With the prevalence of technology in our lives and the ongoing impact of Covid-19, many individuals are turning to online therapy as an alternative to traditional face-to-face counselling.
There are pros and cons to both types of therapy, so it is important to consider all options before making a decision. In this article, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of both online therapy and face-to-face counselling, in the hope that we can help you make an informed decision that best suits your needs.
The Benefits of Online Counselling
One major benefit of online counselling is convenience. It allows individuals to access counselling from the comfort of their own homes or any other convenient setting. It is also much easier for individuals who have difficulty leaving their homes due to illness or disability, as well as those with busy schedules who may not have time for regular face-to-face appointments. Online counselling can be more affordable than traditional therapy since there are no transportation costs involved.
Another advantage of online counselling is the level of anonymity it provides. Since sessions take place over the internet rather than in person, there is less pressure on individuals to reveal personal information or feel self-conscious about discussing sensitive topics. Online therapists often specialise in certain areas such as addiction or anxiety disorder and you may be able to find a therapist that specialises in your specific needs without having to physically visit multiple offices.
The Drawbacks of Online Therapy
One potential downside of online therapy is that it may not be suitable for everyone. Some people may find that they prefer the physical presence and connection they get from meeting with a therapist face-to-face. Since there is no physical contact between the client and therapist during an online session, some individuals may find it difficult to form a therapeutic relationship with their counsellor which could impede progress towards healing. Some people may experience technical difficulties during an online session which can disrupt communication and cause frustration for both client and therapist alike.
The Benefits of Face-to-Face Counselling
One advantage of face-to-face counselling is that it allows the counsellor and the client to develop strong interpersonal relationships with each other which can facilitate trust and open communication - two essential components when it comes to effective counselling sessions.
Additionally, since clients are able to physically interact with their therapists during these sessions, they may feel more comfortable opening up about issues that might be difficult for them to discuss over the internet or phone lines during an online session. During face-to-face sessions, counsellors can observe body language and facial expressions which can provide insight into how a client is feeling in response to various topics being discussed during a session, although, this can also be done through video calls if the sessions are set up correctly.
Ultimately, whether you choose online or face-to-face counselling depends on your individual needs and preferences as well as your current circumstances (ease/cost/availability). If you think you would benefit from having someone physically present during your sessions then traditional face-to-face counselling might be right for you; however, if privacy/convenience are important factors then perhaps exploring the option of remote/online therapy might be worth considering too! Ultimately only you know what’s best for yourself; talk through your options with trusted friends/family members/your healthcare provider so that you can make an informed decision about which type of counselling best suits your unique situation.
Talens Health Support Services offers a range of online counselling sessions with BACP-registered counsellors. If you think that online counselling sessions might be right for you, we invite you to book your first session with us for free, where you can have an informal chat with one of our team, and explore the possibility of getting help through online counselling.
Whether you are seeking help with anxiety and depression or would like to explore the possibility of couples counselling to help improve your relationship, we have a team of experienced counsellors that specialise in a wide range of counselling services. You can meet the team here.