Our world is becoming increasingly digital, with people doing everything online nowadays. However, some question whether this really is effective when it comes to counseling. They feel that when it comes to personal feelings, help can only be offered if it is directly in person. Research has demonstrated that this is not true, however. Consumer reports have shown that those who receive online counseling help benefit greatly from it. Naturally, face to face counseling sessions are also incredibly beneficial, but online options shouldn’t be written off at all.
Studies on Online Counseling
There have now been many different studies into the efficacy of various types of counseling. Specific to online counseling, it was found that:
- 63% felt they were very satisfied with their individual sessions.
- 53% felt better after the treatment.
However, what was also noticeable was that the satisfaction with online counseling would drop significantly in patients who were at their lowest point. In those cases, only 31% felt online counseling was beneficial, compared to 54% who felt face to face counseling was beneficial. This shows that timing is also very important.
Advantages of Online Counseling
The biggest advantage of online counseling is convenience. Additionally, it is more affordable, which is generally important for patients. People who receive online counseling tend to feel more in control as well and they often feel as if they are more anonymous. This makes them more comfortable with sharing their information. Those who share more and also more likely to be successful.
People who cannot afford to go to face to face counseling really should consider online options, because it can definitely help them to solve their issues. Some of the sessions are even offered for free, although these are markedly less successful overall. One of the things that research has also shown is that the fact that the patient is in an environment that is familiar and comfortable to them is very helpful, as is the fact that they are not distracted by how the counselor look. As such, they can focus more on healing.
It is very important that people find the type of counseling that is most suitable to them. For instance, someone who places a lot of important on their faith will do better seeking Christian, rather than secular, counseling. This is because they take a more spiritual impact, which can positively influence people who actually have faith themselves. However, if someone were to be agnostic, atheist or of a different faith than the counselor, this will not work at all.
It is important to understand what place you are in right now before you decide to go for online counseling. If you are feeling suicidal, feel as if there is no way out or are so far down that you don’t think you can get back up, you should always opt for face to face counseling first. However, once you have moved on from that lowest of the low positions, online counseling can offer you amazing benefits.