Online Crisis Counseling
Discover if Online Counseling is for YOU
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Video: Shrinklady's personal experience with online counseling.
2. Online crisis counseling: Free vs Fee based.
3. Finding an online counselor.
4. Free online counseling resources.
5. Reasons why others consider online counseling.
6. Don't want to talk with anyone? Consider chat or email.
7. Online resources for teens.
8. Online resources for kids.
9. Choosing a therapist.
10. myShrink resources on this site for both online and face-to-face therapy.
Hello, my name is Dr. Susan LaCombe, publisher of myShrink.com.
As a practicing Psychologist and Psychotherapist for the past 17 years...
It's been all too often seeing my clients in crisis. And when we're in crisis, we're essentially alone. It's like being adrift on the ocean...When no one's looking for you.
Maybe that's why you're here, hoping to find some way out.
And you don't have to go it alone. As much as you might feel that you are, help is available.
In fact, I hope to help you, right now.
Online Crisis Counseling - Free vs. Fee
When you're looking for someone to talk to you have a choice: paid and free services. And fee-based services are either online or face-to-face.
Free crisis lines are easier on the budget and the services are provided by trained volunteers. In a pinch, they provide an instant connection with another person. Look for 'Free Online Counseling' below to access them.
There are several advantages of fee-based online counseling however:
- The convenience and comfort of accessing a therapist from your own home or office;
- You can usually get advice when you need it 24/7 (ie. crises don't wait until you find it convenient);
- Totally anonymous - your therapist doesn't even need to know your real name (i.e. with PrestoExperts);
- Once you find the right counselor, you can go back again and again and build up an ongoing therapeutic relationship;
- Online counseling is generally more affordable than sitting face to face in a therapist's office, and it's a lot less intimidating, especially if you've never been to counseling before.
A crisis doesn't make appointments, so you won't have time to look for a therapist when it hits you.
(In any case, I'll bet you're not going to reach a face-to-face counselor at midnight on a Saturday anyway!)
PrestoExperts™ offers live online crisis counseling with experienced therapists (counselors and psychologists) for both email and phone therapy. All new clients get 3 free minutes PLUS 25% off for the rest of the session.
I have an affiliate relationship* with PrestoExperts™ and I chose them above all others for the reasons that they make their testimonials public and verify their therapists.
How does it work?
- go to PrestoExperts' Professional Counseling lineup of therapists;
- choose a category that's relevant to your particular crisis issues (eg grief & loss, anxiety & stress, sleep disorders, loneliness, violence & abuse, etc;
- go over their rates, read the client reviews, then choose a counselor who specializes in your problem;
- sign up with PrestoExperts™ (all your information is kept completely confidential);
- contact your chosen therapist (if you don't "hit it off" in the first few minutes, you can disengage and choose another - you aren't charged until you hire your chosen counselor);
- if you still have a question or a concern, check out the PrestoExperts frequently asked questions.
Therapists and their rates are listed with the rate they charge by the minute. They also have easy access to reviews for each therapist. And, just to make the process a little easier, the first three minutes are free so you can get a sense if the therapist is right for you.
You can see who's currently on line now by visiting our Live Online Counseling page without even leaving this site.
Free Online Crisis Counseling
These organizations are staffed with trained volunteers 24/7 and offer both in-person and email support.
USA: Toll free: 1-800-784-2433 The National Hopeline Network & USA users: USA Hotlines
Befrienders is a world-wide organization. When you visit their page, you'll find a quick and easy system for getting the local number for your area.
Samaritans is an organization for folks living in either the United Kingdom or Ireland.
Free Sessions with "Focusing" Trainees (these are students in training: you can also get free sessions with a trained counselor if you are willing to be part of a training session. See page for more details.
Anyone can be in crisis.
There are many reasons for any one person to be in crisis. There's no need to question whether it's a valid reason cause everyone deserves to get the help they need.
Here's a partial sample of the kinds of concerns that create crises for folks. Your reason for feeling the way you do may not be the same. Regardless, that's okay.
- "I'm just not myself. I don't understand why I'm feeling this way."
- "My partner and I just had the worse argument ever. I feel like my life is over."
- "Everything feels so heavy. It all just doesn't seem worth it."
- "I have an appointment with a therapist but I can't wait. I need to talk to someone right now."
- "I'm lesbian and I haven't come out. I'm feeling frightened and alone."
- "I'm being bullied at school and I don't know what I'm going to do."
- "My mother died and I can't get over it."
- "I can't talk to anyone about this. I've been pulling my hair out. I pick at my skin for hours."
- "My friend is acting so strange. I think s/he may be suicidal and I don't know what to do."
Don't want to talk to anyone?
Many of the online crisis counseling lines also offer email support. So if you feel too uncomfortable in speaking with anyone at the moment, consider email. The organizations listed above, offer 24/7 email support.
You should also know that when we're feeling overwhelmed we can't always think clearly. This is why when we're feeling this way, it's helpful to have someone to talk to. Yet, I also know (from my own personal experience), that one of the hardest things to do is to reach out during these times. I encourage you to make that extra effort to do so.
In a crisis state, not sure if you can keep going? Consider these stories on Reasons for Living.
Especially for Teens
Are you looking for help for your friend? Check out this great Canadian online crisis counseling resource with loads of games and information about going to counseling and how to help your friend:
Nineline Information for teens and kids. Operated by Convenant House. Counselors 24/7 1-800-999-9999.
Current or former foster care youth? Free psychotherapy at ahomewithin.org
When you're ready for making changes.
Online crisis counseling may be the beginning of something bigger for your life. Counseling isn't only for dealing with problems when they feel unmanageable. But sometimes it's a good time to start.
Counseling has made my life so much better. Maybe this is the right time for you to be thinking the same thing?
If you'd like information on getting started you might start at Choosing a Good Therapist.
Other myShrink Resources
As I described above, if you'd like to check out the counselors and psychologists from 'PrestoExperts' (see above advertisement) go to Live Online Counseling where you can see who's currently online and learn more about the individual therapist. These services post the rate you pay by the minute. Be sure to check the reviews to find the therapist that's right for you.
Other related articles you may find helpful:
Do you subscribe to a religious belief? A few counselors who do online crisis counseling offer free online counseling. I've declined to list them here. However, if you search under different religious denonmenations (i.e. Free 'Christian' Counseling etc.) you will find them.
* To learn more about my affiliate relationships and how I support this site visit my Behind the Scenes page.