Online therapy or Tele-counseling is a new way of receiving therapy today. The Federal Health Resources and Services Administration define tele-health as, “The use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.” Most branches of health care have begun, if not already, to move towards utilizing technology to provide more convenient care for clients. The mental health and counseling field is no different, although somewhat of a late bloomer. There are still a few fears and unknowns about online counseling. However the services can provide a more efficient and effective form of treatment for many clients.
What is Involved with Online Therapy?
Tele counseling typically involves a secured platform either to conduct video sessions, ongoing direct messaging therapy, or a mixture of both. Counseling through direct messaging provides clients a unique service that is not provided through traditional “in office: sessions. Most of my clients report that they feel more comfortable and have an ability to speak more honestly through direct message counseling. In addition, direct messaging creates the ability to communicate in real time. When participating in traditional therapy, clients must wait a week or more to discuss and process feelings and thoughts about certain issues they are experiencing. In contrast, direct messaging therapy allows the client to communicate feelings and thought while or shortly after they have experienced them.
Benefits of Direct Messaging and Online Therapy
An obvious benefit that direct messaging therapy provides is convenience. There is no need to schedule or cancel appointments, drive to an office across town, or wait in a waiting room. A less obvious benefit is its efficiency in provides relief and results for clients. Since clients usually message with a therapist daily, a therapeutic relationship can be formed more quickly and progress towards goals can be achieved within a reasonable amount of time. Many of my client who are experiencing self esteem issues, grief and loss, and depression report that they are surprised how much better they feel after a few weeks of therapy.