What Is Videoconference Counseling?
Videoconference counseling is a form of online counseling that most closely resembles an in-person encounter. With videoconference counseling, both the counselor and client are able to view each other from the shoulder-level up (think: just like skyping a friend) by use of an Internet video camera (i.e., webcam). Both parties are able to speak verbally back and forth in real time. The experience is so true to life, many persons who use videoconference say they forget the person they are talking to is not there in person with them.
How Does Videoconference Counseling Differ from Traditional Therapy?
The main difference between videoconference counseling and traditional in-person counseling is the use of technology. For videoconference counseling to be effective, you must ensure the following:
- Your internet connection is stable: This is probably obvious, but you can’t attend your online session if you don’t have reliable internet. Imagine: you’re making great progress and then your internet goes out and your conversation is cut short. This can certainly make one flustered and frustrated.
- You have a dependable webcam: You also can’t have an effective videoconference counseling session if you don’t have a dependable webcam. That said, if you don’t have a webcam, you can still utilize online counseling via email or telephone.
Of course, the traditional in-person counseling doesn’t require that you have reliable internet connection and technology. However, it does come with other demands. For example, a client seeking in-person therapy has to overcome a few difficult challenges: one of the biggest challenges is getting to the location where his or her therapy session is held, despite a likely busy schedule as well as the shame or nerves this individual might be feeling. Often, people seeking counseling don’t want others to know, which means they don’t to be seen walking in to receive mental health services. Online counseling provides a solution to this obstacle.
Benefits of Videoconference Counseling
Are you deciding if videoconference counseling might prove valuable in your mental health journey? The following benefits might help you seal the deal and sign up for an online counseling session:
- You aren’t limited to counselors within a certain mile radius of you, which means you can really focus on finding a counselor who’s best suited to help you.
- There is a greater deal of anonymity. If you have fears or apprehensions about seeking counseling, this will solve that problem.
- There are other technologies that can supplement your videoconference counseling—for example, with online counseling, you can often also email your counselor when needed.
Different Varieties of Videoconference Counseling
There are some exceptions to the typical videoconference experience that are worth noting. If only one person has a microphone, that person might speak verbally, while the other person might type. If only one person has a webcam, that person might be visible, but not the other. And perhaps the most interesting variety of videoconference counseling is video-email, which is when two persons communicate using audio and video, but the conversation does not take place in real time.