Online counseling is hardly a new service. In fact, the internet has long allowed counselors and therapists to offer valuable treatment sessions virtually, allowing clients to get the help they need from the comfort of their own homes. However, a global pandemic has certainly contributed to a rise in the need for online counseling services, especially for those individuals who were receiving those same therapy services through an in-person, in-office environment.
Fortunately, online counseling—mental and behavioral health counseling delivered through the internet—provides clients with a safe, effective means of receiving the treatment they need virtually. Even without sharing the room with a therapist, online counseling services can connect you with a licensed health professional to address your needs.
Let’s dive into the basics of online counseling: what it is, what it’s not, and how it can help you source the care you need from licensed health professionals.
Online counseling: the benefits and the drawbacks
Let’s get one thing straight: online counseling is different than traditional, in-person counseling. For one, there is a physical distance between client and counselor. Both clients and counselors now need to worry about online security and technological issues. Body language can be harder for an online counselor to read, and it’s often more mentally difficult for clients to receive the care they need in a home environment that’s often busy.
Many insurance providers are slowly onboarding online counseling into their core packages, though many still do not fully cover the same counseling that was once covered as an in-person service. In addition, there’s a widespread misconception that online counselors cannot prescribe medication.
Though different in practice, online counseling still seeks to serve the same goals: helping you take and maintain control of your own life. Online counseling also offers a few distinctive benefits. First, you have the ability to receive first-rate counseling without ever having to leave your own home! Once you can create an at-home environment where you can comfortably receive care without interruption, online counseling offers a more convenient avenue to receive therapy on your schedule.
Online counseling is also incredibly accessible. Individuals who have trouble reaching a counselor’s office are now only a computer away from critical online therapy. Individuals who are hard of hearing can turn up their audio until they can comfortably hear their counselor and follow the conversation. Anyone experiencing visual impairments can digitally adjust their screen to more clearly optimize their online counseling session to their benefit.
Online counseling is not in-person counseling. But through an effort on the part of both the client and the counselor, we can together bridge the distance to ensure that everyone still receives the full extent of the care they need.
How can online counseling help me?
Online counseling provides many of the same benefits that you’ve likely come to expect from traditional counseling. Whether you’re struggling with anxiety, depression or co-occurring disorders, online counseling helps adults and adolescents alike survive and thrive despite the challenges that life might present.
Online counseling is all about pairing the right client with the right type of treatment and level of care. Depending on the issues you’re facing, and the help you’re looking for, you’ll be paired with a licensed medical professional already accustomed to helping individuals like yourself.
Online psychiatrists who are licensed are also capable of prescribing FDA-approved medication, just as in-person counselors can.
No matter what you’re struggling with, online counseling helps you through life’s issues – large or small, isolated or ongoing. That’s exactly what you can come to expect from a certified online psychiatric provider: help to navigate life’s challenges, compounded by a beneficial medication where suggested.
What to look for in an online counseling program
Just as it’s important to know what to look for with in-person therapy, it’s crucial to find an online program that can meet your needs. The best online programs offer:
An online counseling provider already familiar with the challenges you’re facing
An easy sign-up process that allows you to filter individual therapist profiles, to find the right fit for you
Counseling services from a provider with in-person and virtual counseling experience
Board-eligible and board-certified medical health professionals to facilitate therapy
When you find a safe, accredited and professional online counseling program, you can rest assured of the quality of treatment you’ll receive.
How do I get started with online counseling?
It’s easier than ever to begin your online counseling journey! At Pyramid Online Counseling, we now offer online counseling services from certified medical professionals on a safe, HIPAA-certified platform so you can receive all of the benefits of therapy from the comfort of your own home. If you’re ready to get started, we’re ready to help. Visit our website or call us at 866-203-0262 to get started today.