5 Surprising Things About Online Counseling Services

By Nicola Kirkpatrick|Updated March 31, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Audrey Kelly, LMFT

Online counseling services are becoming far more popular lately because of social media, online business, and virtual employment. Now, licensed and certified doctors and therapists can provide online assistance to customers and treat certain clinical conditions like depression, bipolar, and anxiety.

According to Medical Daily, online counseling is a necessity in the modern age, and for at least one simple reason: most people will not get help any other way. Only one-third of all people suffering from major mental disorders or high stress will seek the proper care. Traveling regularly to an office may be problematic for people on disability or who can't afford to travel long distances, like from a rural home to the city, where most doctors are located.

Five Surprising Things About Online Counseling

1. Counselling services online are just as effective as in-person therapy.

Major studies have reported little to no difference in patients receiving cognitive behavioral therapy online and seeing a doctor face-to-face. In some cases, online counseling offered more advantages and more comfort to the patient.

2. Many people really don't like the idea of therapy, and they will only get help anonymously.

A survey among men compared to women found that men are twice as likely as women to avoid getting help because of the negative association of therapy. However, the anonymous option of online counseling allows them to chat with discretion. Deciding to begin therapy can be a difficult choice. It takes a lot of strength and courage to reach out to someone about our biggest vulnerabilities; for many being anonymous can make taking the step to start therapy a bit easier. Some may feel a greater level of freedom to share their deepest thoughts, emotions, and fears. Unfortunately, for some, therapy can still carry a stigma. Online therapy is a great option for individuals who want an added sense of privacy. Online therapy is now reaching people who otherwise may not have sought the help that they needed.

3. You can have one therapist or talk to multiple therapists that match your needs.

Whereas doctor-patient in-office therapy is severely limited and can only be arranged around the doctor's schedule, making an appointment online is easy. You can talk to your preferred therapist when your schedule allows, or you can consult another counselor if you need someone to talk to right away. Finding the right therapist can be challenging, and it can be not very clear knowing where to start. One beauty of online therapy is variety! No more search through different offices and practices to find a counselor who can meet your unique needs. You could easily spend hundreds of dollars in face-to-face sessions simply looking for therapists only to find it isn't a good fit. When you begin therapy online, you have the benefit of opening access to a variety of therapists of various backgrounds and specialties. When you start online therapy, you are matched with a therapist who fits your individual needs. If you don't think that a therapist is a good match for any reason, you can switch therapists at any time as much as you need to. Online therapy can also be a great option for those who live in smaller or rural communities who may not have the same access to a therapist with specific backgrounds and areas of expertise. Because of online therapy, individuals seeking therapy are no longer limited to therapists in their communities.

4. There are four ways to chat with a counselor-it's, not all text.

While exchanging text messages or longer emails with a counselor is an option, modern sites, like BetterHelp, offer video conferencing, speaking over the phone, and live chat. As the F.A.Q. Page states, there are no additional charges with membership, and you can text as often as you'd like. Sure, you can text messages to your online counselor, but it is a lot more than that. Another huge benefit of online therapy is convenience. With online counseling, you have the option not only to message your counselor but can also schedule a live chat, video, or phone sessions. The best part is that you get to choose what works best for you! Whether it is a phone call session during your lunch break, a weekend video session, or a live chat session while your children play in the other room, online therapy provides convenience in ways that face-to-face counseling can't. Some individuals may have some difficulty opening up about certain experiences and emotions. The communication options that online therapy gives for many can make beginning online counseling a more comfortable experience. If you like the idea of participating in counseling anonymously, online therapy can allow you to do that through messaging, live chats, and phone sessions.

5. Counseling services are more affordable now than they ever were.

Many people chose to forgo therapy because they cannot afford to do it. Online therapy now means that more and more people can afford and access therapy. Therapy is no longer just a resource for well-off people; it supports everyday people can now afford. Individuals can save hundreds of dollars by skipping traditional face to face therapy and choosing online counseling instead. Because you pay a flat monthly subscription, you don't have to forgo a week's therapy session because of your budget. Online counseling allows you to message your therapist and schedule live sessions as you really need them without limiting sessions because your budget won't allow it. With online therapy, you can access the same quality of counselors you would find in face-to-face therapy without the bank-breaking costs. Counseling service online, such as our staff at BetterHelp, offers flat-rate weekly payments for unlimited sessions-a cost-saving feature that avoids high charges based on fee-per-minute rates. Our site is staffed by licensed and professional therapists with years of experience and education behind them. They don't just listen; they know just what to say to help you feel better!

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