Thinking of online therapy but not sure what to expect? It can be daunting to know where to start.
Pre Covid times, online therapy was not a mainstream activity.
For those therapists, like myself, who have undergone years of study and topped it up with yet more training aimed at equipping us with online skills it felt at times like an uphill struggle trying to share the benefits of online work.
The pandemic changed that significantly and online therapy is very common at the moment.
There are significant advantages to working online:
- No traffic jams, no transport delays and no issues with adding time for travel as we do not need to be in the same location to work together.
- There is a wider choice of appointment times, with more therapists offering earlier or later time slots.
- It offers comfort-if you cannot or do not wish to attend an in-person appointment-you simply do not have to; you can remain in the comfort of your own home.
- It provides clients with choice; you can choose between different ways of receiving therapy: phone, video, email, instant chat.
- It is cost and time effective; there is no petrol to pay for, no bus fare to consider, no parking issues and no time added to the session due to travelling.
- It offers insight into each other’s world and therefore allows for a greater connection.
- It can provide an easier way to open up, share and be vulnerable through the online disinhibition effect: when interactions happen online, people often feel free from social restrictions and their inhibitions.
Some of the challenges include:
- Finding a private space in your home where you feel safe enough to share confidential information with your therapist.
- Any technical issues that may arise through a potentially unreliable internet connection which may interrupt the flow and delivery of the therapy.
- Feeling misunderstood through miscommunication between yourself as the client and your therapist.
- Not building an in-person interaction; if you thrive on being in the same room as your therapist, online counselling might not provide you with the support you need.
COVID-19 has changed the way we interact professionally and privately; it has changed the way counselling gets delivered and meant that an interruption in regular circumstances does not mean an interruption in your counselling. Online therapy using video, audio, email or instant chat is a viable and useful alternative for therapy sessions. Although online counselling may not be the perfect fit for everyone, it is an effective and viable option for many people.
Telephone counselling is another way of receiving support should you find technology or video a bit too stressful.
Shop around, do your research and find the right support option for you.
And if you need a hand, get in touch to see what we have to offer.