3 Advantages of Online Counselling
Online counselling, once termed alternative therapy, is now becoming a common practice preferred by both clients and therapists (Elleven & Allen, 2004). It has been praised for bridging the gap that existed with traditional face to face therapy around issues such accessibility, convenience, affordability and more.
Web counselling is easily accessible to all those who wish to use it. Online therapy overcomes barriers that may preclude others from seeking therapy. For example, individuals residing in rural or remote areas where there is no counselling services can benefit from the accessibility of online counselling. Those that are physically disabled or unable to leave their home can also easily access such services with little inconvenience. Those that have visual and hearing impairments can also benefit from such services.
Web counselling has also shown to be effective in encouraging children and teenagers to receive therapy as they seem to be more comfortable with using the internet (Shaw & Shaw, 2006). Anyone who has access to the internet can make use of such services at their convenience. Even if therapists are not available at all times, emailing for instance may give the client the perception that they are interacting with their therapist at the time of writing the email and sending it (Centore & Milacci, 2008).
Online therapy is convenient. Both the therapist and the client have the convenience of corresponding with each other at a range of variant times. This style of therapy can take away the hassle of scheduling and setting appointments more common in traditional settings. This also creates an opportunity for the therapist to extend their services to more clients as appointments can be potentially scheduled over 24 hours and reach a larger geographical region.
For those individuals who are ambivalent about therapy or who may be uncomfortable with traditional models of therapy, may find online counselling more suitable whereby it has been found that online therapy is preferred by those who are uncomfortable with talking face to face with someone about their problems or who are suffering from social phobias, agoraphobias or anxiety disorders (Gedge, 2009).
Web counselling has been shown to be more economical for both the therapist and the client. Especially for those therapists who are unwilling or cannot afford to rent commercial space thereby lowering overhead costs of capital, property, commuting and administration procedures when compared to traditional counselling services (Centore & Milacci, 2008).