Is Online Counseling For you?
When some people hear the words “online counseling” they often cringe. Why is that? Well online counseling is fairly a new concept and people are often weary of new concepts, especially when it has to do with mental health. Many people also believe that it will add to the many stigmas already surrounding mental health. Many people also believe that online counseling is impersonal, that you cannot see the person for who they really are because you cannot see their entire body language. But this is not the case with every client. When counseling is performed online, many clients are actually more inclined to be themselves because they are in the comfort of their own home. Many online counseling clients express wanting to share more when they are online because they are not in a waiting room where they fear they might be seen by someone walking in or they might be overheard by someone in the office next door. But there are always pros and cons to every form of healthcare. If you still do not think online counseling is for you, here are the pros and cons to online counseling, then you decide.
Increases access to mental health in rural/remote areas
Access for those with physical disabilities
No traveling; saving on gas and car mileage
Performed from the comfort of the client’s own home/room/office
Some insurance companies cover Teletherapy (online counseling)
Flexibility in scheduling
Can see any therapist in the state the client resides in
Must be have computer, internet connection, and email access
Must be somewhat computer savvy to download any software needed for the counseling session.
Best for individuals without suicidal/homicidal (thoughts/plans/intent) or a severe mental illness. It may be best that clients needing in-depth treatment have in-person care so that they can be transported to a treatment facility nearby if need be
Most states only allow instate providers to conduct online counseling (clients cannot see a provider outside of their state of residency…clients need to check their corresponding state laws on this)
Possible unreliable technology; broken communication, network “crashes”
Possible limited privacy and/or incomplete confidentiality
Lack of intimacy* -this is entirely up to the client. If the client feels comfortable in the setting, they may feel more compelled to share.
As with everything else in life; school, work, relationships, we get what we put into them. If you decide you need or want counseling and you make the decision to work hard at getting better, then it will work, whether in person or online. After reading some of the pros and cons that accompany online counseling, if you decide it is for you and you reside anywhere in the state of Florida, White Dove Counseling is here for you.
Sending you peace and blessings,
Claudia Abalo , LMHC