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What is online therapy and how does it work?

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When we think of therapy, many of us will have an image that comes to your mind: a smoky office that is a bit clinical, and a therapist who is middle-aged looking into your previous experiences. While it’s an image that is popular by the press, it’s only one kind of therapy. Face-to face counselling isn’t the sole choice.

Online counselling has exploded in popularity because of shorter time to wait, and convenience, and, often less expensive than face-to-face counselling. It is known by a variety of names, from e-counselling or e-therapy, to email or phone counseling, and Telepsychology or digital therapy and even apps and web-based alternatives that can meet your needs.

Is online therapy a form of psychotherapy?

Online counselling encompasses a vast variety of media, including instant messaging or video calls. With the same quality of assistance and security as face-to-face sessions with trained counsellors or therapists It’s been around for some time and has seen a rapid increase in popularity in recent years.

Offering access to experts who might be away, but often at times that fit your schedule, online therapy may be conducted anywhere that has an internet connection. Different therapists offer online counseling via several different channels that include:

instant messaging (IM)
phone calls
Video calls
in-app messaging

What is online therapy? and what can I expect from it?

Every kind of e-counselling system is different in its approach. It’s crucial to check the site or service you’re using to ensure their psychotherapists and counsellors are licensed professionals who are part of a reputable organization. This will ensure that you receive advice and support from skilled experts.

If you’re beginning with a new therapist you will typically have a consult session prior to the start of your first. This allows you to learn about the counsellor more intimately as well as ask questions and bring up any concerns you have. In most cases, your counsellor will inquire about what you want to achieve from the therapy or the reason you are in search of the counsellor. You can also inquire about some background questions regarding you.

In this period there will be guidelines and expectations to be established for the frequency of communications, response time (if using a text-based solution) and fees as well as privacy and security.

Email counselling – chatting with a therapist provides you the chance to note any problems or issues. The therapist then responds with a thoughtful and therapeutic answer within a duration of time which can be anything from hours to a few days.

Writing down your worries can by itself, be a powerful method to process any negative emotions you be experiencing. For those who feel awkward speaking about their issues publicly might consider this an especially effective approach since it removes the stress of expressing your feelings in the moment and allows you to consider what you’d like to say (and the best way to convey it).

Since email messages can be sent at any point Many people find that it less stressful to feel anxious over having to communicate their worries or concerns in a specific time. It also gives you the ability to record what’s you are thinking about in the moment instead of waiting for your next meeting with a friend.

Telephone counselling is conducted via your telephone Some counsellors provide this service alongside face-toface sessions, while some offer the option of calling it’s own. Similar to a regular counselling sessions, appointments are scheduled with fixed times when the therapist or you contact you for a set amount of duration.

Video chat counseling – providing many of the advantages of face-to-face counseling and the convenience of online therapy video chat sessions are likely to be conducted using an app or platform that is secure that is selected by your counselor. By combining audio and visual feedback, many feel that conversations run more naturally via video chat sessions as opposed to email or instant messaging sessions.

Instant message counselling is like email counselling and instant messaging (IM) counselling enables users to write down their thoughts without having to talk about your thoughts. It can vary between counsellors. This might take an IM-based live text-based dialogue over a certain time period, or be more similar to email counselling with your therapist responding with you in a set amount of time.

What are the advantages and disadvantages for online therapy?

Although the advantages and disadvantages of online counseling may differ among individuals but there are several aspects to think about if are trying to find a counselor or attempt online therapy.

The reasons people seek online therapy could be:

Accessibility – appointment times that are popular (evenings as well as weekends) can be booked quickly for some counsellors as these times are highly sought-after. Online counseling may provide greater flexibility and shorter wait times to talk to a trained counsellor, which makes it easier for you to receive support whenever you require it.

If you have disabilities or mobility issues that make it difficult or difficult to travel to the therapist’s office, online counseling can help you over these hurdles. For those who are suffering from social phobias anxious disorders or agoraphobia could also find that online counseling is more accessible.

Convenience – get help in the comfort at house (or wherever you happen to be) and without the hassle of having to travel to see your counselor. This not only helps help you save time and money but also let people who live in more rural areas have access to qualified professionals from far away. Additionally some therapists also offer extended hours of operation for online sessions. Likewise, methods like email therapy permit you to write your thoughts when it is most effectively for you.

People who are open – some feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and discussing sensitive topics through the buffer of phones or screens. For those who feel especially anxious or nervous in face-to-face counseling sessions, online therapy may be another option for help.

Accessibility – by providing distance therapy sessions, this could aid in reducing the cost of both clients and counsellors. Counsellors can pass on savings gained by not having to hire private counseling spaces and cover the overheads associated with it which is evident in a lower hourly fee for sessions via phone or online.

Privacy For those concerned about other people finding the details of their treatment Online counselling may feel like it’s offering a better degree of security. It is a seamless fit into your schedule without having to schedule more time to see a therapist, some enjoy the feeling of privacy they get from using screens to communicate.

The disadvantages of online therapy include:

Insufficient non-verbal feedback that can help build the same type of rapport that is gained from face-to-face counseling can be difficult for some. Without the immediate feedback offered through body language, facial expressions and even verbal cues like the hm’ing sound, conversations can appear more formal or the intended tone may be lost.

Verification is not always a requirement. Not all websites and apps employ therapists who are verified. When you sign up or making your first contact be sure to confirm whether you’re speaking with an insured, qualified counsellor.

Divergent opinions on effectiveness – experts’ opinions are split with a majority of experts agreeing that the need for more research into the effectiveness of online therapy when compared to face-to-face counseling. Some experts believe it’s only used as a supplement, and not being the sole therapy method and others think it’s equally well. It’s crucial to recognize that various methods work with different individuals and circumstances It’s about being sure you find the method that works for you.

Security and confidentiality – though counsellors are using encrypted or secure emails and chat tools however, the character of the online therapeutic has more risk of being compromised. Counsellors are still held to the same ethical obligation to ensure your confidentiality as well as the security of your data.

Technology problems – a range of problems that can be associated with online therapy may cause interruptions to sessions. Internet connection issues or service interruptions computer issues and server failures as well as network connectivity issues and lost calls can disrupt sessions and result in feelings of frustration.

There is a chance that you will require computer knowledge, along with a reliable internet connection to make maximum benefit from your time. Although counselors will often guide you through the fundamentals of using video chat software or services however, you must make sure that your connections and devices are secure.

Is online therapy the right option for me?

If you’re thinking of talking to a counselor or therapist, it’s always worthwhile to research the different possibilities available. It is worth thinking about your individual situation and the outcomes you want to gain from counselling.

If there are particular issues that could make face-toface counseling more difficult, intimidating or difficult to obtain, consider alternative alternatives like video counselling or email may be an excellent alternative.

It’s crucial to discover your own personal zone of comfort. There’s no correct or incorrect method of doing it. Keep in mind that it’s fine to begin with one method or therapist, and then switch to another in the event that you aren’t at ease or feel like things are going according to plan for you. It’s about making sure you have an approach to communication that is most effective for you.