Online counselling pertains to counselling services that are conducted using the Internet. It is done via email, chat, voice call or video conference.
Counselling using digital communication is no different from the traditional type. It is a private session between you and the counsellor, and everything discussed is kept confidential.
The process is also the same – goals are going to be set and every session is going to be devoted to achieving them. The role of the counsellor is unchanged in this setup. She is there to help you freely share your feelings and thoughts, listen to you talk, provide advice and ensure that you achieve your goals.
Is Online Counselling Effective?
While this service has been around for quite some time now, it has not gained traction for a variety of reasons.
For one, most people’s idea of counselling is greatly tied to the traditional way – sitting on a couch as the patient talks to the therapist. They think that this is the right and the only way of doing things.
There are also those who are apprehensive about trying Internet-based therapy because they doubt its effectiveness. They think that conducting the sessions using digital communication is impersonal. It hinders the counsellor and the patient from building rapport which is essential for the therapy to work.
However, studies have consistently shown that online counselling is as effective as the traditional type. There is a body of research saying that Internet-based therapy can help treat depression, anxiety and panic disorder. Hence, for as long as you pick a qualified counsellor and someone you are comfortable working with, then you can expect the online treatment to help you overcome your mental health issue.
Benefits of Online Counselling
One of the best things about online counselling is that it is convenient to do. All you need is an Internet connection to meet with your counsellor. There is no need to drive to your counsellor’s clinic or office. In fact, you wouldn’t even have to leave your house!
Basically, with this type of service, you can hold the session wherever you want to. You can stay at a place where you are comfortable –in your office or your house.
Scheduling online counselling is easier as well. With the traditional setup, squeezing time for counselling can be challenging, especially if you have a busy life.
For example, if your job entails constant travelling, it can be impossible to find time to drive to the clinic for your treatment. In most cases, this meant taking time off work which is not feasible for some people. Similarly, for couples seeking marriage counselling, finding a common time for their session can be challenging in a face to face setup.
With Internet-based therapy, it is easier to work around your schedule or make room for a session because the entire process is less time-consuming. As you wouldn’t have to be in the clinic, you don’t have to factor in preparation and travel time when setting an appointment. Basically, you can pick a time that is most suitable for you but still within your therapist’s work hours.
Getting counselling for some people can be difficult because of their location, i.e. those living in rural areas. This is no longer a problem with the availability of online counselling. It does not matter where you are in Ireland. For as long as you have an Internet-connected device, you can get the professional help you need.
Furthermore, with this type of service, your options are no longer limited. You don’t have to pick a counsellor based on proximity. You can choose the best one in Ireland as location is no longer an issue. So, if you are from Kilkenny but want to see a Dublin-based counsellor, you can easily do this with the help of the Internet.
Online counselling is ideal if you are a very private person or want no one to know you are seeking treatment.
This is not to say that traditional counselling is not secure or safe. The truth is that there are various measures in place to safeguard your privacy when seeking face-to-face counselling. However, these do not eliminate the possibility of seeing someone you know in the waiting area or you being spotted going inside the clinic. These are the things you do not have to worry about when you go for an Internet-based therapy.
In fact, you can even keep your identity completely anonymous as some clinics allow patients to get treated without divulging their real names. For some people, the anonymity that Internet-based counselling offers enables them to talk freely and honestly.
With the benefits it offers, online counselling is undoubtedly an excellent option for people who dread face to face contact, those who have hectic schedules and those who live in rural or remote places.
It should be noted, however, that reaping these benefits is only possible if you work with a qualified professional. So, make sure you choose a counsellor who has the credentials and training needed to conduct the kind of counselling service you’re looking for.
Searching for a trusted online counselling provider in Ireland? Let us help you! We have a team of qualified counsellors who are experienced in providing Internet-based counselling. Call us on 015240708 or visit our website to schedule an online counselling session.