Online Counselling and Therapy

What is it and Most Importantly, does it actually work? Plus psychologist vs listener, how to find a good therapist and when is it not good

This new wave of psychological help – online counselling- has taken over the world in the last couple of years. And even though it is getting a tremendous response from clients and therapists all over the world, a lot of people are still sceptical about it, and naturally so. We at HopeNetwork.in were the pioneers of online counselling in India back in 2009 and since we have been there right from the inception, we thought it’s only fair that we clarify the concept for you!

We would quickly summarise the following:-

  • Does therapy over phone/ internet work?
  • What should you be looking for in a Internet Therapy Provider?
  • Do you need a psychologist or a listener?
  • Difference between a trained psychotherapist and a listener

However, if you want to book a session right away, you can find a therapist right over at Wellness Hub.

What is online counseling?

Online counselling is referred to by many other names too – e-therapy, tele mental health, online therapy, tele-counselling etc. It refers to any kind of counselling services provided over the Internet or telephonically. These services can be rendered through email, live chat, voice calls or video conferencing.

Does online counselling really work?

If the services are provided by genuine, qualified and trained professionals, then research has proven that online counselling is as effective as, even more effective than sometimes, face-to-face counselling .

Online counselling has a lot of benefits. One doesn’t have to physically commute to a therapist’s clinic in traffic and avoid unnecessary expenses and stress.

Counseling over internet or phone provides complete privacy and nobody has to know that one is talking to a therapist because one doesn’t have to take any leave from office or take time off to visit a clinic. Also, because the services are provided online, usually, the client has the privilege of contacting the therapist at the time of crisis and get immediate help.

Due to all these factors, research has shown that people engaging in online counselling have fewer drop-out rates than face-to-face counselling.

When is Online Therapy NOT GOOD

Online Therapy for mental wellness is not a good idea in following cases:-

  • If a client is suicidal or could cause grievious injury to self or others
  • Schizophrenia with active hallucinations or delusions
  • Moderate to severe Obsessive Compulsive disorder

In short, online therapy is not good for the conditions that require constant monitoring of symptoms or even medication dosage.

Real Life Testimonials

My wife and myself are now in our best time of our life in last 12 years and feel so happy in our life and work. I must thank Prachi for her right guidelines and helping us to break frustration.

David Amec

The right e therapy website. How? Which?

With so many websites or e-clinics mushrooming, how do you decide where to go?

Qualifications

When you come across a mental health professional that you want to seek help from, make sure you thoroughly research their qualifications, experience, expertise in the area that you need help.

The Right 'Therapist'

There are many kinds of ‘therapists’.  Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Life Coaches, Wellness Experts and many more.  The internet has also brought in listeners or venters.

You must be very clear about whom are you speaking to before you bare yourself out.  This article gives a good insight into different types of mental health professionals

Licensing

Did you know, Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) is the governing body for Clinical Psychology in India? All practicing counsellors need their licences from RCI.

Feedback

If possible, get feedback from their previous clients.

Before you engage for therapy

Ask Yourself

  • Whether you want a space to just vent out your feelings?
  • Have someone hear you out.

Discuss on forums like at www.HopeNetwork.in/forums/, Talk to your friends.  There are a few sites out there that provide ‘listeners’.  However, you have to be careful about taking advices in these places as these may/ or may not be qualified enough for providing therapy.

OR

  • Do you want proper treatment and psychotherapy
  • Bring about permanent changes and learn long-term coping skills.

You need professionaly trained, qualified and experienced Clinical Psychologists.

You can find them at Wellness Hub.

Never Do It For Free

(Why) Do I have to Pay?

Mr Joker says it well.

Jokes aside, if you’re looking for truly professional help provided by qualified and genuine therapists then yes, it is recommended that you opt for a paid service.

Just like you would prefer to go to a doctor having a proper clinic rather than to a charlatan siting in a tent on the roadside selling home remedies, even though the latter is much cheaper, in the same way, you should take psychological and emotional issues seriously and get the best quality help possible.

The ‘free’ option is only suitable if you’re looking for vent out your feelings. Somebody providing you free psychological help will definitely not give you long term and genuine relief. Click here to read why mental health professionals charge a fee for their services.

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