Online counseling and therapy is becoming more popular than ever for busy people. Online therapy can be a valuable tool, whether you have specific issues you want to talk about or whether you want to take a holistic approach to your health and well-being. It can be tough taking time out to go to sessions in-person, so there are a growing number of therapists who are now offering online therapy sessions, maybe even some via Skype.
The idea of online therapy is simple – instead of travelling to your therapist’s office, your session is conducted using the therapist’s preferred online method, which may include Skype calls or Skype video calls.
This is great news for anyone who lives in a remote area and has to take time out of their day to drive to their therapist’s office. Instead they can set up sessions from the comfort of their own home. Or if you’re a frequent traveller for work, it also means that you’re able to continue with regular sessions while you’re on the road, perhaps while even using Skype for mobile.
According to Psychology Today’s article ‘Online Counseling Service via Skype’, Peter Strong, Ph.D. said, “It is surprising how effective Skype therapy sessions are. Although client and therapist may be thousands of miles apart, it feels like you are in the same room.”
Other experts think it can be just as, if not more, effective than traditional therapy sessions. Dr. Kate Anthony of the Online Therapy Institute told The Daily Mail in the UK that the benefits of online therapy, “when done ethically and responsibly, outweigh the negatives”.
She went on to say that online therapy can be less time-consuming and therefore cheaper too, as “‘you might need 12 sessions of face-to-face to deal with an issue, but you can get to the same place in five email sessions'”.
For some critics, the issue with therapy by telephone or email is that you and your therapist don’t get the benefits of seeing each other’s facial expressions and body language. But with Skype video calls, this isn’t an issue – it’s just like having a face-to-face session.
Not only that, using Skype or other online tools means that you can talk to your therapist in the comfort of your home – and for some people that means that they feel more relaxed and able to talk more freely about the issues they’re facing.
If you’re thinking about trying online therapy sessions, however, make sure you choose your therapist in the same way you would for a traditional session – check out their qualifications and, if possible, get personal recommendations from people whose opinions you trust.
Have you tried online therapy via Skype? What did you think of it?