If you are looking for a therapist online in the UK, you might wonder how to find one who can understand and respect your cultural background, values, beliefs, and experiences. Culture is an essential factor that can influence your mental health, well-being, and therapy outcomes. Therefore, finding a culturally competent therapist online can be crucial to achieving your therapeutic goals.
But what does cultural competence mean, and why must therapists and clients have it? How can you find a culturally competent therapist online in the UK, and what are the benefits and challenges of doing so? This article will answer these questions and provide tips and resources to help you find a culturally competent therapist online in the UK.
What Is Cultural Competence
Cultural competence is the ability to interact effectively and respectfully with people from different cultural backgrounds, values, beliefs, and experiences. It involves awareness of one’s cultural identity and biases and openness, curiosity, and empathy toward other cultures. It also involves having the knowledge and skills to communicate, collaborate, and negotiate with people from diverse cultures.
Cultural competence is essential for therapists and clients because it can enhance the quality and outcome of therapy. A culturally competent therapist can understand and respect the client’s cultural perspective and preferences; tailor their interventions and strategies to suit the client’s needs and goals; build a strong rapport and trust with the client; avoid or resolve any misunderstandings, conflicts, or biases that may arise from cultural differences; and help the client cope with any cultural stressors or challenges they may face.
Similarly, culturally competent clients can feel comfortable and authentic with their therapist; express their thoughts and feelings freely and honestly; learn from their therapist’s cultural perspective and feedback; achieve their therapeutic goals and personal growth; and respect and learn from other cultures.
Benefits and Challenges of Online Therapy
Online therapy involves using the internet to communicate with a therapist through various platforms and modalities, such as video calls, phone calls, text messages, emails, or apps. Virtual therapy can offer many benefits for clients who prefer this mode of delivery over face-to-face therapy. Some of these benefits are:
- Accessibility: Online therapy can make therapy more accessible for people who live in remote areas, have mobility issues, or face other barriers to accessing face-to-face therapy.
- Affordability: Online therapy can be more affordable than face-to-face therapy, as it can save time and money on travel, parking, childcare, or other expenses. BetterHelp.com pricing comes out to £50-£80 a week. You pay every month. You can chat with your therapist anytime and have one session a week.
- Convenience: Online therapy can offer more comfort for clients who have busy schedules, prefer flexible hours, or want to choose their own environment for therapy.
- Privacy: Online therapy can offer more privacy for clients who are uncomfortable or stigmatized about seeking therapy in person. Conversely, people may have to be more careful to verify someone’s identity if they are meeting online. If you are focused on the match with the type of professional you speak with, you are probably especially honed in on them being who they say they are.
However, online therapy also poses some challenges for clients who must be aware of it before choosing it. Some of these challenges are:
Technical difficulties: Online therapy can be affected by technical issues such as poor internet connection, low-quality audio or video, or malfunctioning devices or software. These issues can disrupt or interrupt therapy sessions or affect the quality of communication between the therapist and the client.
Communication barriers: Online therapy can create communication barriers such as lack of non-verbal cues, misinterpretation of tone or emotion, or delayed response. These barriers can make it harder for the therapist and the client to establish rapport, express empathy, or convey meaning effectively.
Ethical dilemmas: Online therapy can raise ethical dilemmas such as confidentiality breaches, data security risks, or boundary violations. These dilemmas can occur when the online therapist or the client does not follow the ethical codes or guidelines of their profession or platform when the online therapist or the client shares sensitive information with unauthorized parties, or when the online therapist or the client engages in inappropriate behaviors online.
Quality concerns: virtual, online therapy can raise problems such as lack of regulation, credibility, professionalism, and empathy, such as their license, membership, accreditation, reviews, testimonials, etc. You can also look for information that indicates their availability, fees, policies, or procedures. If you have any questions or doubts about the online therapist’s information, you can contact them directly and ask for clarification or verification.
How Much Do Online Therapists Charge?
The price of online therapy can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of service, the qualifications and experience of the therapist, the length and frequency of the sessions, and the payment method.
According to a survey by Private Practice Hub, the average cost of online therapy in the UK is £40-£50 per session. However, prices may range from £20 to over £100 per session.
Some online counseling platforms charge a flat monthly fee, giving unlimited access to your therapist via text, phone, or video. For example, BetterHelp charges £50-£80 per week (billed monthly), Talkspace charges £49-£79 per week (billed monthly), and Calmerry charges £35-£49 per week (billed monthly).
