What the future holds for the counseling profession is anyone’s guess. In some decades to come, people will be chatting with – not just through – their PCs.
Already, some studies suggest that combining cognitive behavioral therapy with online counseling will be effective for many clinical issues. But how will this work?
The availability of different digital options in communicating will make this happen. For instance, one can install software to provide real-time answers to most questions, including the ones that take people to a counselor.
Rather than visiting a live counselor, people will turn to their computers for advice and feedback. The personal avatar counselor will be full of sound and helpful information. It’ll, therefore, offer helpful and constructive advice to all.
These are just a very small handful of benefits of counseling in an online setting. There are dozens more. In this post, we’ll look at some of how online counseling may eradicate traditional therapy.
Almost everyone has access to a stable internet connection. That’s the only prerequisite for web counseling.
Online counseling overcomes barriers that may prevent others from seeking service. For instance, it’ll benefit people residing in remote areas.
People living with a disability or unable to leave their homes for various reasons can access these services.
Statistics show that web counseling is effective in encouraging teenagers to receive therapy. That’s because they are more comfortable with using the internet and simply have more access to it.
Online counseling tends to be economical for the therapist and the client.
For instance, a live therapist has to rent commercial space. Further, they’ll need to travel to work daily. All these expenses increase the overhead costs of offering services.
The therapist will transfer these costs onto their clients. But that’s not the case with web counseling.
All you need is a functional website and a stable internet connection. Reducing overhead costs means lower rates for clients.
Lower rates make the services accessible to a larger population. For example, you don’t expect someone who’s grappling with financial problems to engage in expensive therapy sessions.
- Reduces Social Stigma
Online counseling can be useful in eliminating the social stigma associated with receiving therapy.
If you’re uncomfortable with visiting a therapist, online counseling allows you to access the service in private.
Online counseling can change your life by speaking to an expert in the comfort of your own home. It makes clients feel less stigmatized in seeking these services. People don’t want to be seen in waiting areas by passersby or by administrative staff.
Because of this, the practice offers the client a degree of anonymity. It reduces social stigma making it easier for people to seek services at any time.
The absence of facial contact prompts clients to communicate more effectively. The client doesn’t have to worry against a bias of gender, race, size, age, or physique. As such, this increases the honesty levels leading to higher self-disclosure validity.
The internet gives a certain level of anonymity which is non-threatening. Further, since one doesn’t see the therapist, they are free from their nonverbal cues. Because of this, you can communicate effectively and freely.
Above are just several reasons why online counseling may completely take over the therapy industry. It may seem farfetched, but in reality, there are a lot of drawbacks to traditional therapy. There are already a few million people using online counseling. That number should grow significantly in the coming years.