Have you heard of cyber-therapy? It is said that it is a fantastic change agent, giving people the ability to empower their lives by receiving counseling online. Also known as online counseling services, cyber therapy, e-therapy, or virtual therapy, it is a form of counseling that is achieved through electronic communication. This includes email, instant messaging, and voice calls like Skype. During these sessions, clients can learn how to cope and deal with their life’s challenges, just as they would in face to face therapy sessions. The primary means of communication is the online world, although some telephone exchanges may also be made.
The Pros of Online Counseling
It is often easier for people to open up when they speak online, because they feel they have a certain degree of anonymity to hide behind. Furthermore, writing their thoughts and feelings down in email exchanges is often a way to free the mind, leading to quicker insights.
Because there is a delay between the different communications, clients are better able to process their ideas and decisions.
It is really convenient, as nobody has to leave the house in order to receive or provide counseling. Furthermore, because clients can write about things, they can do so when the time is right for them, rather than at the allotted time in the counselor’s diary. They can work on their therapy 24/7, in other words.
There is no need to travel. This means stress is reduced and the environment is saved to a degree as well.
Because everything is written down, all interactions are immediately and accurately recorded. This is a really useful tool to review progress as well.
It is much more affordable because the counselor has the benefit of convenience and far fewer overhead costs, such as room rental and insurance. As such, it makes counseling more accessible to people across the board.
The Cons of Online Counseling
Because a counselor can’t actually see their clients, they can’t really build on someone’s body language or tone. This means it can be more difficult to read someone’s true feelings. It can be more challenging for counselors to achieve results, therefore.
Some people find it very difficult to express themselves clearly in written form. This may be due to a poor grasp of basic spelling and grammar, because of dyslexia, or simply because people are unable to write longer discourses.
Online counseling is not suitable for people who are going through a real crisis, such as those who are suicidal or those who self-harm. Additionally, it is not classed as suitable for those who are under 18.
Online therapy cannot provide someone with a diagnosis of a mental disorder.
It is still a new form of therapy and thereby at least somewhat experimental.
Whether or not online counseling is right for you is something only you can decide. It is new, innovative and, some would say, revolutionary, and this puts some people off. At the same time, many people have experienced tremendous benefits from it.