THE GOLDEN AGE OF ONLINE THERAPY

Online therapy laptop

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WHY ONLINE THERAPIES ARE POPULAR

Nowadays, people are affected by stress, depression, and other mental issues more than ever.
On the one hand, the modern world has brought some great technological improvements, on the other hand, there are many new challenges to tackle.
The good news: the internet has changed the way we approach these problems, as live counselling sessions are available via chat, e-mail, or video conferencing.
Although the concept is not new (there some early examples like Ask Uncle Ezra or the Samaritans), it has become more popular in the recent years.

 

HOW TO APPROACH TELETHERAPY AND ONLINE THERAPY

In fact, we live in a fragmented world. There are many daily challenges we must solve, and healthcare is not always available or affordable.
Online counselling is a positive step towards a more integrated healthcare system, although it can’t substitute direct medical advice.

PROS AND CONS OF ONLINE THERAPY

Here are some of the main pros and cons of cyber counselling:

PROSCONS
Privacy and ComfortLack of Non-Verbal Cues
ConvenienceTechnological Disruptions
AvailabilityUnlicensed Counsellors
ConfidentialityRisk of Eavesdropping
AffordabilityNot Covered by Insurance (in some cases)

Source: Serenity Online Therapy 

Some interesting facts about online counselling:

Online Counseling
Source: BestCounselingDegrees.net

 

THE NEXT FRONTIER: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND CHATBOTS IN COUNSELLING

Artificial intelligence is present in our daily lives in many ways (like voice assistants), therefore it’s not surprising to find new advanced counselling options, like Woebot and My Special Aflac.

 

 

BEST ONLINE THERAPY SITES

As for online therapy sites, there many good options out there.
As one of the most valuable aspects of the internet is how it has changed the way we interact with the world and it has also given us more options (free or at least more affordable).

For people in distress, seeking help is a fundamental step. Getting engaged and trusting the process is a fundamental part of the process, and the internet has made it possible for people in special situations or just intimidated by traditional therapy to get access to valuable resources.

FREE (AND AFFORDABLE) ONLINE THERAPY

Talking to a therapist online might be very helpful, but it’s not for everyone and it should be regarded more as a complementary therapy than an exclusive option.

In any case, here are some interesting resources:

7 CUPS OF TEA: A thriving community of members and trained listeners.
BABYLON:  Affordable online therapy based in the UK.
BETTERHELP: Professional online counselling (they offer a low flat fee option).
BREAKTHROUGH: Live sessions with licensed therapists and psychiatrists.
PLUSGUIDANCE: Online counselling via video conferencing (UK).
SAMARITANS: Telephone helpline founded in 1953 (text and online help coming in the future).

A word of caution: not all sites use professional counsellors, and, in all cases, it is advisable to check their privacy policies in advance.

COUNSELLING AS A CAREER

How to become an online therapist? Briefly, counselling is not an easy task. Being interested in psychology and willing to help others are positive points but it takes much more to become a licensed counsellor.

The first thing to consider is that becoming a counsellor is a commitment to oneself and others.

There are different specialities in the therapy field:

  • Educational: helping and assessing students at school (elementary school, high school, and university).
  • Career: they help people make career decisions.
  • Marriage and family: offering emotional, social, and mental support to families and couples.
  • Behavioural: they work with people struggling with addictions (alcohol, drugs, gambling…)
  • Mental Health: dealing with different mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and phobias.
  • Rehabilitation: counsellors who deal with individuals affected by physical and emotional disabilities.

Although the licensing requirements may vary depending on the area, in most cases a master’s degree is required to become a fully licensed professional.

Source: Verywell Mind

 

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