Pros And Cons Of Online Counselling
Have you recently considered having online counselling sessions? Due to the current climate, this might be the only option for individuals who are still looking to seek professional help, while also keeping safe and abiding by lockdown rules. But, are you aware of how online counselling works? Or are you doubting that online therapy can be just as effective as an in-person treatment?
Continue reading this blog post for a closer look into the pros and cons of online counselling. As a fully qualified and highly experienced counsellor, I am aware of how both types of counselling sessions work, as well as what the benefits of both are too. Whether you’re leaning more towards one or the other, you should have the full facts before making such a significant decision.
The Pros of Online Counselling
Online treatments can be just as beneficial as in-person counselling sessions. By taking the below into consideration, you can be on the road to recovery.
While attending in-person counselling sessions can give you more motivation to committing to the act, online counselling can make you feel more comfortable. Therapy, as you may be thinking, can be a really challenging fight to face. You want to find a solution to your thoughts and emotions, and to do so, you must be completely transparent and raw with a stranger.
The great thing about online therapy is that you can undergo this mentally tough act in the comfort of your own home. You can dress how you want, have a teddy by your side or even your dog; whatever brings you comfort in times of need, you will have access to this. You also don’t have to worry about seeing anyone on the way to therapy, nor do you have to stress about your appearance leaving, especially if it’s been a tough session.
Sometimes, trying to find time to attend counselling sessions is easier said than done. You could have a busy schedule, a family to care for or you simply live far away from the nearest counsellor available. This can not only demotivate you to have sessions, but it can sometimes be impossible to fit into your schedule, especially if you need to keep an eye on your children etc.
By having online counselling sessions, you can hop onto a computer and connect in seconds. You are eliminating the travel time, as well as making it a smooth and stress-free approach, as opposed to worrying during the entire car journey.
Following on from the last point, your counselling sessions are always accessible. If you have to stay at home due to commitments or you’re looking to relocate to another location that makes it too difficult to continue your sessions with your current counsellor, you can always access online counselling with them.
While finding a new counsellor is a possibility, in most cases, individuals won’t be comfortable in doing so now that they have opened up to someone who they now trust and respect. As a counsellor, I personally feel that sometimes switching therapists isn’t the best idea due to the risk of diminishing the progress that a patient has made. If they begin to see someone else, they might not feel comfortable, leading them to close up and maybe even stop attending altogether.
The Cons to Online Counselling
While the above is very apparent, some may feel that online counselling isn’t as effective as in-person communication. See below for these reasons, and so that you can determine which you feel is best suited to your situation.
Lack of Physical Presence
When you have online counselling sessions, they will lack in both visual and verbal elements. Sometimes, a therapist’s environment can be soothing for clients, and body language can also feel welcoming. This is often hard to accomplish over video or phone call due to the quality of the video not being the best or the framing not fully presenting the entire room.
In terms of verbally, sometimes over call and video call, you may find it a little more awkward than you would in person. Waiting for cues of when to speak may be harder to interpret. Also, if the quality of the technology is again not the highest, you might miss what your counsellor is saying.
When attending a counsellor’s office, you are in the zone. There are no other distractions; it’s a safe space that is primarily there to bring you comfort when opening up. When having online counselling sessions, you might find that the dog needs letting out, your child is being distracting, or the list of the awaiting chores keep playing in your head.
As previously mentioned, poor quality of calls can diminish the success of a counselling session. In real-life therapy, there is nothing that can go wrong, unless the unlikeliness of a power cut throws you off. Whereas, online counselling holds the risk of technical difficulties.
Yours or your counsellor’s mic may be playing up, the video could be blurry, or it’s freezing at certain times. In the worst-case scenarios, the internet connection could be faulty, or a server could crash. Or it could be simply down to the fact that one of your computers dies. Whatever the reason, this could be wasting valuable time, and it could throw you off on what you were saying prior to the technical issue.
I hope I have given you an insight into the pros and cons of online counselling so that you can determine whether or not it is the right option for you. During COVID-19, it is vital that you still seek support, even if it isn’t in the nature of how you’d hoped. I am currently offering online therapy sessions for my already existing clients, as well as new ones.
Once the pandemic has been controlled, I will be inviting clients back into in-house counselling, depending on if they’d prefer this option that is. I understand the uncertainty at this time, but by seeking professional counselling from myself or a therapist near you, you will be given the appropriate support in identifying your struggles, as well as assistance in finding a solution to them.
Contact me today on 07914 952723 or through my website for further information on my online therapeutic interventions or for any advice that you need.