You’re looking for a counselor. You type “therapy” or “counseling” into Google and a ton of options come up – some local counselors, some local agencies, and then you see some online options. Counseling, online? Is that a thing? Don’t we need to meet in person before I spill my secrets? Don’t I need to sit on your couch to deal with my problems?
It’s 2019. Technology is advanced. Best practices for teleheath are established. So, no, in most cases you don’t need to be in my office to do good therapeutic work. Actually, there can be some major advantages to seeing a mental health professional online. Let’s look at a few of them:
It fits into your life better.
Making a weekly appointment requires a time commitment that goes beyond just the time you are sitting in session. There’s the time it takes to get ready for the session, the time it takes to get yourself to and from the session, and whatever time you cushion for yourself to be on time. If your counselor’s office is 15 minutes away, a 50-minute session can easily turn into an hour and a half time commitment. If you see a counselor weekly, that’s 6 hours a month! With online counseling, a 50-minute session equals a 50-minute time commitment.
It makes counseling more accessible.
Big cities have no shortage of mental health professionals, but that’s not the case everywhere. Many rural areas around the country have no mental health professionals. Zero. For example, if you’re one of the 43 people who live in Cammal, PA – the closest counselor is 45 minutes away. If you live in an area like this, what do you do? Do you drive an hour and a half round trip? Is that even an option for you? Online counseling is a great alternative for people on areas where counselors are just too far away.
It happens in your space.
One of my favorite things about online counseling is that it invites me into your space. There is so much value in talking about your stuff in the space where that stuff happens. Maybe you’re talking about an argument you had with your partner and you’re in the room where it happened. You see something in that room that sparks an emotion from that argument – something you might not have accessed in my office and on my couch. Being in your space can add an experiential element to our work together that wouldn’t be possible in my office.
So, should you try online counseling? Reach out to me, or another online counselor you’ve found, to discuss any concerns or questions you have about online counseling and whether it’s the best option for you.