Online Counselling is not something that we often associate with therapy. In this day and age, it makes sense to offer therapy online. It is a service that is becoming more widely available. Online Counselling offers flexibility, convenience, comfort and choice of a counsellor. I often get asked how do I start online counselling, and is this as effective as seeing a therapist in person? I hope to offer some answers to these questions.
How do I start Online Counselling?
Contact a therapist who specialises in Online Counselling and has had training in working online. The counsellor will assess if this is suitable for you, and you can discuss what medium you prefer to meet your counsellor.
Online Counselling is counselling via secure online mediums such as video, telephone, email and instant messaging. It is generally a 50-minute appointment or email exchange once a week with a counsellor. You can discuss how you are feeling and look at ways to manage or process what has brought you to counselling. This is similar to working in person with a counsellor. How long you work with a counsellor online is also your decision and one that you can also make together with your counsellor.
Is it as effective as seeing a therapist in person?
Research has found ‘much support for the application of psychotherapeutic interventions through the Internet, using various approaches, methods, and online modalities……and on the average, is as effective as face-to-face intervention’. In my own professional and personal experience, online counselling has also proven to be as effective and the most important factor is how well you get along with your counsellor. I suggest you talk to me prior to our first session for 15 minutes and see how you feel about working together.
Online Counselling has proven to be effective if you are finding it challenging with anxiety or stress. Clients have found that they can be more open about how they are feeling online. They also feel supported in living the life they really want to live.
Contacting a counsellor particularly for the first time may not be easy. Online counselling is potentially less daunting than going to see a therapist in your local town and you can work with the right therapist for you. Its time to start investing in you and begin living the life you want to live. Online Counselling is not suitable for everyone and we would assess if this is suitable for you. I am very happy to discuss working online and answering any questions you may have. To book your free 15-minute online consultation contact Elva today on firstname.lastname@example.org or 087 7778954
For more research on the area of online counselling here are some links;
Andersson, G., & Cuijpers, P. (2009). Internet-based and other computerized psychological treatments for adult depression: A meta-analysis. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 38(4), 196-205. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20183695
Barak, Azy, et al. (2008). A comprehensive review and a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of internet-based psychotherapeutic interventions. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 26.2-4: 109-160. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15228830802094429#.VI8vaCvF_hs
Nagel, D. (2011). The future of online therapy. Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, Washington, D.C. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/e561872012-001
Neimark, G. Patients and text messaging: A boundary issue. (2009). The American Journal of Psychiatry. 166(11), 1298-1299. http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09071012
Wantland, D. J., Portillo, C. J., Holzemer, W. L., Slaughter, R., & McGhee, E. M. (2004). The effectiveness of Web-based vs. non-Web-based interventions: a meta-analysis of behavioral change outcomes. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 6(4). http://www.jmir.org/2004/4/e40/