During the pandemic, when I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety, traditional in-person counseling was not feasible. Nevertheless, I was able to consult with a therapist via video conference, becoming part of the increasing number of Americans engaging in online counseling.
The rising prevalence of online counseling is aiding in bridging the gap in mental health care, but how can you ascertain if it is the suitable choice for you? Here are a variety of online counseling advantages and disadvantages to contemplate when making your final decision.
What constitutes online counseling?
Online counseling is a digital alternative to the traditional face-to-face counseling, accessible through various mediums like video calls, messaging services, email, and phone calls, enabling communication to occur at any place and time.
Is online counseling effective?
Evidence indicates that online counseling can be equally effective as the traditional face-to-face model, with some studies proposing that it may even be more effective in specific scenarios, such as depression.
How can I determine if online counseling is suitable for me?
Essential considerations include expenses, confidentiality, accessibility, convenience, and your particular mental health issue.
Online counseling platforms may be more economical than traditional counseling, but costs could escalate when incorporating video or phone sessions. Health insurance coverage for online counseling can differ, so it is vital to verify with your provider.
Online counseling allows for a degree of obscurity that conventional counseling cannot deliver, which might be advantageous for discussing sensitive matters. However, consistent access to a secluded location and secure messaging accounts should be factored in.
Online counseling can be an excellent choice for individuals in “counseling deserts” or small communities where access to in-person counseling is restricted or where privacy is a concern. However, continual access to a computer or phone with internet or cellular service is necessary.
Online counseling provides the flexibility to communicate from the privacy of your own home, rendering it a more feasible option for individuals with busy schedules or conditions that make venturing outside challenging.
Your particular mental health challenge
While individual counseling for depression and anxiety conducted online has been proven effective, severe mental illnesses and psychiatric conditions may benefit more from in-person counseling.
How can I initiate online counseling?
Commence by consulting with your primary care provider, who may be able to recommend an online counseling provider. Consider discussing virtual counseling platforms with your doctor, and refer to impartial review sites for advice on various features and expenses.
If you are grappling with your mental well-being, be aware that assistance and support are available, and seeking them out constitutes the primary step toward feeling healthier, both for yourself and for your loved ones.