It’s official: We are living in the digital age. Every day more of the products and services we love and need are moving to online platforms, and purchasing them and consuming them is fast becoming the norm. There was a time when people would never consider something as private and important as conducting banking and paying their bills online. These days, the idea of a paperback “account book” seems positively prehistoric. From banking to meeting a life partner online, it’s all become acceptable and indeed in many cases, the preferred option. Including counselling.
Online counselling therapy, once frowned upon by the professional and public community alike, is coming forward as a highly effective, convenient, and evidence-based option for those who can’t attend counselling in person. At NKS Therapy, we have many clients who would like to see our therapists, but live too far away to drive in. In other cases, their schedules simply prohibit them from being able to commit to traditional counselling. Commute times, work, and picking up and caring for little ones can often interfere. Fortunately, online counselling (conducted via Skype at NKS) offers these individuals the option to get the help they need.
Online counselling offers people a myriad of benefits over traditional counselling, including increased flexibility in scheduling (think early morning or late evening appointments, as well as weekends), decreased costs per session (due to less time and overhead cost on the part of the therapist/clinic), and perhaps most importantly in our busy lives, time saved. Online counselling can be conducted with a client in any place that is quiet, secure and private. This can include a closed meeting room or office at work, a private room at home, and a host of other options.
Here is the best part: Online counselling appears to work just as well as regular counselling.
In a 2013 study by Maercker et al., “Internet-based versus face-to-face cognitive behavioural intervention for depression: A randomized controlled non-inferiority trial,” it was found that “8 sessions of online counselling were as effective as 8 sessions of in-person counselling.” In fact, they were slightly more effective. Three months post-treatment, “57% of online patients were no longer depressed compared with 42% of conventional therapy patients.”
The question that sometimes remains is can you replicate sitting one-on-one with someone with screens between you? The answer is yes. While it won’t be exactly the same feel or energy, programs like Skype offer clear, unobstructed views of one another, so therapists can see body language, client facial expressions, and emotions expressed, just as they would in person. Therapy techniques that require more space can be facilitated by having clients stand up and step back from their computer screens (e.g. teaching deep breathing and relaxation exercises).
When an individual needs help, some counselling is always better than no counselling. Advances in technology, security, and our own open-mindedness have made access to much-needed services that much easier through online counselling.
NKS Therapy offers services such as Career Counselling Toronto, Couples Counselling Toronto, Relationship Counselling Toronto, Family Counselling Toronto, Psycho-educational Assessment Toronto, Toronto Mental Health Services, Psychotherapy for Depression Toronto, Toronto Psychologist Services, and Child Psychologist Toronto Services. Call us today at 416-745-4745. We love to help.