Why Online Counseling is Useful for 90% of Clients

Did you know that only 10% of depressed people who are referred by a physician to seek mental health services ever receive those services? Why is this? Is it because they do not want to get well, or are there other factors? As you might guess, the reasons are many—among them the problem that acquiring counseling services is too difficult. Consider this.

A man suffering from depression, to receive counseling must:

  1. Overcome his apprehension, embarrassment and fear of seeking counseling
  2. Come to terms that people in his community might find out he is in therapy
  3. Locate and research reputable local counseling services
  4. Make contact with a service (usually by phone) to schedule a session
  5. Accept, if insurance is to be used, that he will be diagnosed with a psychological disorder that will go in his health record
  6. Maintain motivation and courage while waiting for a scheduled session—the wait is often weeks or longer
  7. Execute his intentions of arriving at the counseling appointment (which may necessitate taking time off work)

For a person battling even the most common life-issues, this is a copious series of tasks. And what is more, we—as counselors—cannot do much to make it easier. We often have long waiting lists for new clients, slow intake processes, business hours that conflict with client work schedules. We have no choice but to allow clients to suffer social stigma, to require them to travel to an unfamiliar place; to arrive promptly and presentably, all while battling depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, grief, psychosis, or perhaps the greatest personal crisis of their life.

And all the while counselors wonder, “Why is the compliance rate only 10%?”

Perhaps you’ve noticed these problems. Maybe you are interested in beginning an Online Counseling practice because you’re already beginning to see some of its strong advantages for clinical practice. If so, you’re among a growing number of counselors who are taking on the challenge of providing therapy services though methods such as telephone, email, text-chat, and even videoconference.

On the other hand, perhaps you’re not sure whether Online Counseling is right for you. You’re more reserved, responsibly cautious, but you’re interested in learning about what Online Counseling is, where it came from, and how to provide it ethically and effectively (or if such is even possible). If this is you, you too have picked up the right book.