Mental health issues have affected mankind since the dawn of history. However, past treatments for mental health conditions were not always as safe, effective, or humane as they are now. In the 1600s, for example, mental health treatment may have included bloodletting, purging, or removing a portion of the affected person’s skull. In later years, people with mental health issues were routinely locked away in asylums that offered little or no mental health treatment. 

Today, many mental health treatment modalities are safe, effective, and medically-supported. One of the most respected therapeutic approaches in the United States is talk therapy. Effective care is important as 20% of American adults are affected by mental health issues each year. This figure corresponds to 18% of the national population or roughly 44 million people. 

Many people in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL Metro Area who are struggling with mental illnesses would benefit from regular visits to a therapist. Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm residents, however, have limited access to mental health care. Despite the shortage of treatment, many residents in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL Metro Area still have hope. This is because an increasing number of therapists are using online therapy to help men, women, and children who are unable to access traditional mental health services.

Online Therapy is a New Method for Mental Health Treatment

Online therapy involves the provision of mental health and counseling services over the internet. The approach goes by a number of names, including e-therapy, e-counseling, internet therapy, and web therapy. People who need mental health services may receive online therapy from a registered psychiatrist, clinical social worker, counselor, or psychologist. West Palm, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami residents with mental health issues may also take advantage of these resources.

Online therapy is revolutionizing the mental health field for a variety of reasons. This form of treatment is typically more affordable and convenient than classic talk therapy sessions in-office with a therapist. Fort Lauderdale residents and people in the wider Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL Metro Area may use online therapy to overcome financial and temporal barriers to treatment. Online therapy puts professional mental health services at your fingertips.  

How Does Online Therapy Work?

Talk therapy uses research-backed procedures to help people cope with mental health concerns or life challenges in a healthy way. Individuals in treatment are helped to understand their issues and learn effective skills for dealing with them. There are many different types of talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and narrative therapy. 

Therapy is most likely to be successful if there is a strong, collaborative relationship between the client and the therapist. Miami residents who are willing to open up about their issues and apply the techniques they learn in therapy are more likely to have better mental health outcomes.

The First Session

Going to your first therapy session can be scary. Many people who enter treatment are unsure how to talk to a therapist. Miami therapists understand how you feel and are trained to set the tone for each session. Researching what to expect in therapy before you go to your first session can also help you feel more relaxed.

    First Impressions

Successful mental health treatment begins in your first meeting. The minute you walk through the door you begin to develop your therapeutic relationship with your therapist. Miami residents are encouraged to pay attention to their emotions as they speak with their therapist. A therapist who is able to make you feel comfortable in your first session may be a good choice for long-term treatment.


It is very important to establish a good rapport with your therapist. Miami residents who benefit most from therapy report they are open, honest, and at ease when talking to their mental health counselor. Good rapport is vital to building trust and respect between the client and the therapist. Miami psychologists, counselors, clinical social workers, and psychiatrists who demonstrate empathy and understanding are more likely to develop good rapport with the people in their care. 

    Presenting Problem

During your first meeting with your therapist, you will have to talk about your presenting problem. Your presenting problem is the specific issue or challenge that moved you to seek professional care. Many people feel ashamed, embarrassed, guilty, or upset when discussing their presenting issue with a therapist. Miami residents who are able to lower their defenses and share their concerns often have better therapeutic results.

    Personal History

Your therapist will ask about your personal history in your first session. He or she may ask questions about your medical history, mental health history, substance use, relationships, family life, childhood, or other aspects of your personal life. While these questions may seem invasive, at first, it is important that you provide accurate answers. This information may be instrumental in helping the therapist to diagnose and treat your condition.

What Happens in Follow Up Sessions?

After your initial session, you should be on the same page with your mental health provider regarding your diagnosis and treatment goals. A treatment plan may also be created by you and your therapist. Fort Lauderdale, West Palm, and Miami residents may also receive a treatment contract that outlines the roles of the therapist and client, as well as the purpose, duration, and goals of treatment. Depending on your issue, your therapist may encourage you to take a few immediate actions to help reduce your symptoms in the short-term.

Your follow up sessions are designed to help you reach your treatment goals. As you and your therapist learn more about your condition, the treatment strategy may be fine-tuned for better results. By the end of your first few therapeutic sessions you should have a clearer understanding of your issue, a specific treatment plan, and renewed hope for the future.

Am I Going to Get Diagnosed with a Mental Illness?

Going to therapy does not automatically mean you will be diagnosed with a mental illness. Many people who have good mental health may seek therapy because they want professional guidance on how to cope with specific life issues or they want to develop specific skills. People may come to therapy to:

  • Learn how to become a better parent
  • Understand their children better
  • Increase the intimacy in their romantic relationships
  • Develop better communication skills
  • Become more sociable
  • Learn how to be more productive at work or school
  • View life from a more positive perspective
  • Improve their problem-solving skills
  • Identify their inherent strengths

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

Online therapy can be a wonderful, life-changing experience. However, there are things you can do to make your sessions even more meaningful as you work with your therapist. Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm residents are encouraged to try the suggestions below to get the most out of treatment.

    Be Honest

Coming to therapy usually means something is not quite right in your life. However, some people may find it difficult to be completely honest about what they are experiencing. For example, issues such as suicidal ideation, erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, infidelity, or addiction can be incredibly hard to talk about. Nevertheless, you will only be able to get the help you need if you are honest with your therapist. Miami therapists are expertly trained to assist you with these and other challenging discussions.

Honesty is also important when considering your relationship with your psychologist. West Palm, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale residents who are receiving treatment may develop inappropriate attachments to a helpful therapist over time. Talk to your therapist about how you feel about him or her. If you do not believe you have a healthy therapeutic relationship, you may need to find a new therapist. 

    Be Open Minded

Even though you likely have an excellent treatment plan in place, there may still be some surprises in therapy. For example, you may not be progressing as quickly as you thought you would or your therapist may want to try a new treatment approach after the first few weeks. This does not mean you should quit therapy or start looking for a new therapist. Miami residents who are open-minded and patient with treatment are more likely to have better health outcomes.

    Ask Questions

Asking questions is a crucial part of the treatment process. Although it can be scary or humbling to question your therapist, it is recommended that you ask about anything you do not understand. Questions are especially important in your first meeting with your therapist. Miami residents may ask questions if:

  • They want to know about payment options and insurance
  • Their therapist uses words they do not understand
  • They do not understand the treatment plan
  • They are not sure how a particular treatment strategy will help them
  • They want to evaluate the therapeutic relationship
  • They do not know why they feel the way they do

Find Your Therapist With ThriveTalk

ThriveTalk is a secure platform that provides online therapy for people in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL Metro Area. It connects residents who are suffering from mental health issues with licensed therapists who can provide care. People can access the ThriveTalk platform by using their personal computer or phone. Online therapy with ThriveTalk is faster, more convenient, and more affordable than traditional psychotherapy. 

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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