You already know that a friend or family member can be a big help when you’re having a problem. They can support you and offer advice.
But sometimes, your friends and family don’t have the time or experience to provide all the help you need. Even if they have time to listen, they may not have the skills or knowledge necessary to help solve your problems. This is where online counselling comes in!
What Is Online Counselling?
Online counselling is precisely as it sounds: counselling sessions that take place online. It is a relatively new form of counselling that allows patients to meet with their counsellor using their digital devices rather than in person.
This type of counselling can be done through live video chat or over text messages, depending on the situation and the client’s preference. Nowadays, counsellors and clients can use a range of software and platforms to conduct online counselling sessions (e.g., Skype or Zoom).
In recent years, online counselling has become popular because of its convenience. It allows people to connect with a counsellor in the comfort of their own homes. It is a great alternative for those who cannot attend traditional counselling sessions due to their location, busy schedules or other reasons.
Is Online Counselling Effective?
Despite the growing popularity of this type of counselling, many remain apprehensive about trying it. The hesitation stems from concerns about the effectiveness of online counselling.
Since counsellors are not unable to observe their clients, some worry that the diagnosis and assessment can be inaccurate. Meanwhile, others think that the impersonal nature of online counselling prevents the counsellor and client from building a good relationship. In case you didn’t know, the counsellor-client relationship plays a crucial role in the success of the counselling.
While these concerns are understandable, Science says you shouldn’t let these stop you from talking to an online counsellor. Several studies have established that online counselling is as effective as face-to-face treatment. To add, research shows that this method can successfully be used in helping people with depression, anxiety and relationship issues.
What Are the Benefits of Online Counselling?
Online counselling can be a great option if you are looking for a more convenient and accessible way to address your mental health challenges.
It is beneficial if you live in a remote area or have difficulty getting to your counsellor’s office. It also makes it easier for you to find and connect with counsellors who aren’t local but are equipped to handle your issues.
Online counselling is likewise useful if you want to talk to a professional but have a busy schedule. This method enables you to connect with a counsellor anytime, anywhere. You can do it from the comfort of your own home. In fact, you don’t even have to get dressed or commute to talk to your counsellor.
Access to More Counsellors
With online counselling, you have access to a greater pool of counsellors you would otherwise not have access to.
For example, if you were looking for a counsellor in your local area and found that the counsellor’s rate is too high or they weren’t accepting new clients at the time, you could use an online service instead. With the availability of this option, finding another counsellor is easy and less time-consuming.
Just like in face-to-face counselling, the online session is completely private. No one else has access to your information except those who need to know.
In fact, some say that this option affords clients better privacy as it completely eliminates the chance of them seeing someone they know in the waiting room or being seen in the clinic. Hence, if you don’t want other people to know that you are seeing a professional, online counselling might be a better option for you.
Online counselling is often more affordable than traditional face-to-face sessions. Furthermore, going for this method may save you money because there are no travel costs involved.
Plus, since many counsellors charge by the session rather than by the hour (or offer discounts on longer packages), it’s often possible to get more sessions out of each penny spent on counselling than if you were seeing someone face-to-face every week.
More Comfortable for Others
Many clients find that online counselling helps them open up and talk about things that are harder to discuss in person. This is especially true if you have social anxiety or other depression symptoms that make it challenging for you to interact with others.
What Can You Expect from Online Counselling
This form of counselling is no different from traditional, face-to-face counselling. To give you an idea of what happens during the sessions, here are the things you can expect from your online counsellor:
An online counsellor will listen to your concerns and help you develop solutions on your own. Your counsellor will ask questions to guide you towards the best answers for you, empowering you to make the right decisions!
Your counsellor may ask these kinds of questions:
- What does the problem feel like?
- How do other people respond when they learn about this problem?
- How many times have similar problems happened before?
Provide Objective Perspective
The role of these professionals is to give you an objective perspective on whatever issue is bothering you, no matter how big or small it seems to be. They will listen carefully and provide feedback on what they hear.
Empower You to Decide
Remember, online counsellors will not solve your problems for you. They won’t also tell you what to do. They will help you come up with a course of action that is right for you, but they will not tell you what to do or judge whether or not it’s the right choice.
What the counsellor will do is empower you to make your own decisions. The goal of the counselling session is to help you find the answers yourself. Instead of giving advice or making suggestions, she will guide and encourage you to reach your own conclusions.
Provide a Safe Environment
The session serves as a safe place where you can talk about your feelings without judgment or criticism from others around you. You are free to say what you think and feel. Your counsellor is not there to correct or judge you.
Keep Everything Confidential
Confidentiality is an integral part of counselling. Your counsellor will keep everything you tell them to themselves unless they have reason to share it with someone else.
Your counsellors can only reveal information about you if:
- You give them permission to do so (this can be in writing or verbally)
- A court orders the release of information that isn’t already publicly available
- The law requires it for child protection purposes, such as reporting suspected child abuse or neglect
In conclusion, online counselling is something you should consider if you are having difficulties getting professional help because of your location, schedule and budget. Despite concerns about its ability to help people, studies have shown that this method is as effective as face-to-face treatment. It is really just a matter of finding the right counsellor – someone who is qualified and experienced in handling issues just like yours.
Are you thinking of getting online counselling? Ensure that you talk to a counsellor equipped to handle your case! Here at Access Counselling, our online counsellors are trained to provide counselling services to people with anxiety and depression. Click here to schedule your first appointment!