Launch into Wellness

Creating Your Own Path to Optimal Health and Wellness

 

People look to the internet these days for pretty much everything, from online banking to paying bills, purchasing clothing and food, online, therapy, renewing their driver’s license, scheduling an appointment for professional services, you name it and you can pretty much do it online.  Have you ever considered accessing an online counseling service?   While online therapy has been around since the early 80’s it is gaining more and more popularity in today’s society.

 

 ONLINE THERAPY? AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION TO ACCESSING  COUNSELING SUPPORTS

Online therapy is form of therapy that is done via instant messaging, videoconference, live chat rooms, telephone, or through email.   It’s known as e-therapy, teletherapy, distance therapy or cyber therapy and can be accessed by anyone looking to seek out counseling supports to increase their well being.

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Mental health has become an epidemic in today’s society and with more and more people having trouble accessing the services they need they often go untreated.

FACT: There are a lack of mental health service providers and more and more people are turning to the internet to access counseling supports they require and there are positive results documented by people accessing these supports.  This is great news for those individuals who are struggling and may need services sooner rather than later

 

ONLINE THERAPY; NOT FOR EVERYONE

It should be noted that online therapy isn’t recommended for all types of mental health illness’s, if you have been diagnosed with a chronic mental health illness, such as chronic depressions or psychosis you should talk to a medical professional to obtain advice as to whether you could benefit from online counseling.  It’s important to do your own research and in some instances face-to-face meetings with a therapist is most beneficial.  If you are in a crisis situation you should contact your local emergency centre or mental health crisis line.

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COGNITIVE BEHAVIORIAL THERAPY; PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER

The most common form of online therapy today is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  This type of talk therapy is used to help patients understand the thoughts and feelings that influence their behavior and is used to treat mild depression, phobias, panic disorder, anxiety and addictions to name a few disorders.

There is research that shows accessing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy online can be just as beneficial as a face-to-face appointment with a therapist.  Most of these studies however have been done on actual patients who have accessed online counseling themselves and there continues to be more data research completed to substantiate the benefits or disadvantages of accessing therapy online so for now you will have to be the best judge of character in terms of whether this may be an option for you explore.

ADVANTAGES TO ACCESSING ONLINE COUNSELING

  • Services can be provided to people who live in a rural area who may not have access to mental health services in their community
  • Those who have physical limitations and are unable to leave their home are able to access services in their home
  • It’s convenient- appointments can be held in the comfort of the individual’s home without traveling
  • Some may find it more comfortable communicating online vs face-to-face. They may be able to express their feelings more openly in writing rather than verbally                  break, online counseling
  • Online therapy is often cheaper than in office appointments
  • More accessibility with the therapist (e.g. text messaging or email)
  • Takes away the stigma of in-office appointments – some people would prefer not to be seen going into or sitting in a wait room for therapy
  • It can be used as an educational tool and be utilized even if you have a strong well being and want to work on maintaining it. It allows you to understand your behaviors and strategize to find the best coping techniques that will lead to your overall psychological well being

 

DISADVANTAGES OF ACCESSING ONLINE SUPPORTS

Well there are may advantages to online counseling, there as just as many disadvantages and it will be up to each person individually to weigh them out to determine if online counseling is right for you

  • Many insurance companies will not pay for e-therapy – check with your insurance provider before accessing supports
  • Online therapists cannot assist in crisis situations – therapists can be in an entirely different state and won’t have access to the client’s information as the client can remain anonymous
  • E-therapy is not for individuals who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric illness or experiencing complicated issues, online sessions are intended for less serious issues
  • It is difficult for a therapist to read a person’s behaviour or feelings without getting a visual on the patient’s body language, such as facial expressions, tone of voice, posture if the therapist is unable to see the patient during their session
  • It’s difficult for patients to get a clear sense of their therapist’s credibility –  therapists need to have acquired certain credentials to provide CBT online services (which in most cases includes a degree in a subject related to health or social care followed by a postgraduate degree in CBT, this may differ however depending on where you live in the world)
  •  Therapists can treat people from anywhere in the world online making it difficult to enforce legal and ethical codes.  Understand your therapist’s qualifications and experience before you start
  • With confidential information being exchanged online through technology, it adds a layer of complexity to securing confidentiality and people have to become more aware of leaks or hacks within the system.

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CONSIDERING E-THERAPY?  WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

If you’re considering e-therapy there are some things that you should know before accessing services online

  • Verify your therapist’s credentials and licensing number, where they’re located and their contact information (legitimate therapists will always give you this information).
  • If you have medical insurance coverage, you’re going to want to check with your insurance provider to determine if e-therapy is covered
  • You must be comfortable expressing yourself through writing if email is the method of communication, you may want to request a video conference if you are not comfortable with writing online-counseling-communicate
  • You must be willing to communicate your thoughts and feelings to the therapist, otherwise it’s difficult for the therapist to help you as there are no visible cues that are often relied upon in counseling sessions – you won’t be getting the help you need if you don’t communicate this (and  you’ll be wasting your money)
  • Ensure your therapists follows the code of ethics (which should be outlined on their website)
  • Get a personal response from the therapist and know the cost of the therapy. It usually is less expensive than in office appointments but you want to know exactly how much you’ll be paying as well as payment method
  • Ensure your privacy is protected. Make sure your email is secure, never email from work as the employer can read your emails.  For extra privacy use secure web pages and encrypted e-mail

There are many advantages and disadvantages to accessing online counseling.  You may need to consult your medical professional to determine if it’s the right course of treatment for you

If you are experiencing a crisis situation call your local emergency services or mental health crisis line.

