“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.” Carol Welch
Everyone, at some point in their lives, finds themselves in a position where they need to talk to someone. Online counselling has many advantages over keeping issues bottled up.
What is Online Counselling?
Online counselling is a special service that is provided online through the internet and websites for treating mental health conditions in an individual. Usually, these online therapies are given through chats, video conferences, web cameras, video-based teleconferencing, or telephones. Online counselling or online Therapy is also termed teletherapy, cyber counselling, and e-therapy. Sometimes, people who are already undergoing this mental health therapy face to face also opt for being treated online as well. The growth of online counselling for mental health has increased with the increase in broadband services and technology.
Online mental health therapy has become a standard and common practice these days. It is particularly important to support youth with services like suicide therapy, kids helping numbers, and career and relationship issues. A licensed online therapist is there to provide you with online counselling for mental health and bring you back to a normal life.
How is Online Counselling done?
Online counselling is a form of remote healthcare service that has proven to be a convenient alternative to in-person counselling for treating mental health conditions. To carry out teletherapy/online counselling, a licensed and skilled therapist communicates with the individual with a disturbed mental condition through video conferencing, email, or telephone.
Most of the time, it is up to the patient to choose the mode of communication between the professional therapist and the patient. Patients might opt for messaging or even emailing therapy formats. Some individuals also choose to be counselled through video-based teleconferencing or telephone/audio. Having a variation in modes of communication is a plus point keeping the client’s comfort level in mind.
Clinically licensed and caring therapists mostly prefer online counselling through video chats because this enables them to observe the physical response and facial expressions of their clients. They can easily get an idea about the level of depression and anxiety through the body language and expressions of the patient. There are numerous means of carrying out this interactive session with a licensed counsellor, either via various applications like Facetime, Google Meet, and Zoom. However, these face-to-face meetings can make some patients feel uncomfortable, so they opt for audio calls or messaging therapies instead.
Who Benefits from Online Therapy?
You might be wondering that is online therapy is effective or not. Undoubtedly, therapy opens doors for healing. There are various reasons why people might go for online therapy to treat mental health and other related conditions. You may notice an increase in the number of individuals opting for online counselling with the passage of time and advancements in modern technology and means of communication.
There is a wide variety of problems or personal wellness that can be facilitated through easily approachable and affordable online therapy. Some of these challenges include anxiety, various kinds of addictions, stress management, depression, marital/family dissonance, trauma, abuse, gender identity, eating disorders, and many other kinds of mental health conditions.
Online mental health therapy provides a safe environment for the patient where a relationship between the therapist and the client is built based on empathy, positivity, and integrity.
What are the Benefits of Online Counseling?
No doubt that online counselling might seem a bit limited since many times, when it is carried out through emails or phone calls, the therapist can’t read the body language of the client, which matters a lot. Still, its effectiveness and demand are rising day by day. Online Therapy is becoming the first choice for most clients. But why is that so?
The main reasons behind the increased popularity and demand for online counselling are comfort, accessibility, affordability, etc. Many people find online counselling more convenient as compared to traditional ones.
Let’s dig a bit deeper and have a look at some benefits of online therapy.
Online counselling is pretty convenient for the therapist as well as the client. In traditional counselling, people are required to arrange and schedule appointments with the therapist, which is indeed a big headache. Online counselling saves an individual from such scheduling. You can approach your counsellor whenever you feel like it. This is particularly because neither you nor your therapist has to drive over to a specific place to carry out the counselling. Both the therapist and client can attend the counselling within the comfort of their home.
One of the reasons behind the increasing popularity of online Therapy is affordability and accessibility. You might think that online counselling is costly. However, that is not true. It is quite accessible for both the counsellor and the client. It is indeed less costly than traditional therapies. Again, this is because the therapist and the client can both carry out the Therapy within the comfort of their homes. No office rent, fuel expenses, etc., are involved.
A client might feel uncomfortable while talking about his insecurities, love affairs, or any bad times face-to-face with a stranger. Whereas, on text messages or even calls, discussing your private life with a therapist sounds easier. It has been found that clients tend to speak out their hearts much more easily and comfortably during online therapies as compared to traditional counselling.
4. Various Modes of Communication
The accessibility of online counselling to everyone is one of the main reasons people opt for it. No matter where you reside, you can attend online counselling for mental health from your home. Furthermore, people who are physically disabled might find it difficult to reach their counsellor. Online mental health therapy has opened all the doors of hope for such people.
The methods of communication in online therapy range from video calls, audio calls, messaging and emailing. This is great in terms of creating a comfortable environment between the client and therapist both. Among all the methods of communication in online Therapy, most clients choose writing or to chat through chats, emails, or other apps. According to research, online counselling in the form of writing has proved to be one of the most efficient methods of all.
Things to Consider when you have Online Counselling
So, do you know when it is appropriate to start an online mental health therapy session? Well, there are certain things to consider when you are thinking about having online counselling. These things include the following:
1. Be Prepared for the Therapy
Make sure that you are fully prepared to attend online counselling no matter which medium or platform you select. Complete all the preparations ahead of time and have certain positive expectations from your upcoming therapy. Make some questions and write down your concerns before the Therapy starts. Be aware of why you are attending this Therapy and what outcome you expect.
2. Find the right Space and Time
Another important thing to consider while getting ready for online Therapy is finding the right place or corner at your home where you can comfortably attend the session. Make sure that the space lacks unnecessary distractions and is safe. Furthermore, set a specific time for your therapy session. You cannot attend it while performing other tasks, exercising, or doing house chores. You have to arrange a time when you can give your complete attention to the Therapy.
3. Select the Type of Online Therapy
Selecting the type of Therapy, you would want to attend is a very important aspect to consider when you are planning to attend an online counselling session. Many different types of online therapies exist, such as via phone, email, audio calls, video calls, etc. You just have to figure out which one would work best for you.
Remember, you can make the most of online counselling for mental health only when you are appropriately prepared for it. Make sure that your technical setup and environment lack distractions and unwanted interferences.
Online therapy can be of real help if the therapist and client are comfortable with each other and work in a friendly environment. Since it is different from traditional therapies, be patient and give some time to your online therapy to work and give the result.