Man has struggled with mental disorders for thousands of years. In ancient times, mental health treatments were generally unsafe, unreliable, and ineffective. For example, in the early 1600s, mental health care may have involved removing a section of an individual’s skull, bloodletting, or purging. In the late 17th century, people with mental illnesses were often locked up in an asylum where they received little or no professional care.

Mental health treatment has improved dramatically in the 20th and 21st centuries. Current treatment is safe, effective, and backed by medical science. Effective treatment is crucial today as 20% of adults in the United States struggle with mental disorders annually. This figure is comparable to 44 million people or 18% of the total American population.

Thousands of men, women, and children in the Jacksonville, FL Metro Area who are affected by mental health conditions can improve their health if they pay regular visits to a therapist. Jacksonville FL residents, however, have limited access to professional mental health services. Despite this barrier to treatment, many people in the Jacksonville, FL Metro Area are hopeful about their mental health outlook. The main reason for this is the large number of therapists in Jacksonville who are now using the internet to offer high-quality mental health services.

Online Therapy in Jacksonville FL is a New Approach to Mental Health Care

Online therapy is the administering of counseling or mental health services on the web. It is often called e-counseling, web therapy, internet therapy, or e-therapy. People with mental health issues may receive online therapy from a clinical social worker, psychiatrist, counselor, psychologist, or marriage and family therapist. Jacksonville FL residents who are in need of care are encouraged to take advantage of these professional services.

The mental health industry has been vastly improved with online therapy. This treatment modality is usually more convenient and affordable than traditional sessions in-office with a licensed therapist. Jacksonville FL residents who are experiencing financial or time-related barriers to mental health care may benefit from online therapy. The approach puts professional mental health counseling well within reach. 

How Does Therapy in Jacksonville Work?

Talk therapy uses empirically-supported procedures to help people resolve life issues or cope with chronic mental health conditions. Individuals in therapy are helped to identify the root causes for their symptoms and learn the skills they need to manage them. Different types of talk therapy may be used in session. Common approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy, narrative therapy, cognitive therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.

Therapy is most effective when there is a supportive, trusting relationship between the individual in treatment and the therapist. Jacksonville FL residents who openly share their issues and cooperate with treatment suggestions often experience improved mental health.

The First Session

It is normal to feel anxious about going to your first therapy session. In many cases, people are most nervous about speaking with a licensed therapist. Jacksonville FL therapists are expertly trained to set tone and direct each treatment session. If you read ahead about what to expect in therapy, it may help you to relax in your first treatment session.

First Impressions

First impressions are very important in therapy. As soon as you step through the door you start to cultivate your therapeutic alliance with your therapist. Jacksonville FL residents are urged to keep track of their feelings as they chat with their mental health counselor. A therapist who makes you feel relaxed and calm in your initial session may be perfect for your mental health needs.


If you want therapy to be successful, you need to build an excellent rapport with your therapist. Jacksonville FL residents who experience the best treatment outcomes report they have sincere, open, and regular discussions with their therapist. Good rapport is key to building a therapeutic relationship that is strong, supportive, and trusting. Therapists in Jacksonville FL who show understanding and empathy in the initial meeting are more likely to have good rapport with their long-term clients. 

    Presenting Problem

You will have to speak about your presenting problem during your first session with your mental health provider. Your presenting problem is the specific challenge or concern that brought you to therapy in the first place. Most people find it difficult to discuss their presenting issues due to feelings of guilt, shame, anger, or embarrassment. However, individuals who are able to speak honestly about their concerns are likely to gain the most benefit from mental health counseling..

    Personal History

Your therapist may inquire about your personal history in your initial meeting together. He or she may ask about your relationships, childhood experiences, medical history, family life, mental health history, alcohol use, or drug use. In other settings, questions like these are often viewed as invasive. In therapy though, the answers to these questions are crucial for the accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of your condition. 

What Happens in Follow Up Sessions?

