Online Counseling is advantageous to individuals residing in areas where counseling services are not available as well as clients who are unable to leave home, or who are apprehensive, introverted, or shy about participating in counseling. Such advantages may be similarly appealing to counselors in areas with few potential clients, and counselors unable to meet in-person due to illness or other circimstances. For some counselors, Online Counseling may be a useful medium with which to receive timely supervision, thus improving a young practitioner’s ability to manage difficult client issues.58
Also, in-person counseling can prove incompatible with some client work schedules, while Online Counseling possesses potential for extended hours or even 24 hour service availability. This is evidenced with numerous crisis and counseling services currently available 24 hours-a-day (e.g., The Samaritans, 1-800-SUICIDE, 1-800-999-9999, and others). Even if counselors are not online or at a telephone 24 hours a day, asynchronous communication (e.g., email, forum posts, etc.) creates the perception of a counselor’s perpetual availability. Instead of waiting for a weekly or bi-weekly session, a client can communicate to their counselor anytime. Also, because there are no time restrictions clients can send a message while in milieu of a problem. And since there is not a period ‘in-between’ when one session ends and the next session begins, a more intense psychological holding environment is present between counselor-client exchanges.59
58 Myrick, R. D., & Sabella, R. A. (1995, October). Cyberspace: New place for counselor supervision. Elementary School Guidance and Counseling, 30(1), 35-44.
59 Childress, (2000).