It is quite amazing what technology can do nowadays, it is changing the way we do a lot of things including counselling. Traditionally, counselling is done face-to-face. There are a lot of nuances that a counsellor can pick up on when seeing the client personally. However, sometimes it is simply not possible for the client to access much-needed services in person; living in a rural area, for example, counselling not being available in your language where ever you live, inability to leave the house because of small children just to name a few. For that reason, access to online counselling is becoming more and more common and since payments can easily be done via e-transfer, the possibilities are endless.
A case for face to face counselling.
Even though this post is about online counselling, there is a case to be made for seeing your counsellor face-to-face. I hope you know that counselling has come a long way since the times when the client used to lay on the couch looking at the sealing and the counsellor ‘hiding’ behind them judging the meaning of every single word or move. Now it looks more like a conversation with someone you feel comfortable with (or should feel comfortable with) sometimes there even coffee, tea or candy :). In-person counselling is a great way to rapidly connect with your counsellor. Also, body language plays a very big role in establishing a strong therapeutic alliance which is a better indicator of success in therapy than education, interventions or even accessibility.
If you are considering counselling, you should know that there are many places in which you can find counselling professionals. If you are unsure what kind of professional is best for you, check out this post where I give some information about that. By far Psychology Today has the most extensive list of mental health professionals. You can use the filter to find specifically what you are looking for. Whether it is someone in your area or someone who speaks your language and offers online counselling, or who has expertise in the area you are willing to work on (i.e. depression, anxiety, marital issues, PTSD, and so on). Additionally, they include the cost, insurance/benefit information, a personal statement and other information that can help you choose someone who is a good fit for you.
Online counselling options
If you are already receiving counselling it might help to check if your counsellor will offer online sessions. This can help on a day when the weather is not cooperating, a day when you are not able to get out of the office on time or when baby sitter cancels on you.
You can also contact a Psychology today counsellor via email, or phone, and ask if they offer online counselling, even if they are out-of-province. There are several platforms that allow professionals to interact in a secure way with their clients. I, for example, use Doxy.me a platform from telemedicine. I am able to see or chat with clients regardless of where they are. Some times an extended lunch hour can make a world of difference for someone who is in need to connect, learn strategies or simply vent.
Additionally, you can look at Better Help and Talk Space which are both American online-counselling platforms that offer mobile through an app and desktop counselling access. They will match you with a counsellor who has expertise in the area you are seeking help with.
- Accessible, they have a website and an app through which you can chat with your counsellor.
- It is fast and efficient with no waiting list
- Services beyond the 9-5 office hours with the use of the app
- Flexible payment rates lower (in many cases) than in-person counselling
- American counsellors, not a Canadian, which means that all expenses will come out of pocket as insurance companies will not cover the costs.
- Loss of ‘the personal’ touch.
- Might only focus on crisis situations, or immediate issues but not offer long-term counselling
- You pay weekly/monthly whether you use the platform or not.
As you see, there are really no reasons why you should continue to struggle. The options are limitless and the help you can get to live the life you were meant to live is right there…literally a couple of clicks away.
Don’t hesitate, if you are looking for support I might be available, use the link on my website to check-in and if I am available, we can be chatting in a matter of minutes. Click here to access the link.