WHAT IS ONLINE COUNSELING ?
Online counseling is also known as teletherapy, web counseling, or e-counseling, and essentially all refer to a type of counseling that takes place over a computer. For my own practice, I utilize secure video conferencing for all of my sessions, and it allows my clients and I to see each other in real time and talk as if we were actually in the room together. This version of therapy requires a good internet connection, webcam, mic, and the ability to stream live video.
For many clients, online counseling is much easier to access than traditional in-office therapy. Individuals who face barriers, such as living in rural areas or having small children at home, may now be able to seek help that they felt unable to access before. Online access to therapy is also amazingly usefull during unexpected emergencies, such as poor weather conditions or having to care for a sick child.
Traditional in-office counseling requires one or sometimes more trips to and from a physical office each week, in addition to the nearly hour long session. Mothers who work or have small children may find this routine to be too demanding for their schedules. With online counseling, my busy clients have a much more convenient option for seeking help- in short, it gives the opportunity to meet where and when it is convenient for them.
Online counseling has been shown to be more economical for both the therapist and the client. Clients will avoid having to commute to appointments, saving on things like gas and extra time off work. Additionally, by not having to leave their home, mothers can also save on the possible expense of needing childcare during appointments.
Perhaps my most favorite aspect of online counseling is that it allows clients to access help from the comfort of their own homes. While surrounded by their own familiar environment, clients may feel it is easier to open up and connect with their inner thoughts and feelings during sessions. Clients may also take pleasure in wearing more comfortable lounge style clothing, wrapping up in their favorite blanket, or having their favorite pet curled in their lap for comfort during difficult sessions.
Confessions of a Virtual Therapist: Pros and Cons of Online Therapy - by Melissa Stringer, LMHC, DCC, NCC
Psychotherapy Via Internet As Good As, If Not Better Than, Face-To-Face Consultations - University of Zurich, Research Study