Android or Apple smartphone app.
|Good For||Mental Health Coaching, Online Psychotherapy, Telepsychology, Online Coaching, Practice Management|
|Therapists looking for a fully integrated practice management solution will find treatment planning support, progress notes, HIPAA-compliant video chat, and more in TheraNest.|
With billing, invoicing, and reporting functions, this software is great for large healthcare organizations and online psychotherapy practices with multiple providers. TheraNest supports e-prescriptions, insurance processing, and Electronic Health Records functions.
|Good For||Mental Health Coaching, Online Psychotherapy, Telepsychology, Telepsychiatry, Life Coaching, Online Coaching, Practice Management|
Top 3 Software & Programs To Use
Below are a combination of e-mental health providers and psychotherapy programs that you can use to deliver online therapy from the comfort of your home.
Amwell, iCounseling, and ReGain are services that will pair qualified, licensed professionals with clients seeking treatment for the condition or challenge you specialize in. For these three services, you’ll be practicing through the platform rather than delivering digital psychotherapy services under your own practice brand.
|Amwell is a telemedicine provider and counseling platform for therapists who specialize in anxiety, depression, LGBT counseling, insomnia, stress management, and more. For a significantly lower cost than that of in-person therapy, clients can pay for online treatments with the same specialist each time they log on.|
Professional psychotherapists on the platform treat clients through video-conferencing sessions or phone calls, and billing operates on a per-session basis. Some insurance providers and employers are covered by Amwell, which also has a mobile app for on-the-go telecounseling.
|Price||$85+ / consultation (for clients)|
|Good For||General Medical Practice, Telepsychology, Telepsychiatry, Video Therapy|
|iCounseling is another HIPAA-compliant platform for accessing psychotherapy from certified practitioners. Users receive an uncapped amount of therapy hours on a secure and private platform for a monthly fee, and applications are accepted from providers with more than 2000 hours of psychotherapy experience.|
Clients simply sign up, describe their therapy goals, and the software matches them with different therapists who have experience and expertise in dealing with those challenges.
|Price||$40+ weekly (for clients)|
|Good For||Telepsychology, e-Counseling, Video Therapy|
|Clients looking for an individual or couples therapist use the relationship e-counseling platform ReGain for psychotherapy and conflict management online. With phone-based or video sessions to choose from, this psychotherapy software pairs licensed practitioners with clients through a connected tablet, smartphone, or laptop.|
Two partners simply create a joint account, then chat with their licensed therapist when they are in the same location. ReGain counselors can also leave private messages for their clients to access in their own time.
|Price||$60+ weekly (for clients)|
|Good For||Telepsychology, e-Counseling, Video Therapy, Couples Therapy|
3 Helpful Apps For Your Online Practice
Counseling and treating patients is one thing, but managing your practice is another. If you’re committed to client-centered care and offer your own treatments, flexible, white-label psychotherapy programs are the best way to deliver your services and engage your clients between sessions.
For everything else, many free and paid apps can be helpful ways to streamline your admin tasks.
Additionally, some software solutions offer considerably more than the standard private practice, or solo therapist requires – from e-prescribing to inbuilt telehealth functions and staff management reporting or insurance processing features. With more bells and whistles comes a steeper learning curve, and the risk of paying for more than you need.
If you prefer standalone software for dedicated essential practice functions, these are some helpful apps to help you run your online or blended care practice.
|Dedicated calendar management app Yellow Schedule is fully HIPAA-compliant for securely managing therapy and e-mental health appointments. Customizable under your own brand, this app syncs with most online calendars and sends alerts, updates, and other notifications.|
Popular with physical therapists, chiropractors, coaches, and trainers, this app also offers a telehealth module for private and secure telecounseling sessions. Clients can quickly SMS “Yes” or “No” on the go to your appointment requests, and your calendar will instantly be updated.
|Good For||Calendar Management, Client Communications, CRM|
|DoTimely offers client billing, scheduling, staff management, and CRM functionality for online psychotherapy practices, as well as coaches, trainers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and entrepreneurs in other helping professions.|
Practitioners looking for an invoicing tool can opt for a DoTimely Billing app to create bills on a mobile smartphone, share them with clients, and receive digital payments for services rendered. This app makes it easy to schedule invoices, add custom surcharges, and sends out reminders for unpaid accounts.
|Good For||Billing, Payment Processing, Client Communications|
|Acuity is available as a free version for smaller practices, or a paid package for multi-provider organizations. Fully customizable, this white-label calendar management tool is a great way for therapists to create and manage appointments online.|
This psychotherapy app can schedule sessions in several locations, and with numerous providers, while allowing you to control how clients view your calendar. Acuity can also be used for payment processing, it’s HIPAA-compliant, and can automatically notify and remind patients of their upcoming sessions with you.
|Good For||Calendar Management, Client Communications, Payment Processing|
Online psychotherapy can be an engaging, effective way to help your clients manage mental health conditions – or even just achieve their wellbeing goals.
Whether it’s by sharing psychoeducational resources or homework digitally, meeting clients online, or automating admin tasks, psychotherapy tools can be a useful way to improve your clients’ progress while saving time and all the overheads of a conventional office. If you’ve used any of the software or apps in this article, let us know your experiences in a comment.
- ^ Novotney, A. (2017). A growing wave of online therapy. Monitor on Psychology, 48(2), 48.
- ^ Johansson, O., Bjärehed, J., Andersson, G., Carlbring, P., & Lundh, L. G. (2019). Effectiveness of guided internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy for depression in routine psychiatry: A randomized controlled trial. Internet Interventions, 17, 100247.
- ^ Petersen, J. M., Krafft, J., Twohig, M. P., & Levin, M. E. (2019). Evaluating the open and engaged components of acceptance and commitment therapy in an online self-guided website: Results from a pilot trial. Behavior Modification, 0145445519878668.
- ^ Bailey, N. W., Nguyen, J., Bialylew, E., Corin, S. E., Gilbertson, T., Chambers, R., & Fitzgerald, P. B. (2018). Effect on well-being from an online mindfulness intervention:“Mindful in May”. Mindfulness, 9(5), 1637.