Like most things, there are pros and cons to receiving online counselling. Before you consider going through with online therapy, have a look at these pros and cons. Then, you can decide whether this form of counselling is right for you.
Mobility can be an issue when it comes to accessing mental health care. Those who are disabled or housebound may find online therapy a better alternative to traditional settings. Also, ICBC clients often find themselves feeling overwhelmed with all their appointments. Commuting to and from the appointments can sometimes get challenging given their physical limitations. Online counselling can be helpful such clients so that they are able to receive the emotional support while physically recovering from their symptoms.
Convenience and Accessibility:
The convenience comes from the comfort of your own home. Also, with online sessions, you may be able to have more flexibility in regards to your appointment time in compared to in-person sessions. The time spent commuting to the office and back can be used to prepare for your session or engage in your counselling homework.
If you live in a remote area where there are limited physical mental health facilities nearby, then online counselling can give individuals access to counselling services they may not have otherwise.
Long Distance Support:
If you are traveling from British Columbia to another area for work or school, your counsellor will be able to continue working with you via online sessions until you are back. This way, there will be no pauses or delays in your treatment.
Health Insurance Coverage:
If you have health benefits that do cover counselling, those benefits may or may not cover online counselling. However, health insurance each provider is different from another. Our counsellors have the designation, RCC – Registered Clinical Counsellor. If your insurance covers RCCs, they are likely to accept online appointments with an RCC as well.
Dependant on Area:
There are many online counselling services that will not service outside of their area. So be sure you are looking for someone in your own area. Whether it’s country to country or province to province, there are strict rules regarding if a counsellor, therapist, or psychologist can help someone outside of their “jurisdiction.” At Expressions Counselling, we are able to serve all clients who reside in British Columbia, Canada.
Confidentiality, Privacy, and Unreliable Technology:
As you may know, in person things said in the counselling session are supposed to be confidential. But online adds a layer of complexity. Privacy leaks and hacks are also a greater concern. Technical difficulties can also make it harder to access your counselling sessions when you really need them.
It’s Not the Same as Real Life:
Counsellors rely on physical cues like facial expressions, vocal signals, or body language in order to get a clearer picture of your feelings, thoughts, moods, and behaviours—all of these are quite telling and vary between clients. Though online counselling offers voice-over and live video chats, they lack the intimacy and complexity that real-world interactions possess. Specially, relationship counselling is more effective in person rather than online therefore we encourage you to come in-person if plausible.
Serious Psychiatric Illnesses:
Online counselling is not appropriate for those with serious psychiatric illnesses that require close and direct treatment, and those with detailed and complicated problems.
Joined Attribution from Yasaman Madanikia and Creative Commons: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Expressions Counselling and a clickable link back to this page.