Is Online Counseling a Viable Option?

Online counseling is exactly what it sounds like: seeking emotional counseling through the use of the internet.* Online counseling may be done via email, chat, webcam services, or even just be calling a person through a service like Skype. But when might online counseling be an option for you? Here, we will look at reasons why online counseling can actually be not only a viable but also a good alternative for people, and when a psychologist would need to be seen personally.

When Might It Work

There are a few reasons why you might want to consider online counseling. Not everyone may live in an area where counseling is readily available nearby. Or, people may be hesitant to seek out help face-to-face. You may not be able to afford traditional therapy at the moment. Perhaps even your daily schedule is keeping you from being able to seek help during the hours when clinics normally operate.* Some studies even tell us that this sort of counseling might be more effective because patients can seek help more often, and are more comfortable with this sort of treatment than others.

People Using Online Counseling

Because online counseling means that you can seek help at any time, day or night, and all you need is an internet connection, some workplaces, colleges, and even clinics have started to offer online counseling to their patients, students, or employees.* In the US, people living in urban and very rural areas may often take advantage of this sort of service, as may segments of the population who happen to be underserved, or of a lower socioeconomic class. In places like Australia, the distance between counselors and patients most likely plays a larger role than not being able to afford treatment.

Seeking Help Elsewhere, If Needed

Online counseling just may not be a good option for some patients. Conditions that need immediate attention, such as psychotic episodes, or thoughts and threats of suicide, may be better served by emergency services. Professionals in the field are often torn about whether or not this sort of counseling is as effective as face-to-face professional counseling or psychological services. But others observe that it seems that professionals in these fields are often the loudest voices against new technology and methods used in their field than the patients themselves who are using them. You should always seek medical help if you need it.


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