Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many more people have struggled with their mental health. The demand for mental health services is intense, and it can be difficult to access talking therapy. Waiting lists can be long, which can sometimes mean people’s mental health can worsen while they wait for a place to become available.
However, over the past few years, more people have turned to online counselling for depression when they need help. Research has shown that in many cases, receiving counselling remotely can be just as effective as in-person counselling. It can sometimes even be easier to make a therapeutic connection remotely.
Counselling can be offered via video technology such as Zoom, which can be accessed from a computer, laptop, tablet or even a mobile phone. This makes talking therapy more accessible than it has ever been before.
Barriers to Face to Face Counselling:
Many people struggle to access therapy face to face for a variety of reasons, including caring responsibilities, lack of access to transport, physical disabilities and trouble finding a local counsellor who has space in the diary for new clients.
Cost is a major barrier for many people and often counsellors are able to offer their services at reduced rates online, thanks to a reduction in overheads associated with room bookings and other fees, allowing more people to get help online for depression.
Online Counselling can be more accessible:
Web technologies make it possible to get help online for depression anywhere in the country, (or even in the world) and therefore make it far easier to find a therapeutic relationship which is the right “fit”. Establishing a strong relationship with your counsellor is at the heart of a successful therapeutic programme and sometimes you may need to see two or three different counsellors before you find the person you feel most comfortable with. This can be difficult if you are limited to a geographical area.
If you choose to arrange online counselling for depression, you have the benefit of being able to receive therapy in your own space where you are most comfortable. It is often an easier way to access counselling for anyone who has anxiety over social situations. Young people, in particular, may be far more comfortable with an online counselling relationship than a face to face one.
Clients often find it easier not to have to get their car and drive or to sit on public transport straight after a session. Therapy can be painful, especially at first. Online therapy makes it much easier to have a counselling session and then allow yourself the time to process your feelings afterwards, in complete privacy.
There are different forms of counselling available online. Face to face “traditional” counselling is available of course, but it is also possible to access cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in a group setting, which is a really positive way of receiving therapy for many people.
For those struggling with suicidal thoughts, or who are in a mental health crisis, online counselling may not be right for them and they should speak to their GP to access urgent mental health support.