 

E-THERAPY, CYBER THERAPY, DISTANCE THERAPY OR TELETHERAPY

No matter what you’re calling it or know it as, online counseling is becoming more and more popular among today’s society.  It’s therapy for how we live today.  It’s convenient, economical and has been shown to have many benefits.  It’s important to be mindful of the disadvantages and make an informed decision about what the right treatment plan is for you, which may include some consultation from your medical professional. online, counseling, therapy

 

 

Leave me a comment and let me know how you feel about e-therapy and if it would be something you’d consider.

 

9 thoughts on “Online Counseling: Therapy for How We Live Today

  1. This is great. If someone can access some sort of service if they are struggling then this is brilliant. It’s so easy to reach out in this way compared to the daunting prospect of going to the GP being referred then waiting for an appointment. I realise that it’s not for everyone but sometimes people just don’t know where to start to get help.
    Thank you for posting this it’s a great way of reaching people.

  2. Hi,
    This is a great piece of interesting information you have here. You have done justice to the topic. I believe you will be ranked on first page with Google soon.

  3. This is really interesting. I am in remission from cancer and visited a therapist for the first time in my life when I was struggling with decisions I had to make and getting pretty stressed out. I had access to a psychologist at the Cancer Society which gave me confidence because that was all she did full time, so I knew she had experience with people in my shoes.
    My biggest concern which you covered well in the article is knowing that the counsellor you could be accessing online is competent, well qualified and trustworthy. I can touch type, so in principle would feel comfortable online, but a 2 fingered typist might find the time lag difficult.
    Online counseling would be really good for things like psych surveys and could even be rewarding for people trying to understand themselves better.
    I’m a big fan of online, although depending on the case I like the idea of video communications better. As you pointed out, online makes it very difficult with being able to see facial and body gestures and develop a trusting relationship.
    One of the things I valued in face to face was that it forced me into fairly quick responses and to deal with tough questions that are much more easily avoided when it’s just you and a keyboard.
    I think another way online would be very good would be as an addition to face to face counseling.
    Having said all that, counseling is very subjective isn’t it?
    A great topic and information, thanks.

  4. Hi Luigi

    I hope you’re doing well. I have to tell you that when I started researching online therapy knowing that the therapist was certified was one of the biggest concerns I had too. But after some digging, the reputable sites online all have ways you can you be assured who you’re talking to a certified therapist which made me feel a whole lot better. I think it’s great that online counseling offers the individuals options in terms of how they want to communicate during their interactions, each person is different and these sites have taken that into consideration.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    Wishing you health and strength.

    Tracy

  5. Hi, Tracy.

    I hope you’re well. First of all, I want to thank you for this informative post. Wow, e-therapy; how far we’ve technologically advanced already – it’s astounding! I can imagine that such therapy is perfect for someone suffering from panic disorder combined with agoraphobia.

    I know what a nightmare it is to leave the house when suffering from it. Luckily, I was strong-minded enough to not completely sink to the bottom of this vicious cycle. I continued moving out and about, even if with great difficulties on certain days.

    Unfortunately, not everyone can manage to do so, and I am convinced that the awareness of available help right within their homes will be a huge relief for many. Great website, wonderful intent. Thank you for so kindly sharing your knowledge with us. Many more people should and will read your pages.

    Leaving you with an abundance of blessings.

    Sincerely,

    Alexandra

  6. Wow e=therapy, who knew. Thanks for bringing this service to the attention of people who need it. I will be defenatly be using it.
    Great website. Good luck

    1. Hi Diane

      I actually learned quite abit about e-therapy during my research. It really is a great alternative that may assist people in reaching out for supports if they’re struggling with stress and anxieties and hesitant to take that first step to connect. It’s also a convenient way to access services without having to leave your home, which is an added bonus for some, unfortunately a large number of insurance companies may not view e-therapy just yet as a covered support benefit however I’m confident that will soon change, so I encourage you if you have benefits through an employer to communicate with them first about how they view this form of therapy.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment,

      All the best

  7. Great article. Nowadays, I think there is a great need for online counseling. People are often more stressed, have less time and demand for therapies is increasing . Talking is the best way to express and deal with your problems, feelings and overall, to feel better.

    1. Hi Iva

      Thanks for the comment. I totally agree with you, people today are more stressed than ever trying to balance it all in the fast paced chaotic world we live in. Talk therapy/ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a great way for people to be able to communicate their struggles and seek out strategies to help them cope. I absolutely love the fact that therapy can be accessed online.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment

      Tracy

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