The growth of digital technology is opening up new options for people seeking counselling for mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Here are some of the benefits of choosing online therapy as an alternative to traditional face-to-face counselling…
Not everyone works traditional 9 to 5 hours or has the time to meet with a counsellor in person. But thanks to the flexibility of online therapy, you can make an appointment based on your own availability. You can communicate with your counsellor by email, text or video chat, almost anywhere in the world.
Access for all
If you have a disability it may be a challenge to travel to regular therapy sessions, which is why being able to talk from the comfort of your own home is more practical. Online counselling is also ideal if you live in a remote area, with little or no access to transport.
Using online therapy gives you access to an extensive database of mental health professionals across a wide geographical area. To find a therapist you like and trust, you need to be able to cast a wide net. Plus, you can choose a counsellor who uses the techniques that work best for you, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or mindfulness-based methods.
Help with sensitive issues
It may be hard for some people to open up to a therapist in person about sensitive issues, for example sexual assault or domestic violence, because they feel scared or vulnerable. An online therapist can help you to work through that fear in the privacy of your own home, or anywhere you feel comfortable.
Video chat, text chat and email allow you to be honest and mutually respectful without the physical barriers of a desk or a chair. You’re also likely to feel more relaxed receiving counselling in your home environment.
No long waiting lists
There’s high demand for mental health services on the NHS, which means you could be faced with a long wait for help. However, with online counselling you could find yourself matched with a therapist within about 24 hours of signing up. This means you can talk with someone about your thoughts and feelings before they become unbearable. The sooner you reach out, the sooner you can get help with the issues that are concerning you.
Online therapy sites usually include profiles of their counsellors, as well as testimonials about their work. This means you should be able to learn more about your therapist before deciding to work with them.
Therapy when you need it
You should be able to message your counsellor anytime from anywhere. What’s more, you can schedule a live session at a time that’s convenient for you.
Online counselling sessions tend to be cheaper than face-to-face therapy, often because the therapist may work from home rather than renting office space.
Help with life’s challenges
There are various sites online where you can access counselling. One of these is BetterHelp, which aims to assist people who are struggling with life’s challenges to get help, anytime, anywhere. At BetterHelp you can choose from a number of online counsellors to help support you through issues such as depression, anxiety and transitional life events, for example divorce. BetterHelp provides convenient, discreet and affordable access to licensed therapists through a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Is online counselling right for you?
While online therapy is suitable for many mental health problems, there are a few instances in which it isn’t appropriate. If you’re having thoughts of suicide, it’s crucial that you seek help in your local area immediately. Or if you have strong thoughts of hurting others, don’t delay in finding help in your community. Once the crisis has passed, online therapy could help you to deal with issues relating to your depression or anger.
**Note: This is a collaborative post.