Updated: Aug 2, 2019
The stigma in mental health is finally changing. Most of us want to work ourselves! We want to value self-care and self-improvement.
In fact, 42% of Americansreport meeting with a counselor at some point in their lives. From building self-esteem to unpacking issues related to trauma, marital distress, or significant life transitions, therapy offers support for a variety of mental health concerns.
As technology evolves, the landscape of mental health continues to change as well. As people continue to integrate more technology into their daily routines, our society is also incorporating different ways of communicating.
Online counseling can provide much-needed support for people looking to reap the positive attributes therapy offers. Let’s explore more of the benefits.
Understanding Online Counseling
Online counseling is very similar to traditional counseling. Your therapist will work to build a warm and trusting relationship with you. You’ll collaborate to identify appropriate goals for your treatment, and the sessions are structured and goal-oriented. You will receive feedback, support, and guidelines along the way.
The primary difference is the location. Whereas traditional counseling relies on a brick-and-mortar office for services, online counseling is far more flexible. Clients may engage in a combination of video conferencing, text-messaging services, email, and other virtual means of communication to connect with their counselors.
Undeniable Accessibility and Convenience
There are logistical barriers that can affect traditional counseling. Consider this: you must get dressed, commute, and accommodate your work and life schedule around your therapy appointment. Likewise, you must be able to find an appropriate provider within a reasonable distance.
Finally, you may need to take privacy into consideration. If you live in a rural town, there is always the possibility of running into your therapist at the local grocery store or hair salon. While this is not inherently a problem, it may feel uncomfortable and awkward for you.
With telemental health, these concerns don’t exist. You don’t have to worry about going anywhere. You can connect with a trusted, compassionate professional from the comfort of your own home.
Don’t have a driver’s license or reliable transportation? Not a problem! Can’t find a local provider who accepts your insurance? Online counseling makes it possible to find someone who will! Don’t have consistent work hours? Not to worry- online counseling makes it easy to schedule appointments at times that match your schedule. You can even wear pajamas if you want!
Online counseling can provide far more options for specialized treatment because you aren’t restricted by geography. Let’s say you’re looking for treatment for a specific niche, but nobody in your area specializes in that condition. Or, perhaps, one or two people do offer services, but their fees are unreasonable for you right now.
When you pursue telemental health, you’ll see that your immediate surroundings don’t restrict you. Suddenly, you may access to hundreds or thousands of clinicians who can help you. This variety can increase your chances of securing the appropriate match for your needs.
Furthermore, within state confinements, online counseling makes it possible to continue meeting with your therapist even if you move. That means that you can maintain your work without starting over. If you’ve really connected with your counselor, the telemental health option can be a game-changer!
Anonymity and Confidentiality
Although times may be changing, you may not want to be “out in the open” with your therapy appointments. In some communities, mental health treatment does carry a pervasive stigma.
Moreover, this stigma often prohibits people from seeking the treatment they very much need.
You don’t have to worry about protecting your identity with online counseling. Since most sessions are conducted over the phone or computer, you don’t even need to leave your house.
Furthermore, online counselors must adhere to the same strict confidentiality standardsapplicable to all mental health clinicians. To comply with both legal and ethical standards, therapists use HIPAA-secure platforms for online communication. Therefore, you can trust that your disclosures remain private. This peace of mind will ideally encourage you to be expressive and candid with your therapist.
We spend 9.5 hours each dayconnected with digital technology. There is a good chance that you turn online for interacting with friends, purchasing groceries, and streaming your favorite music. Why not turn to your phone for getting emotional support as well?
Online counseling makes it easy to receive the help you need- without worrying about all the logistics associated with traditional offices. If certain barriers make traditional counseling challenging (or downright impossible), telehealth can provide you with the same impressive mental health benefits.