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  1. #1

    Benefits and Effectiveness of Online Counseling

    Online counseling
    Retrieved August 16, 2014

    Online counseling is the provision of professional mental health counseling services concerns via the Internet. Services are typically offered via email, real-time chat, and video conferencing. Some clients use online counseling in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy, and a growing number of clients are using online counseling as a complete replacement to traditional office visits.

    While some form of telepsychology has been going for over 35 years, the advent of internet video chat systems and the increasing penetration of broadband has resulted in a growing movement towards online therapy. Clients are using videoconferencing, synchronous chat and asynchronous email with professional psychologists in place of or in addition to face-to-face meetings

    The growing body of research into online counseling has established the efficacy of online therapy with treatment outcomes at least equal to traditional in-office settings. Online therapy has additional benefits unrealized by office-based treatments as it allows the patient to attend sessions at a higher rate than traditional sessions. The number of missed appointments is much less than with in-person therapy. There is some research to suggest that online counseling is more effective because a client is at greater ease and feels less intimidated than they would in traditional settings. This makes clients more likely to be honest and thus allow the counselor to provide better treatment.

    Online counseling is also filling the unmet need for clients located in areas traditionally under-served by traditional counselors. Rural residents and expats along with under-served minorities often have an easier time finding a suitable therapist online than in their local communities. These access issues are solved with online counseling resources and result in clients receiving culturally or linguistically relevant treatment that they would not have otherwise been able to receive. African Americans tend to have an elevated rate of stress-related diseases and have lower access to traditional face-to-face treatments.

    Online counseling has also been shown to be effective for clients who may have difficulty reaching appointments during normal business hours. Additionally, research is demonstrating that online counseling may be useful for disabled and rural people that traditionally under-utilize clinical services.

    Research from G.S. Stofle suggests that online counseling would benefit people functioning at a moderately high level. Severe situations such as suicidal ideation or a psychotic episode might be better served by traditional face-to-face methods. Although further research may prove otherwise.

    Cohen and Kerr conducted a study on the effectiveness of online therapy for treatment of anxiety disorders in students and found that there was no difference in the level of change for the two modes as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.

    As the main goal of counseling is to alleviate the distress, anxiety or concerns experienced by a client when he or she enters therapy, online counseling has strong efficacy under that definition. Client satisfaction surveys tend to demonstrate a high level of client satisfaction with online counseling.

    Source: Online counseling - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  2. #2

    Re: Benefits and Effectiveness of Online Counseling

    How much does online counseling cost? High Strung

  3. #3

    Re: Benefits and Effectiveness of Online Counseling

    That depends on the individual provider.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4

    Re: Benefits and Effectiveness of Online Counseling

    And where the psychologist works is a factor, too. A psychologist who works in a more rural area tends to be less expensive. When I lived in rural Florida, an in-person session was only $75. But now that I moved to a nicer area, the going rate is $130 or more to see a local psychologist in person, over the phone, or on the Internet.

    And of course therapists without a PhD tend to charge less, though not always. But I personally prefer psychologists with 10+ years experience.

    My insurance is great for seeing a psychologist in person. Like most, it does not pay for online therapy. (Without insurance or a better-paying job, I would probably go to the community center for therapy or somewhere else more affordable -- on or offline.)
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5

    Re: Benefits and Effectiveness of Online Counseling

    I think online therapy and counseling is good for people who have social anxiety or just feel socially awkward and have difficulty opening up in person. It also could be good if one has problems with their physical appearance, body image issues and so on. I also think it is helpful if you are just too busy to comply to a schedule, or simply have a hectic and unpredictable schedule (like working on call, children etc). It is more accessible than in person therapy for many reasons. Plus, your home usually feels a safer environment than going to someone's office. I remember on my first appointment with psychologist in person, there was some eastern religion's figure in his office, that I found distressing and couldn't stop looking at. I also thought the chair was awfully uncomfortable. I thought it was awkward to sit on a chair in a small bare room with a singe religious figurine in it, which I perceived as scary. At one point, I could not get rid of the feeling that this simple chair resembled very much an execution chair and I felt as if I was on execution there. There were a few times, when I paid and I could talk only for half or one third of the session. I think he eventually figured out somehow that I didnt like the religious figure and removed it only for the days I was going there.
    So, if you are sensitive to details in your surrounding, your home is the best option.
    My second therapist had the most comfy recliner ever, as well as a massage bed in the room. The massage bed kept making me feel as if I was in a hospital and I was sick. I also couldn't focus well, wondering all the time why the heck her office had a massage bed in it.

    ---------- Post Merged at 10:44 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 10:14 AM ----------

    Later on I found out they were performing some energy therapies there as well and the office was shared with an energy therapist.
    Still, having a bed in a room, where I was trying to reach for my inner sources of strength, made me feel very vulnerable. The thought of lying on a bed and someone doing some kind of weird things on me was pretty distressing. I have some bias against massage beds.
    I can't go to massage either, as I find it scary. I tried once and I just jumped up and told the person that I wasn't meant for that. So, you understand how environment could be triggering. Even just a plain and uncomfortable chair is a pretty upsetting thing when you are trying to relax, so that you can say what you wanted to say.
    I don't have these issues online. I can choose my environment. And I don't misread people either. I can't say: "Oh by the way he/she looked at me as if I was...whatever...and raised her/his eyebrows".



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