Situations Where Counseling Online Can Help You

Updated September 30, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you're struggling with stress, relationships, emotional problems, or other major life challenges, you can likely benefit from working with a therapist. However, for many people, actually going to a therapist or counselor in person is impractical or intimidating. Luckily, there are now plenty of companies that provide online counseling services. BetterHelp.com is a website that offers services from certified professional counselors and therapists. There are many situations where it makes more sense to work with an online counselor than seeing one in person - here's when and why you should consider giving it a try.

You have a packed work or school schedule.

Do You Find Yourself Struggling Alone With Major Life Problems?

If you are a student in school or university, or have a busy work schedule, you may not have time to see a therapist in person. For many hardworking employees or students, the idea of taking time off to see a therapist is very stressful and counterproductive. By choosing to counsel online instead, you can talk to your therapist during your downtime when it is convenient for you, taking the stress out of therapy. Online counseling services allow you to message your therapist whenever you need in a format that is convenient for you (chat messaging, phone call or video messaging), so you can talk about what's on your mind whenever you need it.

You travel frequently.

For individuals who frequently travel for work or pleasure and may be on the road for days or weeks at a time, a more traditional therapy structure (i.e., face-to-face at a set time, every week) may not be a good fit. Online counseling can provide individuals with frequently variable schedules of those who like to explore with a therapy modality that they can be consistent with. Since online counseling is not dependent on physical meetings, therapy can travel along with you, taking place wherever you have a mobile device and a strong internet connection. Also, the flexible nature of online counseling can help individuals with variable schedules stick to the therapy process without having to commit to a rigid or set therapy schedule.

You find the idea of talking to someone in person stressful or intimidating.

Many people know they need therapy, but they don't take the first step because they don't like the idea of talking to someone in person about their problems, perhaps because they’ve lived past experiences of trauma or have specific issues, like generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, low self-esteem, or depression. If this feeling sounds familiar to you, you will likely feel much more comfortable with online counseling. Online therapy takes away some of the intimidation factors because you can type out your responses and you don't need to have any face-to-face interaction if you don't want to, which is something people with anxiety disorders highly appreciate. Without the pressure of seeing a therapist in person, you'll get more out of the therapy, because you'll be able to relax and talk more openly about what's on your mind. This can be particularly helpful for individuals dealing with stress, struggling anxiety disorders, or those who are especially apprehensive about talking to someone they don't know. The different communication modalities available in an online counseling platform can enable an individual to begin with a form of communication they are most comfortable with (e.g., chat messaging) and progress to a more direct form of communication (i.e., phone chat or video conference) when they feel ready. Since online therapy is not reliant on direct contact immediately, this can help anxious individual ease to therapy at a pace comfortable for them.

You benefit from regular check-ins and immediate support.

Online counseling is a good option for individuals who benefit from more frequent check-ins with a mental health professional. In traditional therapy settings, an individual would typically need to wait until their next session to explore, discuss, or process feelings and experiences with their therapist (unless it is an emergency). However, with online therapy, an individual is welcome to message their therapist at any time to vent or express their stress, thoughts, and feelings at any time of day. 

You live in a remote area that doesn't have easy access to a professional counselor.

Do You Find Yourself Struggling Alone With Major Life Problems?

If you can't get to a therapist in person because you reside or are a student going to university in a remote or rural area, online counseling can be a great alternative to engage in mental health services. Instead of driving long distances to see a counselor, which can be cause stress, be very expensive and time-consuming, you can schedule online sessions that are convenient for you without the travel to other areas.

You have limited access to transportation.

Some people may be discouraged about beginning therapy due to lack of transportation, especially students and those living in remote places. Even if an individual has access to public transportation, living in areas with changing climate may make traveling during certain times of year difficult (e.g., snow storms). The remote nature of online counseling provides individuals with a modality that will enable them to consistently engage in sessions without having to rely on access to transportation.

You are homebound due to some reasons.

Some individuals may be homebound due to physical limitations from an illness, disability, paralyzing grief, or particular life situation. Many individuals in these situations have mental health challenges, such as anxiety or depression, and wish to engage in therapy with a counselor, but leaving home is not an option. Online counseling can be done at home and is not reliant on physical sessions in an office or clinic setting, so this is a feasible option for many homebound individuals.

You're on a budget and can't afford a traditional therapist.

Therapy can be very expensive, particularly if you don't have insurance or if you are a student struggling to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the cost of therapy often holds people back from seeking the help that they need. While there are still fees associated with counseling online, they are usually much lower than what you would pay for in-person counseling services. Many insurance providers are now also choosing to cover online therapy and other online counselling situations so you can get the help you need without sacrificing your budget.

You want an opportunity to browse and select from many practitioners.

While ease of accessibility and convenience can be some top reasons, people may prefer online counseling, the ability to browse and select a professional that best fits one's needs is another. Online counseling services like BetterHelp have personal sites for each therapist that enables a potential client to learn more about them before potentially working with them. Also, reviews from current and previous clients and patients in the form of videos and notes can help aid one's decision in selecting a therapist.

Determining whether or not online counseling is right for you may feel like a daunting task given the different types of counseling services available out there. Telecounseling, or online counseling services, is a new modality that may feel foreign or intimidating to many people. However, it can be a convenient and accessible option for many individuals looking to start therapy or need a more flexible therapy option. 

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