6 Reasons Why Online Therapy Could Be Right For You
Deciding to undertake a counselling or therapy process often means we feel the need for support. It is not an easy decision to make, and with the amount of information about different modalities, therapists, and offers that exist out there, it can also prove confusing.
One of the many decisions to make when looking for therapy is choosing to do online therapy or in-person work. Many therapists nowadays offer both options but will ask you what you are looking for. You might already have a hunch about what will work best for you, but if not, here are some reasons why working online could be the solution for you.
Many of us might already spend a portion of our day commuting to and from work if we do not work online. We might not want to add to this by having to commute to and back from a therapy session. Depending on how far the therapist’s office is located and traffic, this may mean spending another hour in transportation.
On the other hand, for some people, commuting time offers a needed buffer time between counselling and the rest of their lives, in order to prepare beforehand, or to wind down afterwards. If you still want online therapy, this might be remedied by introducing intentional rituals or buffer moments before and after an online session. Things like listening to particular sounds or music, writing things down, lighting a candle to create a visual difference in the space, a short walk or meditation. What helps and what does not can be discussed with your therapist.
Sometimes, depending on the therapist’s and the client’s schedule, we find the need to be flexible in our meeting times. You might like and need this flexibility if you are a very active person, someone who travels for work, or a shift worker for example.
Since the counsellor will not be paying to hire a room for in-person work at the same time every week, online therapy offers much more potential for flexibility when and as needed.
If you struggle with the thought of going into public spaces, especially a busy practice in order to attend therapy, you might want to consider online therapy so you can do it in the privacy and comfort of your own home.
This, of course, only applies if you have private space available at home, somewhere you know you won’t be interrupted or overheard.
Choice of therapist
At times, we would like to find a counsellor who specifically understands our needs, our experiences and the issues we’d like to discuss. Or perhaps we are looking for someone who speaks the same language as us or shares a specific identity. All of these are valid reasons to choose a particular counsellor, but sometimes, if we are looking for something specific, we will have a hard time finding the right person locally. This especially if we live in a rural area.
Online counselling is then a good way to broaden our search and give ourselves the chance to find the right person who will help us have a safe and effective therapy process. The search can even be international, and rather than using local directories, social media is now a helpful tool to find professionals who speak to our experience.
Online therapy is just as effective as in-person
This is my experience as a therapist. I divide my work between online and in-person counselling. Obviously, the process and the work might look different depending on the client and their specific struggles. But overall, I find online counselling to be just as effective as in-person work, even when is it done on a fortnightly basis.
The therapeutic relationship, which is the basis of the process, develops well through both modalities and we can reach a richness and depth of work that helps clients progress.
If you have any particular needs
One last reason online therapy might be right for you is related to your personal or unique needs. This will be unique to each individual and will depend on past experiences, relational patterns or neurotype & ways of functioning.
For example, someone might feel more comfortable or safer relating to another person face to face and not through a screen. Others might not see a difference, or can even prefer the ‘separation’ of the screen and doing the work in their own space instead of the therapist’s office. This can be due to physical presence, environment, eye contact etc. Online therapy might feel safer in order to trust the process and share more of themselves, which is always beneficial for therapy.
Personal preferences and needs are important to take into account as there is no ‘right way’ of doing therapy and one size definitely does not fit all. Convenience, comfort and safety are important factors to consider when looking for therapy in order to give ourselves the best chances to succeed.
As a counsellor, I am here to help. If you are looking online counselling or in-person sessions (in Oxford), Contact me to discuss how I can support you.