According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five adults in the United States experiences a mental illness each year. And yet, only 41% of those people receive treatment. Why is this?
Several reasons can explain this, ranging from one’s fears of being judged or what they may learn about themselves in therapy. However, many reasons people avoid counseling services do not necessarily change according to where sessions occur. In other words, while the concept of online counseling may not change some of those inherent fears of anxious feelings about starting therapy for a person, it can make treatment more approachable. Online mental health counseling provides a space where individuals can more easily overcome mental health stigmas and feel less inhibited.
Online counseling services offer many advantages that the traditional form does not. As an increasingly popular and preferred choice for treatment in recent years for reasons related to both comfort and convenience, online counseling services now assist people worldwide in getting the help they need and perhaps have long avoided. Today, many individuals opt for online counseling services over in-person.
If you are curious about online mental health counseling, this article will discuss some of the benefits of online counseling and how it can change your life for the better!
What is Online Mental Health Counseling?
Online mental health counseling is a form of counseling over the internet. Like traditional therapy or counseling services, online counseling works to treat a wide range of mental health needs. These mental health issues range from depression and anxiety to addiction, trauma, eating disorders, mood disorders, and phobias. That said, a person’s challenges don’t need to be severe – or even diagnosable – for them to benefit from online counseling.
Online counseling services are available to help anyone with whatever obstacles interfere with their daily life, mental health, and well-being. The difference is that communication between a patient and counselor occurs primarily through video calls, phone calls, text messaging, online chats, and emails. As long as one has access to a smartphone, computer, or tablet, one can participate in and reap the many benefits of online counseling.
The Benefits of Online Mental Health Counseling
One of the primary benefits of online counseling services is they allow people to get help without ever leaving home. This can be especially helpful for those who live in rural areas or have difficulty traveling long distances.
It’s also a great option for people who are shy or uncomfortable with traditional counseling. With online counseling, they can communicate with their counselor on their terms. Additionally, online counseling is often more affordable than traditional counseling. Some services even offer a sliding scale fee so that everyone can afford it.
Additionally, online mental health counseling offers:
- A wider range of counselors to choose from
- More flexible hours
- Easier access to therapy for those who do not live near therapy offices or who have difficulty traveling long distances
- More privacy and anonymity than traditional counseling
- A more affordable option than traditional counseling services
How Online Counseling Services Can Change Your Life
As we’ve seen, online mental health counseling offers many benefits over traditional forms of therapy or counseling.
Here are just some of the ways it can change your life for the better:
Online counseling services can help you overcome shyness or discomfort with traditional counseling.
According to studies, individuals suffering from social anxiety, agoraphobia, and anxiety disorders prefer internet counseling. These individuals feel less reserved or uncomfortable when chatting via a webcam than when meeting with someone in person.
But online mental health counseling isn’t only ideal for people with anxiety. In general, many individuals’ impression of online counseling services is that they are more approachable and less intimidating. They may feel less timid because they don’t have to worry about how they look or their body language.
Online counseling services are more convenient and accessible than traditional counseling services.
Finding time to attend in-person therapy is tricky for anyone, given the commute and time spent in waiting rooms. Thankfully, online counseling services are available to help you get the help you need without leaving your home. The convenience factor of online counseling helps people who do not have time for traditional appointments. People who are generally busy can especially benefit from online treatment, whether they work long hours or have children at home.
Virtual counseling is especially helpful for people who live in rural areas or cannot find a counselor near them.
Online counseling also saves time for therapists; the wider availability of therapists is part of what makes it more accessible. The ability to start therapy upon sign-up is great for those in crisis who need immediate help. Online counseling services include chat sessions, video calls, and email access at a convenient time for you and your therapist. Many online mental health counseling platforms even offer 24/7 messaging, where therapists can reply as quickly as they’re able.
Overall, greater convenience means greater accessibility, which means more mental health care to change lives. It allows you to communicate with your counselor at your own pace and on your terms.
Online counseling services provide more privacy and anonymity than traditional counseling services.
One of the benefits of online mental health counseling is that it offers more privacy than traditional counseling services. With online counseling, your personal information is protected, and you don’t need to worry about being seen in an office.
Plus, it’s not always easy to open up to people in our lives about our problems, struggles, fears, or concerns. Private online counseling provides a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to open up about their mental health concerns. And not just to anyone, but a person trained to listen and help them overcome their issues.
Online counseling services can benefit anyone.
While the same goes for any counseling medium, you don’t have to have a diagnosable condition for online counseling to change your life.
Everyone experiences stress, overwhelm, and other feelings that interfere with how well they enjoy their day-to-day lives. If you feel like difficult situations and emotions are holding you back from where you want to be in life, an online counselor can teach you how to manage them and get your life back on track effectively. Even if you feel like your problems aren’t that bad or that your mental well-being is fairly strong, online counseling services are a terrific resource for learning about health behaviors and coping strategies that will lead to better mental health.
Final Thoughts on Online Counseling
Online counseling can change your life, no matter who you are or what you’re struggling with. It provides more convenience, affordability, privacy, and anonymity than traditional counseling services. Online counseling is a great choice for anyone who needs mental health care or wants to live a healthier, happier life. If you’re looking for a way to improve your life, online mental health counseling is worth giving a try!