What is Online Counseling?
Online therapy is just the same as regular therapy, only it’s offered online which is very convenient for a lot of people. It is growing in popularity and new research has shown that online therapy may actually be very effective when it comes to treating mental health conditions.
This type of therapy is particularly beneficial to people living in the rural areas who can’t get to a practitioner’s office easily. It’s also a great alternative for those who are concerned about the financial aspect of therapy treatment as it costs significantly less than in-person therapy. Although the security of online therapy may be an issue, it holds immense benefits for a lot of people.
The Benefits of Online Therapy
This form of counseling online is a wonderful new solution for people who are seeking help and guidance with issues that they are facing in their lives but they are restricted by either budget, location, or other factors.
By opting for online therapy, these individuals are able to get the help that they otherwise would have had to go without. Online therapy is growing in popularity as more and more people come to realize just how much more convenient it is than traditional in-person therapy. Some of the benefits of online therapy include:
- Easy access for people with geographical restrictions
- Great for individuals who fear the stigma of getting therapy
- Less expensive. Great for those on a budget
- Saves time. Very convenient for people with time constraints
- It’s more comfortable to talk to the therapist from your own home
- The session can be easily saved for future reference
- No Commute. Great for those with limited transportation
- Convenient for those with poor mobility or illness
- Online therapy gives you access to a wider range of medical health professionals as opposed to being limited by your physical location.
Before the advent of online therapy, if you lived two hours from the nearest therapist’s office and had 3 sessions a week, can you imagine how much time you would have had to spend on the road just to get to your therapist’s office and then back home again? A lot of people would have thought twice about signing up for treatment under those conditions.
Online therapy takes care of such issues and makes it super easy for anyone anywhere to get the help that they need. All you need is a webcam and an internet connection in order to be able to facilitate that ‘face-to-face’ conversation with your therapist.
With just those simple tools it’s now possible for individuals to reach their therapeutic goals while in the comfort of their homes. This can make a world of difference for a lot of people whose circumstances would otherwise prevent them from getting therapy like those with poor mobility due to physical disabilities or illness, those on a low budget, and those who live far away from the therapist’s offices or who have limited transportation.
How Online Therapy Works
This type of therapy works in much the same way as your typical therapy. The main difference is that online therapy is conducted over a computer. Working with patients long distance isn’t a new concept. Patients have always needed feedback, support, and guidance and therapists have always found ways to keep in touch with them whether through letters (like in the Freudian days) or more recently through a wide range of various formats like phone, email, and instant messaging.
The more popular the internet became the more opportunities presented themselves for therapy techniques that were distance-based within the mental health industry. Those opportunities have evolved from self-help forums and support groups to online messaging services and now professional help can be conducted using webcams for a personal conversation.
Is Online Therapy Effective?
Online therapy can assist individuals with a wide array of issues such as anxiety, depression, relationship problems, eating disorders, and more. In fact, a lot of life’s challenges can be addressed through online therapy. By making access to therapists so easy, online therapy has essentially made mental health services more appealing to a lot of people who might not have considered it in the past.
Between instant messaging, email, live chat, internet phone or VoIP, and video conferencing, these days there really isn’t an excuse for any individual to not get the counseling that they need even if they can’t make it to a therapists office.
Choosing an Online Therapist
As with any other form of therapy, it’s vital that you take the time to choose the right therapist for you. With this type of therapy you have more options available to you, so it will be easier to find a therapist that you are comfortable with and can speak to freely even if it’s through video calls and emails.
Also, it may be a good idea to find an online therapist who has a physical location that you can visit, just in case you want to have a face-to-face conversation during any part of your therapy.