Online therapy continues to grow, becoming more popular in Canada and the United States. Despite this increase in popularity, many people remain hesitant about trying the service, and believe that in-person counselling is still superior. Both forms of therapy have their benefits and drawbacks. This post aims to provide more information, so that you can make an informed decision when deciding if online therapy is right for yoOnline therapy continues to grow, becoming more popular in Canada and the United States. Despite this increase in popularity, many people remain hesitant about trying the service, and believe that in-person counselling is still superior. Both forms of therapy have their benefits and drawbacks. This post aims to provide more information, so that you can make an informed decision when deciding if online therapy is right for you.u.
Online counselling services can come in two forms, including email, and video through your computer. Having the option to remain in the comfort of your home, and simply turn on your computer minutes before your scheduled session to see your counsellor via video conversation can be extremely beneficial for some individuals. This can save time having to drive to a physical office location, save money having to pay for gas to get to the appointment, and allow you to be in an environment where you already feel comfortable.
Online therapy via email also has its benefits. In-person, and video counselling sessions tend to occur on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. During the time between these sessions, stressful events may occur, or something may come to your mind that you wish you could talk about at that exact moment. Discussing what is on your mind immediately, rather than waiting for days or weeks, can help with relieving stress. Opening up your laptop and sending an email about your experience and thought process eliminates having to wait for your next scheduled session.
Online therapy can also benefit those who live in rural locations, where there may be no counselling services, or maybe one or two counsellors who may not have the proper expertise or approach to support you with your concerns. By performing a quick Google search for online counsellors in your province, you can find a professional who may have specific training that can support you, without being required to travel to their location.
Despite its many benefits, online therapy is not perfect. Many people still believe that meeting a counsellor in person, receiving a handshake when you first enter the office, and having a conversation face-to-face is still the way to go. Online counselling can be great for those who are going through life transitions causing extra stress, persons who are struggling with anxiety, or those who are dealing with minor depression. However, those who may be struggling with post-traumatic stress due to past trauma, for example, may benefit further from long-term face-to-face therapy.
Online therapy, in some situations, may not allow for an individual to completely overcome the issue that brought them to counselling in the first place. For example, someone who is experiencing social anxiety or agoraphobia, may not overcome her or his fear and panic while in public locations by only attending online sessions from home. In-person therapy would provide opportunities for this individual to gradually leave the home and find ways to be in public without experiencing the symptoms of panic and fear. Online therapy however, can be the first step, providing some skills and tools that can be used initially, in order to then begin attending in-person counselling sessions.
This post was aimed at providing insight into the benefits of online counselling, giving examples of when it can work, as well as when in-person therapy may be a better choice. Every person seeking counselling services is unique and comes to therapy with varying concerns and expectations. In the end, it is up to you as the client to decide which form of therapy fits best.