Some online therapy directories allow you to compare the fees of different therapists and choose one that suits your budget. For example, UK Therapy Guide shows the fees of each therapist on their profile page, ranging from £25 to £150 per session.
Some online self-help programs are free or low-cost, as the NHS or other organizations fund them. For example, SilverCloud and Beating the Blues are free for NHS patients who are referred by their GP or other health professional. Big White Wall is free for UK residents who are registered with a participating organization, such as a university, an employer, or a charity.
How to Pay for Online Therapy
There are different ways to pay for online therapy in the UK, depending on the type of service and your circumstances.
Some online therapy services accept payment by debit or credit card at the time of booking or regularly. Some may also accept payment by PayPal or other online payment methods.
Your health insurance or employee assistance program (EAP) may cover some online therapy services. You should check with your insurance provider or employer if they offer any benefits for online therapy and what are the terms and conditions.
Some online therapy services may be eligible for reimbursement by your private medical insurance (PMI). You should check with your insurance company if they cover online therapy and what are the requirements and procedures.
Some online therapy services may be available for free or at a reduced cost through the NHS or other organizations. You should check with your GP or other health professional if you can access any online therapy programs that are funded by the NHS or other sources.
Advice and Guidance for Working with a Culturally Competent Therapist
Ask questions or have a consultation with virtual therapists before starting therapy. This can help you assess their cultural competence and suitability for your needs and goals. You can also use this opportunity to establish rapport and trust with the online therapist and to discuss your expectations and preferences for online therapy. Some of the questions you can ask are:
- What is your cultural background and how does it influence your practice?
- How do you define and measure cultural competence?
- What training or experience do you have in working with clients from different cultures?
- How do you tailor your interventions and strategies to suit your clients’ cultural preferences and goals?
- How do you deal with any misunderstandings, conflicts, or biases arising from cultural differences?
- How do you ensure the quality and ethics of your online service?
If you have found a culturally competent therapist online in the UK, here are some advice and guidance that can help you work with them effectively:
Set realistic goals and expectations for online therapy. It can be different from face-to-face therapy in many ways. Therefore, it is important to have realistic goals and expectations for what it can offer and what it cannot. For example, online therapy can provide convenience and privacy but it cannot replace human contact or physical presence. Virtual therapy can also have technical difficulties or communication barriers that may affect the therapeutic process and outcome.
Establish and maintain a good rapport and trust with your therapist. Rapport and trust are essential for any therapeutic relationship but they can be more challenging to build and maintain. Therefore, it is important to establish and maintain a good rapport and trust with your therapist by being respectful, honest, open-minded, cooperative, and consistent. You can also use verbal and non-verbal cues such as tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, feedbacks etc., to show your interest, attention, and emotion.
Be open and honest about your cultural background, values, beliefs, and experiences.
Your cultural background, values, beliefs, and experiences are essential to who you are and how you see the world. Therefore, being open and honest about them with your online therapist is essential. This can help them understand you better and provide more appropriate and effective therapy for you. It can also help you explore your cultural identity and how it affects your mental health and well-being.
Respect and learn from your online therapist’s cultural perspective and feedback. Your online therapist’s cultural perspective and feedback are valuable sources of information.
Respect and learn from your online therapist’s cultural perspective and feedback. Your therapist’s cultural perspective and feedback are valuable information and insight that can help you better understand yourself and others.
Therefore, respecting and learning from them with an open mind and a curious attitude is essential. You can also ask questions, share opinions, or challenge assumptions respectfully and constructively.
Give and receive feedback on online therapy sessions. Feedback is an essential part of any therapeutic process, as it can help the therapist and the client evaluate their progress, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and improve their performance. Therefore, giving and receiving feedback on therapy sessions regularly and honestly is essential. You can also use feedback to express your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the therapist’s service, such as their cultural competence, communication style, approach, effectiveness, or professionalism.
Finding a culturally competent therapist online in the UK can be a rewarding and beneficial experience for clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. However, it can also be a challenging and confusing process that requires careful research, evaluation, and communication. In this article, we have provided some tips and resources to help you find a culturally competent therapist online in the UK and some advice and guidance to help you work with them effectively. We hope that this article has helped you understand the importance of cultural competence and therapy in the UK, and that you can find a culturally competent therapist online who can meet your needs and goals. If you have any further questions or comments about this topic or anything else you want to chat about with me