At the end of your first therapy session, your mental health provider will speak with you about your diagnosis and your therapeutic goals. You will also draft your personal treatment plan under the guidance of your therapist. Jacksonville FL residents may receive a contract that specifies the roles of the client and therapist, as well as the goals, duration, and purpose of treatment. Your mental health provider may also recommend that you take certain immediate actions to help reduce some of your symptoms. 

Your mental health provider will craft your follow up sessions to help you work towards your treatment goals. As you and your therapist obtain more information about your condition, you may work together to refine your treatment plan. After your first few sessions, you will likely understand the reasons for your issues, appreciate the importance of sticking to your treatment plan, and look to the future with renewed hope.

Am I Going to Get Diagnosed with a Mental Illness?

Making the decision to go to therapy does not automatically mean you have a mental health condition. Each year, a large number of individuals who have good mental health choose to enter therapy because they want to learn specific skills or they want guidance on dealing with certain life challenges. Some people seek therapy for the following reasons:

  • To sharpen their parenting skills
  • To cope with the death of a family member
  • To learn more about their children
  • To resolve marital issues
  • To increase intimacy
  • To become better communicators
  • To improve productivity at work or school
  • To find more joy in life

What Can I Do to Get the Most Out of Online Therapy?

Many individuals who have tried online therapy report that it is a rewarding experience that can change your life. Nevertheless, there are specific things you can do to make the most of each session with your therapist. Jacksonville FL residents who want to enrich their therapeutic experience are encouraged to apply the recommendations shown below.

    Be Honest

Most people come to therapy because they need help dealing with mental health issues or life challenges. In many cases though, people in treatment find it hard to discuss the negative issues that are affecting them. For example, issues such as erectile dysfunction, infidelity, suicidal ideation, or substance addiction may elicit strong feelings of shame or regret. However, it is important to remember that help is available only if you are honest and open with your therapist. Jacksonville FL therapists are licensed and qualified to help you with these types of discussions.

Honesty is also key when you are assessing how you feel about your therapist. Jacksonville FL residents who receive excellent care may begin to develop inappropriate feelings for their mental health provider. Talk to your therapist and be honest about your feelings. If it is not possible to have a healthy therapeutic relationship with your current therapist, you may need to find a new mental health provider.

    Be Open Minded

You will likely experience a few surprises in therapy even if you have a well-designed treatment plan. For example, your progress may be much slower than you initially expected, or your therapist may suddenly suggest a new treatment approach you are not familiar with. These surprises or unmet expectations should not cause you to stop therapy or begin checking around for a new therapist. Jacksonville FL residents who are patient and open-minded about care often experience the best treatment results.

    Ask Questions

Asking questions is vital to successful therapy. While it is true that many people are intimidated by the idea of questioning a mental health professional, you should be willing to ask about any issues you do not understand. It is especially important that you ask meaningful questions in your first session with your therapist. Jacksonville FL residents are urged to ask questions if:

  • They want more information about their payment options or health insurance
  • Their therapist uses professional jargon that they do not understand
  • They do not understand the therapeutic plan
  • They do not see the benefit of a particular treatment strategy
  • They want to assess their therapeutic relationship
  • They are overwhelmed or confused by their feelings.

Find Your Jacksonville Therapist on ThriveTalk

ThriveTalk is a leading mental health platform that offers online therapy to people in the Jacksonville, FL Metro Area. It connects residents who have mental health concerns with licensed therapists in Jacksonville who offer treatment services. Jacksonville residents can log onto the ThriveTalk platform on their mobile phone or computer. Online therapy with ThriveTalk is fast, more affordable, and more convenient that classic in-office counseling.

author avatar
Angel Rivera
I am a Bilingual (Spanish) Psychiatrist with a mixture of strong clinical skills including Emergency Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison, Forensic Psychiatry, Telepsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry training in treatment of the elderly. I have training in EMR records thus very comfortable in working with computers. I served the difficult to treat patients in challenging environments in outpatient and inpatient settings
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