Trained counselors can offer a lot of help to people in all kinds of situations, whether it is helping someone get over a personal problem or past event, helping them recover from an addiction or mental health issue, or helping people improve or heal relationships.
Now, there are some very good options for people to seek counseling over the internet, and the uptake of these has been very good, leading to a whole new sector of the counseling and therapy industry.
So why are more and more people choosing to seek the help of an online therapist or online counseling, rather than choosing more traditional sessions with a counselor in person?
There are several good reasons, and every person has their own, however these are a few of the things that make online therapy and counseling appealing:
Online counseling has no real barrier to entry. You don’t have to motivate yourself to make a call, set up an appointment and turn up for it, it is simply there for you to find on the web, just as we do with so many other things these days. This not only means that people who live in places where there is not a lot of choice in terms of counseling professionals can access the service they want, but also those who would really benefit from doing it but feel like they don’t have time can slot counseling into their lives more easily.
Some people still feel like there is a bit of a stigma involved with going to see a counselor, whatever they are seeking help for. When they can access the help they want online, it feels more private and discrete, and this makes taking the decision to start therapy more palatable to some people. For therapies that involve more than one person, such as couples therapy or marriage counseling, it can also make it easier to get started online if one party is a bit reluctant about the idea of speaking to someone about their private lives at first.
A lot of people who seek out counseling and therapy already have issues with anxiety, and these could prevent them from feeling good about speaking openly to a new person in a new environment, and make the idea of visiting a therapist too daunting. Online, however, they can use the medium of communication they prefer (whether it is text, voice or video), and talk from the comfort of their own home, taking away a lot of the scarier parts of the experience.
In many ways, online counseling removes many of the hurdles that stop people who would really like some help from seeking it out. It makes for a more flexible and accessible approach that many people find they are willing to try, when they would find face to face counseling off-putting. Of course, as long as you are careful to only seek help from credible professionals, the way you do it should be whatever feels best to you.