Is online and telephone Counselling effective?
Barak et al. (2008) found that online interventions (CBT, psychoeducational and behavioural interventions) have an effect size of about 0.53 (medium effect) and concluded that internet-based therapies are as effective, or nearly as efficacious, as face- to-face therapy (Anderson et al., 2012)
Please also see the technical requirements at the bottom of this page
Online counselling is proven to be as effective, if not more effective than face-to-face counselling, with important benefits that bring the experience into the modern era. For some clients, the traditional counselling is their choice because they haven’t yet experienced the freedom that online counselling offers.
Based on my personal experience: there is usually more work done during online sessions compare to face to face sessions as the conversation is faster.
- No travel required. This is great for those who may not drive and for those that do drive, it saves on petrol, parking and traffic!
- Less of your time is required as you will not need to add on travel time, meaning you can have your session remotely during your breaks!
- You can have sessions in your own, comfortable environment, surrounded by your own cushions, possessions, which for some may be more of a comforting experience.
- If someone lives in a remote area, seeing a therapist online means you have more therapists to choose from, which can only mean they have a better chance at finding the one who is right for you!
- Mobility can be a big issue for some people and if a client cannot visit in person, at least with online counselling can still benefit from fantastic service.
- Expats also may struggle to find an English speaking therapist, so by using either online or telephone counselling means accessibility from everywhere.
- Online interactions are generally less stressful—in many instances—for clients due to an online calming effect.
- Clients found the cyber counselling to be more convenient during certain times of the year.
- Clients also fees less inhibited in disclosing potentially sensitive issues when it occurred during an online session. Some clients feel less shame and anxiety online and therefore the transition to an intimate level may be faster than in a traditional therapeutic setting. It may be easier for some to enter online treatment as opposed to traditional face to face treatment because of it may have less of a stigma associated with it.
- Convenience. Both the therapist and the client have the convenience of corresponding with each other at a range of variant times. This style of therapy can take away the hassle of scheduling and setting appointments more common in traditional settings. This also creates an opportunity for the therapist to extend their services to more clients as appointments can be potentially scheduled over 24 hours and reach a larger geographical region.
- For those individuals who are ambivalent about therapy or who may be uncomfortable with traditional models of therapy, may find online counselling more suitable whereby it has been found that online therapy is preferred by those who are uncomfortable with talking face to face with someone about their problems or who are suffering from social phobias, agoraphobias or anxiety disorders.
- In other cases, such as for social anxiety disorder or shyness online therapy can reach sufferers who might otherwise not seek help as their very disorder makes the challenge of going to an office an insurmountable challenge. A 2013 study on social anxiety disorder and online therapy followed 24 participants through 12 weeks of Skype therapy. Over 90% reported decreased fear and decreased avoidance of social situations, and 95% reported satisfaction with doing their therapy over the internet.
There are, of course, some things that online counselling does make more challenging.
A counsellor cannot read all your body language over a monitor. That said, it is still real-time communication, and a well-trained online therapist will know to look for verbal cues, eye contact, and other body clues that are signs of stress uncertainty, such as how often you look away.
Things like making a diagram or chart together obviously become more challenging. Your therapist can find ways around this, such as scanning and emailing things.
And of course an in person session can’t get disrupted when a connection fails.Although things like fire alarms can happen, they are unlikely.
And if you are the sort who feels comforted by being in another person’s presence, video therapy does not offer the same experience. So it’s a case of going with what works for you.
Please note that an online and telephone counselling is offered only when a client is in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland ONLY. If travel abroad please let Klara know.
Technical requirements for online/video counselling:
- PC or a smart phone
- Microphone in a PC or a smart phone
- Camera on a PC or on a smart phone (no need for telephone counselling)
- Good Self lighting for visual clues (no need for telephone counselling)
- Acrobat Rader
- Strong Wifi signal
- Private email address
- A calling medium for video call: Skype, What’s App, Face Time
- PayPal Account
- Knowledge to save and send a file via email
- Knowledge how to print a file
- Knowledge how to use email
- PRIVATE and quiet place to talk (a room, a car, a garden…)
- I understand that everyone has different technical skills and for this reason I can be supportive in navigating simple steps for connecting online with me. However, I am not an IT expert and basic knowledge of technical requirement mentioned above is necessary.