Online Therapy – Who Is it For and When?

E-counseling is something relatively new and it has proven to be very beneficial for people with geographical, physical or time problems that make it impossible for them to attend face to face therapists. Because video conferencing software is now so advanced, a lot of people actually prefer this type of therapy.

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Who Are Online Counseling Services for?

Online counseling services are preferred methods of counseling for those with hectic schedules. However, they are also suitable for people who have mobility issues, or who happen to live very far away from a counselor. Essentially, they are designed to fit into the stressful lifestyles and situations most of us live in today.

What Do You Need?

In order to benefit from this type of counseling, you will need a high speed internet connection and a good quality computer or laptop with microphone and camera. Counselors use a variety of different conferencing programs, although Skype is generally the most preferred one.

When Will it Happen?

Just as with regular counseling, you will have to make an appointment for a slot with the therapist. The difference is, however, that the hours tend to be a lot more flexible, as neither of you are committed to office hours. The counselor, for instance, may just be providing their services from home as well, or perhaps they are in different time zones so that a time that maybe outside of working hours for you, is within for them.

Where Will it Happen?

There are two important things to consider about location:

  1. Make sure the place is quiet and private. You may get free WiFi in your local McDonald’s, it is not an appropriate place for counseling. Make sure you are also free from distractions like phone and TV.
  2. Depending on the type of therapy you receive, you may have to be within the counselor’s legal jurisdiction. You will usually also have to sign a disclaimer or consent form. Some counselors enable this to be done electronically, others will need to post it out to you, for you to send it back.

Why Should I Choose Online Counseling?

There are many reasons as to why this is a good option for you. Perhaps there are no counselors you like in your area, perhaps you don’t have the time to visit one face to face, perhaps you are dealing with an issue that makes it difficult to have real human contact, perhaps you suffer from agoraphobia. These are all issues that may mean that online counseling is better for you. There is no difference in quality, the only difference is that you are not actually physically in the same room.

If you have an issue that needs discussing, online counseling may just be the perfect solution for you. Depending on the severity of the issue at hand, however, you may need face to face therapy first. An online counselor will advise you of this if they feel that is the case, or you can speak to your general physician.

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