Online counseling has become a buzz in the mental health industry, and it is all for the right reasons. Millions of people are already using these services as they find online therapy to be convenient and a better choice than the traditional methods. The real question, however, is: is online counseling the answer to all mental health problems? Are the services as good as they sound? In this article, we will look at the top benefits or reasons why online therapy is right for some people and why it is not ideal for some.
What is online counseling?
This is a form of mental health forum that entails real and certified counselors that will take you through your mental illness journey and help you find a solution to whatever you are going through. It is more like traditional therapy, only that it does not take place in an office setup. Instead, the sessions take place on the internet platform, but you will have a real-time interaction with your counselor throughout the session.
Online counseling is done through a medium of technology, which could be via a video call telephone or chat based on the most convenient method for both you and the therapist. If you are considering online therapy, but you are not sure if it is right for you, here are some pros and cons to note.
It is convenient – The first benefit and reason why millions of people are considering online counseling are due to convenience. For starters, the sessions happen via the internet, and this means that you do not have to leave your home to see the mental health expert. You will go through counseling at the comfort of your home or wherever you wish. What’s more? You get to choose your most convenient time based on your schedule, which could be at night, weekends, or holidays.
Accessibility – The fact that online counseling is accessible to everyone regardless of age or physical limitations makes it many people’s choices. One of the reasons why most individuals fail to get mental illness care is due to inaccessibility. This is especially true for disabled or individuals with terminal illnesses.
Affordability – Online counseling has proven to be more affordable than the conventional method, and this is the other reason why many people prefer it. Other than reduced service fees, it saves you from gas money and the cost of navigating from your home to the counselor’s office.
While online counseling is viewed as the best option for most individuals, it comes with limitations too and may not be right for everyone. Some of the limitations include;
Online counselors cannot respond to emergencies – The counselors are distant away from the patients, and this means that the therapist can’t respond to a crisis. The patient needs someone who will be there to offer instant help in an emergency, but this is unachievable with online therapists.
Not ideal for individuals dealing with severe cases – Online counseling is suitable only if you have a mild mental illness. It should be something that you can easily handle with a little push. The idea is not advisable for people with serious mental illnesses. Those are better handled by someone who is physically there to assess your behavioral changes before coming up with a possible solution.
These are some of the considerations when deciding if you should try online counseling. Note that even the counselors state that this is not a replacement for traditional therapists. There are merely there to help where it is applicable.
Note: Guest Post. Not Written by Gabe Howard, views and opinion their own.