You might find yourself taking many things into consideration when finding the right counselor like their location, experience, insurance and so on. BUT have you considered whether you want to work with a counselor ONLINE or IN-PERSON? Usually, people go to their counselor’s private office or clinic for appointments. But now, more and more mental health professionals are providing services online through webcam. There are many perks to this effective, convenient, and safe form of treatment.
Here are 8 reasons you might want to seriously consider online counseling over in-person counseling!
1) There aren’t enough counseling options where you live
Did you know that there’s a significant shortage of mental health providers in Texas? According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services—nearly 80% of Texas counties have been designated Health Profession Shortage Areas (HPSAs)! So, unless your living right smack in a major city…there’s a good chance you don’t have many counselors to choose from. Online counseling can be a great alternative. Especially, if you’re needing to find someone that’s specialized in something that you can’t find locally.
2) You’ve got options but the traffic suuuuuuucks!
I don’t mean to hate on Houston, Austin, San Antonio, or Dallas…I love y’all…but the traffic can be horrendous here. At the end of a long day, the last thing you might want to do is sit in bumper to bumper traffic, in the dead heat of summer, to get to your counselor’s office. If getting home, having dinner, changing into your comfy clothes, and cuddling up with your dog on the couch in prep for a counseling sesh sounds NICE…then online counseling might be more of your speed.
3) You don’t have a car
Whether your car’s in the shop or you’re all about that green life—finding a counselor in walking distance or on a bus route is tough! Don’t let the burden of getting to someone’s office be the thing that stops you from getting the help you need—check out counselors that provide online counseling instead.
4) Your situation makes it hard to leave the house
Injuries and illnesses make it hard to be mobile. So do caregiving situations like a new baby or an ill parent or partner. Online counseling can help you get the support you need while allowing you to take care of yourself and others.
5) People and crowds make you anxious
I think we all LOVE the way self-checkout lanes, especially on blah days, get us in and out of the store without having to engage with anyone. But for some people, the self-checkout lane is a necessity because social contact brings up so much stress and anxiety. If the thought of meeting a counselor for the first time gives you panic—consider pursuing online counseling. Recent research has found that people struggling with social anxiety, agoraphobia, and anxiety disorders prefer online counseling because they feel less inhibited when using a webcam than when talking to someone in-person.
6) You don’t want people to know
Some people avoid going to a counselor because they don’t want people in their life to know that they’re seeking help. Online counseling might give you the privacy you need. No more worrying about running into someone at the doc’s office or explaining to your parents why you need to borrow the car every Friday at 2pm.
7) You travel often
If you’re a jetsetter, getting consistent treatment while on the move is nearly impossible. This is also true if you’re a college student going home for the summer and winter breaks. Online counseling can be a great solution to keep you working on improving your well-being no matter where your travels take you. (Note: Check with your counselor about this first. State and country laws & regulations sometimes limit when/where treatment can be provided).
8) You live abroad
Took a job in another country? Studying abroad? Whatever the reason, you might find yourself needing counseling in a country that doesn’t have mental health services, doesn’t provide services in English, or the services aren’t available to expats. In these instances, finding an online counselor might be the easiest way to get the help you need.
ALL TOGETHER...these are some compelling reasons for online counseling. It’s important to mention, however, that online counseling is NOT for everyone. Some concerns and situations are simply better suited for in-person and figuring out which is best for you is an important step. Consider talking to a mental health professional about your options to determine which approach to use. If you have questions about online counseling, shoot me an email or give me a call at 512-586-7001. I’d love to answer any questions you might have and direct you to the right person, if needed. If you’re looking for online counseling and need help with anxiety, depression, and self-confidence, schedule a FREE 15-minute phone consultation to talk through whether working together with me is a good fit!