So you’ve decided to go to counselling and in your research you’ve stumbled upon online counselling. What is it, you ask? Basically, online counselling, also referred to as telehealth, involves meeting with your counsellor online via a secure video chat platform (think Skype) for your session instead of going to an office. Research has shown that online counselling can be just as effective as the traditional in-person, office-based therapy. Curious if online counselling might be a fit for you? Read on to learn more about 4 of the potential advantages to online counselling that will help you determine if this might work for you!
Starting the therapy process can already feel daunting and being able to meet with a counsellor in a place where you feel comfortable, like your home, office or even car, can make it easier to open up and talk about your thoughts, feelings, concerns that are bringing you to therapy.
Life is busy. Trying to figure out when you’re going to fit in another appointment can be a huge barrier to accessing counselling. Online counselling can be an excellent alternative as it allows you to fit in a session around your schedule. This can be a lifesaver for busy parents, working professionals and for those who prefer to access supports online over in person. Babysitter cancels? Feeling sick? Instead of cancelling or rescheduling, an online session can accommodate for many of these situations as you determine where you are most comfortable seeing your counsellor. This may mean not even having to leave your home or find backup childcare. Counsellors who provide online therapy also tend to have more flexible schedules and may be able to offer sessions outside of the standard Monday to Friday 9-5.
Who wants to run into their neighbour, or worse, their boss, after attending a therapy session? Online therapy provides an additional level of confidentiality, especially if you live in a small community. Online counselling may also reduce barriers for those who aren’t yet ready for their family members to know they are accessing support, with the ability to meet with your therapist when/where you feel most comfortable and secure.
Research has shown that it’s the relationship you develop with your therapist, rather than the specific modalities or interventions they might use, that is the real key to positive therapeutic progress. Online counselling also means that you’re not limited by geography when choosing a therapist, allowing you to find a therapist that has experience and expertise in the issues or concerns you are seeking help in.