Advantages and disadvantages of Online Counseling
By Mike Dionne
This kind of professional assistance is meant to cover some gaps that the traditional counseling might have. First of all, as any online service, it can go with you anywhere you go. Many times, people postpone their asking for help due to lack of time. Either because they have to drive far to see their therapist or that they work too hard so when getting back home, they just want to relax on the couch, counseling is generally postponed. Now, those excuses might not longer work given that you can ask for counseling from your house without driving anywhere but comfortably placed on your sofa or from your desk in your office. Counseling can be a peaceful moment you give to yourself.
Also, some people might feel discouraged to start with therapy because they have to travel as part of their job. That is another case when online counseling appears as the best option. In fact, when traveling, people might feel specially awkward or lonely in the new environment; and being able to count on a close professional who is ready to listen and pay complete attention to you in those "far from home moments" can be a bless.
We know many cases of very shy people who might feel quite uncomfortable if they had to talk face to face with a professional about their concerns. That is exactly what the online counseling wants to prevent. You control you space, intimacy and dialogue.
On top of all these strong points, what we think is essential in the results we get when working online is the strength of the writing process. When one has the time to think about what is going on inside him/her, it gives a different perspective of us. Talking is a fast action and we might lose a lot of important things we thought about and talked in a face to face session. But when things remained written, it provides you with a constant record you can retrieve any time you want. You can check what you said and what you received as a response in a past session and then compare it you're your present to evaluate your progresses.
Writing to a person who is willing to help you is therapeutic by itself. It can give you a new insight of your concern that you might have never reached if just talking about it.
Of course, there are things that the face to face counseling covers that the e-therapy lacks. We are talking of the non-verbal communication that is missing when the screen separates people. Also, it may happen that a person needs to be physically comforted when being in a counseling session and we cannot do that online. Being aware of those disadvantages, we, as professionals, face our role with all our heart and seriousness so as to make the best out of all the strengths of the online counseling.
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