Maybe you’re going through a really rough breakup. Perhaps you’ve just moved to a new city and you’re struggling with crippling feelings of loneliness. Or, nothing out of the ordinary is going on in your life right now, but you aren’t all that happy, and you want to do something about it.
In all of these circumstances—and any you could possibly conjure up—a viable solution to your problem is counseling. Fortunately, the stigma surrounding mental health is starting to fade, and people are beginning to realize just how important their mental and emotional health is. Because of this, many are more accepting of the idea of therapy. But others are still in the dark. And they have no idea just how important and effective counseling is… which is where I come in. Read on to see why you should give counseling—whether it be face-to-face counseling or online counseling—a chance.
Keeping it Conventional: Face-to-Face Counseling
When you hear the word counseling, face-to-face or in-person counseling is likely what comes to mind—whereas an individual goes to the counselor’s office and undergoes therapy there. This is more or less the traditional approach, one that has grown exponentially since it’s development, due to its effectiveness.
Think about it: there are a ton of different types, including cognitive behavioral therapy, couples counseling, art therapy, life coaching, and so many more. However, no matter the approach, counseling is designed to help individuals live healthier, happier lives. And it’s almost guaranteed to help, as long as the client puts the effort into the therapeutic process and both client and counselor are authentic. Here are a few ways talk therapy can help an individual:
- The therapist can offer informed information and guidance to the individual no matter what the issue at hand is.
- Therapy can help clients heal and move forward from major events in their life, including but not limited to trauma.
- It can also help clients to understand negative thoughts and adopt a more positive way of thinking.
- Furthermore, therapy can equip individuals with important tools for living an overall happier, healthier life like effective communication strategies and self-care practices.
Foregoing the Norm: Receiving Counseling Online
Maybe you’ve decided to forego the norm and try online counseling instead. That’s great—simply put, online counseling is counseling done via computer or telephone. As you might imagine, this approach to counseling offers certain benefits that face-to-face counseling may not. A few examples include:
- It increases a client’s sense of safety, being that they attend sessions from their desired location (which is often home).
- It enables clients to feel more comfortable opening up.
- It allows clients to choose from a larger pool of counselors and ensures they find one best suited to their needs.
- It gives certain individuals who are housebound the opportunity to receive therapy.
- It allows clients to remain anonymous if so desired and keep their counseling journey private.
Olivia Djouadi, UKCP accredited psychotherapist and counselor, delves into a couple of these benefits: “Online counseling is a godsend to those with huge amounts of anxiety who can’t leave their homes or those with physical disabilities that leave them housebound. Higher ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) scores cause a significant increased risk of autoimmune conditions in adulthood—this means that those with a lot of childhood trauma may not be able to get the counseling that could save their life,” Djouadi explains. But, thanks to online counseling, they do have that opportunity to attend therapy and heal.
She goes on to explain how beneficial it is to individuals who wish to keep this area of their life private: “It is also useful to those who may not want their counseling to be known. This includes some service/military personnel, police, firemen, or those in jobs that may not realize how important care is for their staff. Certain professions do offer support, yet many feel they don’t want to be seen getting assistance. Think back to the numbers of those who went through Vietnam or other wars and didn’t return as the same people. Online counseling can reach out to these individuals and assist them in seeing normal life again.”
Which type of counseling is right for you? Consider the pros and cons of online counseling, as well as how in-person counseling might benefit you. Regardless of the path you choose, your counselor can help you take amazing strides toward a better life.