Original Article: https://www.thechicagoschool.edu/insight/psychology/how-does-online-counseling-work/
How does online counseling work?
In a world that is more digital than ever, online counseling offers people the opportunity to obtain therapy in a setting that may be more comfortable and convenient than a traditional office visit.
As our world becomes more and more digital, so too does the counseling landscape. Those seeking therapy don’t necessarily have to visit an office to get the help they seek. Today, psychological services are more accessible than ever, but you’ll want to keep a few things in mind before engaging in this form of therapy.
What is online counseling?
Online counseling, like traditional counseling that takes place in person, is a mental health service that is provided through online mediums such as mobile apps, video conferences, text messages, email, or any platform where a conversation can occur virtually.
What are the benefits of online therapy?
With something as intimate and personal as mental health, some people might feel more comfortable talking about topics such as their feelings, personal issues, and goals over the internet rather than face to face. Patients can experience therapy from the comfort of their home and some counselors are more likely offer therapy outside of traditional business hours. The added convenience and accessibility allows for more people to seek therapy and for therapists to expand their practice and offerings.
What to look out for when considering online therapy?
Be sure to take these considerations into account before engaging in online therapy. Some insurance companies will not cover online therapy sessions depending on the state you live in or the insurance coverage you use. Moreover, some worry about the security of their information as internet security and privacy continue to be a global concern.
Additionally, online therapy and counseling aren’t the best options for every patient. If you’re suffering from a more severe mental illness, the scope of a virtual meeting may not be enough to treat and assess your problem quickly or directly. With this in mind, if you’re seeking online therapy, speak with your medical provider to make sure this is the right option for you. The American Psychological Association provides some additional considerations regarding online therapy.
As you set out on your counseling journey, you’ll want to think critically about your goals and if they fit into the online counseling model. Virtual counseling is a great advancement in the psychological field that has brought therapy to people who may not have had access previously. Online therapy could be an option for those seeking to make better choices about their lives and how they navigate the world.