What is online counselling and what are the benefits?
What is online counselling, and is it any good? I’ll be addressing this topic in this article. Are you considering doing online therapy, and wondering if it’s effective?
The internet has opened up new avenues of accessing services, and since the ongoing COVID lock down, online options have skyrocketed. Things we didn't previously offer online, are now becoming readily available. Online counselling has always been around, but it didn't have as much popularity or outreach in the last few years.
What is online counselling ?
Online counselling covers a range of therapeutic mediums from text messages to video calls. They offer the same confidentiality, support and quality as face to face sessions with qualified counsellors. Different therapists offer varying options, but generally online counselling includes : Emails, Instant messaging, phone calls, video calls, and in some cases in app messaging.
Truth is, online counselling is, and can be highly effective in supporting people through their struggle. It is still the same professional, credited and trustworthy therapists who are on the other end of the phone or video call. Technology is simply making it much easier for you to access. Like many things, therapy is what you put into it. Regardless if it's face to face, or via skype, therapy is as supportive or excellent as the people who are participating and engaging with the process. You get out what you put in.
Let's explore some of the biggest advantages of online therapy. Here is a list of reasons why considering online therapy might actually be a more valuable option for you.
Online counselling is usually affordable and far more convenient for both the client and the counsellor. Since you will be attending online from your own home, office or even your parked car (I often recommend this for people who can't get privacy at home, or who want to schedule sessions after work before returning home) you can schedule your appointment at times which are far more convenient for you.
In addition to this, online appointments can often make counsellors schedules more flexible to accommodate you, as there is no need for them or you to travel to a rented office space. This is good news for you, because it means you may not need to wait as long for an appointment, and get a time that suits you both!
Therapists who offer online sessions likely have fewer overhead costs such as renting office space. Online therapists, therefore, can often offer more affordable appointments, and many will have a discounted rate or offer them on a sliding scale pricing to help it be more accessible for you.
Less time taken away from work or other obligations
As you can call and talk to your therapist in an easier and less time consuming way, this takes away a lot of the stress of trying to fit therapy around your work schedule, traffic, childcare or other hobbies and activities.
We all want our lives to fit together smoothly, otherwise it’s hard to motivate ourselves to actually attend activities. You’ll feel more relaxed with online counselling knowing that you wont miss other appointments or fun things in your life!
A Good Option for Remote Areas and increasing the distance that therapists can cover.
Online therapy offers access to mental health information and treatment to people in rural or remote areas. Those who live in such areas simply might not have access to any other form of mental health treatment because there are limited or no mental health practices in their geographic area.
Having to drive long distances can be a burden on many people in need of help. If you have reliable internet access, online therapy gives you relatively quick and easy access to treatment that might not have been readily available to you otherwise.
Accessibility for People With Physical Limitations
Online therapy provides accessibility to individuals who are disabled or housebound. Mobility can be a big issue when it comes to accessing mental health care. Individuals who are not able to leave their home for various reasons, may find online therapy is a great alternative to face to face appointments.
Online therapy can create more robust mental health.
Typically people are comfortable talking about physical health issues, but might not feel comfortable talking about how they’re feeling emotionally. Online counselling makes it easier to talk about these things and overcome the stigma that you need to have a diagnosis or be seriously ill in order to seek help. That’s simply not the case. Even if you generally have strong mental well being, online therapy can help you become even stronger and more robust in your wellbeing. Therapy isn't just a deep fix for things, it's also a preventative measure to help people BEFORE their struggle becomes something more problematic.
So, there you have it. Online counselling has a lot to offer people, and its popularity and demand is growing more and more. With its professional and relaxed support you can talk to someone quickly and easily when it suits you.