For many, there are significant hurdles to getting the mental health they need. Online counseling opens up barriers to assistance and reaches many on a highly accessible level.
Not everyone has access to or can afford mental health assistance. And there are also those who aren’t sure about the entire process of sitting down with a stranger to talk about their problems. If you are one of the estimated nine million adults in America who need help and aren’t getting the support they need, online counseling might be the solution to your access hurdles. Online counseling has been proven to be just as effective as other traditional forms of mental health counseling. And in addition, it also might provide benefits that different types of counseling might not.
What is Online Counseling?
Online counseling is a way to engage in counseling sessions remotely using one of the many available forums. You can engage in online therapy sessions by using telecommunication apps like Skype, where you talk face-to-face. Or, you can use chat online counseling where you have complete anonymity, and it is all done via chatting online.
Online counseling via telecommunication forums is no different than talking to a counselor in an office. You still communicate face-to-face. You just don’t have the same limitations and hassles that can sometimes stop someone from seeking mental help.
When you use online chatting, you don’t have to engage with a counselor in-person. It is all done electronically. For some people, chat counseling provides an additional shield of anonymity. And that anonymity might allow them to talk more freely about their situation. And it also might make them feel more comfortable about discussing what brought them to counseling to, begin with.
1 There’s a High Degree of Anonymity
Counselors are sworn to the same rules of privacy as other health professionals. So you can be guaranteed the highest degree of privacy possible when you engage in face-to-face therapy. But there are always limitations to anonymity with traditional therapy. Since you have to meet in an office, there is always a chance that someone might see you either entering or exiting the building.
And there is also the time that you might have to spend in the waiting room, which can leave you open to being seen or recognized. When you use online counseling forums like Chat Owl, there is no risk of running into someone during your appointment. You have complete anonymity from the outside world.
When you engage in chat counseling online, there is the additional security of not having to talk to someone face-to-face. A newer version of online counseling is the chat forum. Since not everyone feels comfortable talking to a stranger about the intimate details of their lives or feelings, chat counseling allows you to talk openly without fear of judgment or reprisal.
Chatting Electronically Provides More Anonmyity
So you get the benefit of not having to enter a building for an in-person session along with the anonymity of chatting electronically. The counselor can not see you and you can’t see them. No one knows what you look like or who you are when you use the chat function.
There are also studies to show that online counseling helps to reduce bias that can result from in-person counseling sessions. The goal of a counselor is to remain impartial in their assessment of their patients. But because human nature makes it nearly impossible to do away with all instinctual bias, having a chat forum disallows therapy to be tainted by stereotypes or prejudice. And research shows that it might help to enhance the impartiality that therapy should offer patients from all walks of life.
2 Online Counseling is Just as Effective
Online counseling is a relatively new way to get the mental health services that you need. So there is the question about whether online counseling is as effective as other, more traditional, forms of therapy. According to the American Psychological Association, telepsychology has been shown to be just as effective as other mental health services.
In fact, the Telemental Health Institute also insists many studies show that online counseling is not only just as effective but also that it is beneficial to patients who seek therapy. Once more, it might encourage people who are not sure if counseling is the right course for them, to seek online counseling as a first step to getting the mental health services they need.
For people who are suffering from anxiety or depression, online counseling comes with less stress about the entire process. Not only can people talk from the safety of their home; there are fewer hurdles to access, and the fear of talking honestly is less prevalent for patients. Chat counseling appears to reduce people’s anxiety and enhance their ability to be open about their feelings without holding back.
3 Online Counseling is Convenient
Often, people seek counseling for an acute issue or problem in their lives. But, usually with appointments, by the time you see a counselor, your crisis has typically resolved. And you have been forced to work through it on your own. Online counseling is available when you need it. You aren’t limited by when a counselor can fit you into their schedule. Or, when you have the time outside of your busy work or personal schedule to make an in-office appointment. Online counseling forums work around your hectic life. So that you get the help you need when you actually need it.
There are also people who do not have access to transportation due to cost or disability. Online counseling allows those with hurdles to accessibility a forum to get help. You don’t have to pay for transportation. You can engage in counseling where you are without having to travel to another location. Also, if you are participating in counseling with a spouse, you don’t have to work around three people’s schedule. You can have a counseling session when you are both available and in the security of your home.
Sometimes forming a bond with a therapist can be difficult. And when you find the right counselor, you want to hold onto that relationship. When you use online counseling, even if you move, you don’t have the severe the relationship. Since trust is something that you have to build, you won’t have to start over should you have to relocate.
4 More People Can Afford to get the Help They Need
Due to a lack of mental health insurance, over 56.4% of adults in the United States do not receive the mental health treatment that they need. Counseling can be very expensive. And many Americans simply can’t afford to pay out of pocket. Online counseling allows for millions who don’t have health insurance to get the mental health they need. Chat Owl offers therapy that is within your budget. So you don’t have to pay for transportation and the sessions cost a fraction of in-person therapy appointments.
At Chat Owl, you can get the support you need for less than $50 a session with a trial session costing just one dollar. Many counselors will make the first appointment the most expensive. So even starting becomes an investment. You can try online counseling for just one dollar and then make the determination if it is something you want to commit to. Online users can try it out without spending a whole lot of money to find out whether or not it isn’t something they want to continue.
5 Online Counseling Provides More Security
Not everyone is comfortable speaking with a counselor about things that might be embarrassing or uncomfortable. When you engage in online counseling, you do so from the security of your home or office. It is less intimidating and may allow you to talk about things that you might not have been comfortable doing so in an in-person environment. Since you get to choose the setting, you can have the additional safety of being in an atmosphere that puts you at ease and makes it more comfortable to talk openly and freely.
Also, if you are engaging in couples therapy, being able to talk remotely, instead of being in the same room, might help to calm the tension between two people. When the physical stress that can sometimes come with confronting one another is removed, then you might feel more comfortable opening up and less fearful of the situation. Being apart physically from your significant other might provide an additional feeling of security, to be honest about how you feel.
Since you can use a smartphone, desktop computer, or any mobile device, you get to decide where the appointment is and where you feel most secure. And if you use the chat feature, then you have the security of knowing that no one knows who you are. If you know that your privacy will remain that, private, you might be more willing to really discuss what you are experiencing without feeling awkward or fearful. Online chat counseling is the most secure forum you can find to talk to someone without fear.
All of the Benefits of Counseling Plus so Much More!
Online counseling might be a new phenomenon, but has all the advantages of traditional counseling, and more. It is a much more convenient forum to discuss your issues in a secure and private environment. Also, since it is highly affordable, it grants many people mental health services who otherwise could not afford it. And when you use chat counseling, your identity and information is completely and utterly anonymous.