How Does Online Counseling Work?

in Health & Well-being

We, as human beings, are not perfect. We have our good days, and we have some bad days. On days when nothing goes right, we get frustrated with life, but we hope that tomorrow will be better. But when those bad days continue for a more extended period, the continuous stress we feel can demotivate us, and we eventually lose the will to live.

It is at these times we need to consider psychological therapy. Again, we may not go through with the idea of psychological treatment as we are scared society will look at us as weak. But now there is a solution to that as well— online counselling.

Online therapy is psychological counseling over the internet via emails, text messages, video chats, etc. The idea of online counseling might sound absurd to some, while others might be fascinated by the new advancement.

Online counseling services offer you the comfort of your own home or office and give you an escape from judgemental society. Those who are not tech-savvy might still prefer traditional methods of therapy.

However, in this generation of technological advancements, everyone wants to get their job done by just clicking a couple of buttons, so, why not opt for online counseling, right?

Now the bigger question is, how does online therapy work? If the patient doesn’t want to face the therapist face to face, then he/she can opt for counseling through emails and instant messages.

Suppose the patient is comfortable enough to undergo therapy but cannot physically go for counseling, in that case, they can use video conferencing platforms such as Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom call, etc. for the therapy sessions.

A lot of people fear the opinions and judgments of society, which gives them even more stress and further demotivates them to take the next step in fixing their mental health. This is where online therapy sessions come in handy.

Some advantages of online counseling are:

  1. You don’t have to move out of your comfort zone.
  2. You don’t have to reschedule your other appointments to make time to commute for a therapy session. You can connect to your online counselor right from wherever you are. This way, you won’t ever forget or miss sessions.
  3. You can avoid the criticism of the judgemental society we live in.
  4. Any individual who is not physically equipped to go for counseling like physically challenged people, war veterans who have lost limbs, people who are travelling all the time, etc. can also reap the benefits of online counseling.
  5. You can choose the best psychologist who is suited for your needs from anywhere in the world. You do not have to compromise on just getting help from those who are available in your locale but can choose the best therapist for you even if they are abroad.

Despite all these advantages, there are also some disadvantages when therapy is done via the internet, the psychologist cannot evaluate the feelings and micro-expressions of the patient that may help the therapist assess how the patient feels towards the topic of discussion.

But even with the shortcomings, people do opt for online counseling. Especially with online therapy, India could benefit from it during the current pandemic.

Here is how therapy over the internet works:

  1. The patient needs to be informed earlier that since the therapist will not have eye contact with the patient, the patient needs to stop him/her there and clarify as to how they feel before moving forward. If the therapy has to work, then the therapist must know precisely how the patient feels.
  2. The next option is to brainstorm with the clients on how they would want to communicate to the therapist that the topic of discussion is a sensitive one, and the therapist needs to be a little more attentive than usual.
  3. Inform the client they can use emoji, GIFs, and videos from the internet to explain how they feel.
  4. Chat therapy can also be done using pictures to illustrate the described incident.
  5. Through online therapy, one can also participate in online self-help groups, along with their therapist.

Online counseling in India could again be looked down on, but now those who need therapy will not hold back because of societal judgment and seek help when they need it. Reach out to any online therapist from anywhere in the world and set up your first online therapy session.

Image Credits: Matt Flores

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