Meeting face-to-face has changed dramatically since COVID first came onto the scene in 2020. Less people meet in public, and that includes those seeing professional counselors.
However, video chats give many more people the opportunity to get their counseling needs met even when they have to be quarantined or practicing social distance.
Online video counseling allows clients to receive therapy in a way that is convenient and comfortable for them. This has been one of the biggest draws to this mental health method.
There are many reasons that you should consider using online counseling to address any emotional or mental health concerns you may have.
However, keep in mind that just like with anything else, this type of treatment has its pros and cons. Keep reading to find out more, so that you can make a well-informed decision as to whether video counseling would be beneficial to you.
There are several pros to video counseling. Below you will find the top advantages that have been cited by clients who have used this method of therapy.
For someone who has an extremely busy schedule, video counseling can provide the flexibility that is needed to get the help they need. There are many counselors who work with clients online after regular office hours.
This makes it easy for clients who are not able to free up their schedules during the daytime hours. It is also a good option for people with kids but no babysitter.
It is much easier to switch on your computer than it is to commute to an office. The money you save on gas can help pay for your therapy! Some clients say that worrying about the commute takes away from any insights that they get in their therapy sessions.
Getting counseled in your own home puts you more at ease. It is less formal than an office setting, and this allows for you to open up easier in a place that you already feel safe and comfortable.
There are many people that feel shame about needing therapy and this stops them from going to a counseling office. With video counseling this is not an issue.
There are also people who do not have a way to an office, are not able to leave their home due to medical conditions, or are unwilling to leave their home because of their mental illness/disorder. For these clients, video counseling is a complete saving grace.
There are no time constraints, and you can find a therapist in a different city or country for that matter.
Those with social anxiety benefit from meeting online with a counselor, as it tends to cause them less anxiety.
Those that live in remote areas and don’t have the means to drive to therapy benefit from video counseling. Also, those that simply don’t care to drive in busy traffic or longer distances benefit.
Video counseling is oftentimes cheaper than in-person counseling. Some therapists offer a sliding-fee scale, which can bring the cost down too. There are other therapists who work through online counseling companies, such as Better Help. These companies offer low-cost fees to clients.
Even though video counseling is a great thing for some people, it is not something that is for everyone. Here are some cons to this counseling method:
One of the biggest cons of video therapy is that many insurance companies will not pay for it. This can mean costly treatment, even with a sliding fee scale.
Confidentially is important in the mental health field. With a face-to-face session online, some people fear that somehow the sessions could be recorded. They are concerned about privacy and may be hesitant to fully share with the counselor.
Technology is not always the most reliable thing in the world. Your computer, wireless signal, or chat app can go down at any time. These devices do not care if you are in the middle of a counseling breakthrough.
Counselors in traditional settings are able to better read clients’ body language and overall demeaner. Sitting with someone in person gives you a better feel for their mental or emotional health than looking at them on the video screen.
There are certain issues that are not ideal for video counseling. Those who have serious mental health issues should not be getting counseling in an online capacity. Those who need to be prescribed anti-depressants or anti-psychotic drugs will need to see a psychiatrist in person for an assessment.
Many people reach out for help from a counselor at one time or another throughout their life journey. During times of crisis, such as a breakup or divorce, death of a loved one, job loss, etc., the support of someone who knows how to hold space to help you heal and grow can be invaluable.
You certainly don’t have to struggle through issues alone, especially when there are so many highly qualified therapists offering services online these days.
Mental health is not a destination, but a process. It's about how you drive, not where you're going. - HealthyPlace.com
Now that you know the main pros and cons of video counseling, you can decide if it is the right thing for you. Many participants are quite pleased with the results and the ease of the process.
Personally, I’ve had in-person and video counselors and I benefitted from both types of counseling. As I mentioned though, if you’re struggling with severe mental health issues and think you may need a prescription, you will have to see a psychiatrist face-to-face.
I hope this information has been helpful to you. If you are still unsure what choice to make, try talking it over with a traditional counselor and a video counselor. This may help you in your choice. Or, try both types of counseling to see what you prefer, as many counselors offer both types.
August 8, 2022
August 6, 2022