Is Online Counselling Effective?
Online Counselling: the world is shifting and it is proving to be effective.
When we started developing Connectable Life, we had no idea what the world was about to become. A world ridden with Corona, people being forced to stay at home and businesses very quickly having to adapt to the new norm.
One of our biggest concerns was that people would be sceptical of the word ONLINE. That people wouldn’t necessarily buy into the idea, possibly thinking it is less than the ‘real deal’.
And then, suddenly, the entire world moved online. This obviously made going live with what was a ‘novel’ concept, pre-Corona days, very difficult. We suddenly had, and still have, the entire world to compete with: big names and big companies with existing clientele and unlimited budgets, and then there is us- a start-up.
The difference though is that we saw the need for online counselling and online therapy (or whatever it is) prior to the pandemic, we believe it even more now and will work even harder to show the value in it post Covid. We aren’t going anywhere.
So, it is obviously very important for us to discuss the effectiveness of online therapy and online counselling.
First and Foremost
The goal behind our idea is to make healthcare accessible to anyone and everyone. This is what going online enables. For us, this already makes it effective. Help is reaching people, desperate people, no matter where they are.
But, before we can say that online counselling is effective, let us take a look at what makes up ‘effective counselling’.
According to PsychCentral
“Effective counseling is a two way street. It takes a cooperative effort by both the person receiving counseling and the counsellor,” and “It’s important that you and your counselor establish a good relationship that allows you to be completely honest about your thoughts and feelings. Often, this requires an elusive “chemistry” between both of you in which you feel comfortable with your counselor’s personality, approach and style.”
At a time when the world has been forced to stay apart and essentially ‘disconnect’, there is no denying the power that the internet and online platforms have had in allowing humans to remain connected. Meetings, birthdays, social gatherings, business ideas, baby showers, you name it: they have enabled these every day and momentous occasions, even if virtually. The moment is shared; the joy is felt! Now, I am not for one second saying that I think all of this should remain this way and that the way forward should be to do EVERYTHING virtually. My point, going back to the quote from PsychCentral, is that there is no reason why a good relationship between counsellor and counselled cannot be formed via a video consult: and therefore, there is no reason why online counselling cannot be deemed effective.
It’s all in the journey.
We understand that therapy of any kind is a personal journey and that you need to ‘click’ with your counsellor or therapist for the experience to work. This is why we ask our specialists to upload their photo, a bio about themselves as well as a short video clip. We feel that this will allow the client to browse through and find someone that is best suited to them and what they need. This should, in essence, already make the process more successful as they have made an informed decision and have a sense of who it is, they are going to be journeying with. You will have a feel for their personality, approach, and style.
What makes a good relationship is mutual respect, good communication, openness, and trust- these are all values that can equally be shown via video.
Further to this, we believe that because people will be in their own space, they will feel safer to be raw, real, and honest. In doing so, this will create a good environment for counselling, and effective counselling. We often hear people say that someone had the confidence to say something when they ‘hiding behind their screen’. We obviously do not think that this is always a positive thing, especially when hate speech is concerned, but it can definitely help in a counselling scenario when people have to speak about the unspeakable.
When we started discussing the need for more accessible healthcare, we looked at the reasons behind people not receiving the help they need. We looked at time, availability, cost and stigma.
People do not have the time to go to therapy or see a practitioner for varying reasons- we believe an online portal will make this easier as people can receive therapy at a time and place that best suits them- before or after work, or even during a work break. There will be no time needed for travelling, finding parking, waiting rooms etc.
According to Internet World Stats, there are 4,833,521,806 internet users. We are living in a society that is built on instant gratification and convenience; the internet offers both. The internet is everywhere! Health specialists, unfortunately, are not. People often live in areas that do not offer these services at all. Or there are simply not enough specialists to service the number of casualties. An online platform eliminates this issue, offering a remote service that is accessible to anyone, anywhere.
On this platform, we allow practitioners to set their own rates- which should be more affordable, working from the comfort of their own homes. There is also no cost in terms of travel, parking, and time off work for the client. Not only is money saved, but so is time- and we all know the cost of time these days.
Confidentiality is key! One of the major reasons people do not seek help is due to the stigma that surrounds it. We hope that by creating an online portal, where people can seek help from the safety of their own home or preferred space. This will encourage people by assisting them to feel less weary, scared or judged. This is especially true in a small town where everyone knows everyone and what they are up to.
By solving these problems, and people receiving the care they need, online counselling has already proven its effectiveness and worth.
Very often people also deem counselling ineffective if they have seen someone for multiple sessions and their situation hasn’t changed. The importance is for people to recognize that counselling is only one piece of the puzzle. For us to receive help and create change, we should be considering all aspects of our selves and minds: Mind, Body and Wellness. This is why we have made all these therapies available. All accessible in one place, so that people can use them and make the therapy process truly effective.
Is it for you?
Having said all of this, we know that online therapy and online counselling isn’t and won’t be for everyone. Just because someone may have a preference, that does not make the alternative ineffective. What we care about at the end of the day is people receiving the help they need. However that may be. What isn’t an option, is people not having an option- and that’s what we are trying to solve. https://www.connectablelife.com/