Advantages of Online Counseling
Online counseling refers to counseling services delivered through the internet and includes, for example, web cameras, chat rooms, emails. This kind of counseling goes by several names like e-counseling, tele-counseling and e-therapy. It may be called any number of names, but for sure, it comes with a good set of advantages.
1. It is simply more accessible and convenient for both parties. Online therapy overcomes hurdles that may prohibit others from receiving therapy. For example, people who live in rural or remote areas may be benefited by the accessibility of online counseling. Those who are physically disabled or could not leave their home can also access such services easily. Web counseling has also been proven to be effective in encouraging young people to get therapy as they seem to be more at ease using the internet.
Undeniably, online therapy is very convenient. Therapist and client both have the convenience of communicating with each other, whenever and wherever. This also gives the therapist a chance to serve more clients, with appointments being potentially booked over 24 hours, and the reach being wider in geographical region.
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2. It is more cost-effective.
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Web counseling is cheaper for both the therapist and the client. This is particularly helpful to therapists who would rather provide services without having to rent commercial space, in turn translating to more affordable fees for the clients.
3. It allays fears of social stigma.
Online counseling can also be effective in eliminating the social stigma usually associated with getting therapy. It provides the option of receiving counseling with complete privacy.
4. It encourages clients to be more open.
Because there is no face to face contact, clients can feel more at ease communicating as transparently as possible without concerns about size, age, gender, etc. This means the therapist will be able to provide more effective intervention. There are times when therapist-client relationships fail due to th latter’s tendency to hold back. And it can all be because he’s not comfortable in that relationship.
5. It encourages writing, which helps healing.
Studies suggest that writing during stressful times is very useful for clients as it is considered to provide a channel where the person can express himself and emotionally heal in the process. With online counseling being an interactive type of therapeutic writing, interventions provided in this environment may be pretty effective in encouraging clients to express themselves as deeply as possible. There are things that people may be unable to speak with their mouth, but they can feel more comfortable writing about them.
Of course, online therapists are not all created equal. It is thus very important to choose well.