The Pros And Cons Of Online Counseling For Mental Health

People who struggle with mental health issues are encouraged to undergo counseling. Counseling is a process of guiding individuals or groups to better mental health and wellness with the help of a professional. It is a collaborative process involving the counselor and his/her clients.

During counseling, participants are encouraged to tell their story and talk about their feelings. In response, the counselor helps the participant understand their emotions. He/She also set goals that will better the state of the participant’s well-being.

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Counseling takes place in several sessions and is supposed to be completely confidential. That means that all information discussed should stay between the client or clients and their counselor.

Recently, online counseling has become a choice for those with mental health issues. The internet has allowed for this new avenue for mental health support. However, this comes with its own set of pros and cons. This article will delve into the upsides and downsides of online counseling.

The Pros

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  • Online counseling is a good option for people who live in far-flung places.

Some rural or remote areas might not have institutions that offer mental health support services. Instead of traveling to the nearest city for every consultation, one can opt for online counseling. The key is a decent WiFi connection and a device that can access the internet.

 

  • It’s good for those with busy schedules or physical limitations.

If you’re working or have family obligations, online counseling is an option. The same goes if you have a condition that makes mobility difficult. It is convenient and comfortable because you don’t have to leave the house for your consultation.

 

  • There are many ways the client and counselor can communicate.

The client is given many choices in terms of communication. You can talk using the written medium via emails or chat rooms. You can also choose to call your counselor or reach them via video chat. It makes it easier for the client because they get to choose the means of communication that they’re very much comfortable.

 

  • Anonymity can be guaranteed.

If communication is through emails or chat rooms, there is less concern for bias. Everyone has preferences, including counselors, and this can stem from stereotyping based on age, race, gender, or physical appearance. With the fear of being stereotyped out of the way, the client can be more open with the counselor.

 

  • It makes information more accessible.

Since contact with counselors becomes available online, the knowledge they have in mental health becomes more accessible. It ensures that information on mental health is present, even in the more rural and remote areas.

 

The Cons

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  • Technical difficulties can be a problem.

If you have bad internet or an old device, communication with your counselor can become difficult. You might spend more time configuring your microphone or fixing your internet router than actually talking about what you feel.

 

  • The credibility of the counselor is questionable.

Various websites offer online counseling services, but licensed professionals manage not all of them. Some might be amateurs or inexperienced individuals who only claim to be counselors.

 

  • The counselor does not see the nonverbal cues.

Counselors rely on what their client is saying as well as their physical responses. It helps them pinpoint how you feel. If you communicate with your counselor through email or in chat rooms, you will get rid of this.

 

  • There are concerns regarding privacy and confidentiality.

By undergoing counseling through the internet, the content of your sessions become accessible online. These records won’t be easy to access, but a skilled hacker can get to them. It is a threat to the security of your files.

 

  • The effectiveness of the practice is questionable.

Without any face-to-face interaction, many are beginning to question the efficacy of online counseling. Whether it can help in diagnosing patients is still up for debate.

These are only some of the pros and cons of online counseling. Keep these in mind when choosing between traditional counseling and online counseling. Both are sure to be helpful, but which one works better for you? Only you can answer that question.

The internet is not only an avenue for reconnecting with people and sharing funny content. It has now become a place where those in need of mental health support can seek professional help.

What Happens If Marriage Counseling Fails

Everyone wants to have and keep a happy family at all times. No one wants to end up filing a divorce decree in court and fighting over child custody. However, several things have changed over the past few decades. Nowadays, several couples already decide to go on separate ways because of irreconcilable differences. Unfortunately, regardless of the marriage counseling sessions, they still find out that they are not compatible from since the beginning of time.

 

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It can be heartbreaking for any person to realize that marriage counseling did not work. If you have experienced this, do not worry because it is not the end of the world. Below are some of the ideal things that you can do after realizing that counseling failed and that divorce is going to happen soon:

 

Stop The Blame Game

 

Never blame anyone for the failure of the marriage counseling efforts. No one deserves to be in a bad light just because you did not get what you want. Remember that counseling is not a guarantee that the problems in the marriage will be solved immediately. It is a form of treatment wherein the parties involved are given opportunities to discuss their issues maturely. As such, if counseling failed you, the best thing to do is to accept the reality and avoid blaming yourself or your spouse. At the same time, do not accuse the counselor of being incompetent.

 

Prepare To Say Goodbye

 

If you think that separation and divorce is imminent to happen soon, the next step that you must do is to prepare yourself for the goodbyes. It is difficult to end a marriage with someone whom you love for years. You will find yourself in constant denial because you are afraid of what the future may hold for you and your spouse. However, you have no choice but to part ways. Keep in mind that it is more disheartening and sad to stay in a loveless marriage. You deserve to start a new life as well as your husband. Let go and wait for better days to come.

 

Talk To A Friend

 

There is a high chance or possibility that you will start to feel helpless after the counseling efforts have proved to be futile. Do not easily get discouraged because there are still tons of people around you who are willing to help you move on from the sad experience. Do not hesitate to get in touch with a friend who can give you a different view or perspective of what is happening in your life. Feel free to open up to this individual, as long as you believe that she can be trusted. Sometimes, all it needs is to have a one-on-one talk with a good friend so that you can feel relief. Keep in mind that honesty is essential to make it work. If you continue to lie, then the people around you will end up hating you.

 

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Observe Your Children

 

Not all parents know this, but children are observant individuals, which is why they can sense right away if there is something wrong with their parents. Do not think that your kids are not aware of what is happening between you and their father. Because of this, it is vital and imperative on your part o to be mindful of the kids involved. Observe their behavior and be sure to take note of the changes. Once you notice that they are acting weird and rebellious, that is the time to start a serious conversation with them.

 

Finalize The Divorce Papers

 

Did you and your husband finally decide to call it quits? Do you believe that it is about time to let go of each other? If you answered yes to both questions, then expect divorce to happen any time soon. What you must do is hire a legal counsel who must be from your area. This lawyer must have experience in handling divorce cases. Take note that divorce is a sensitive issue that must be addressed by a good lawyer. It involves adjudication of rights and obligations, which is why you must search for the best lawyer who can help in preparing the divorce papers.

 

Move On To Better Days

 

As already mentioned above, you are left with no choice but to let go of what has already happened. A divorce is not the end of it all. You still have a chance to become happy, regardless of how the marriage ended. The smart thing to do is to play your cards well. Do everything you can to move on, such as traveling around the globe or volunteering in new activities. Do whatever makes you smile and happy because you deserve it. Stop believing that your happiness depends on your husband or soon-to-be ex.

 

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Do not hate marriage counseling just because it did not work for you. Remind yourself that a lot of things happen for a reason.

 

Marriage Counseling: Is It A Scam?

Divorce has become a widespread phenomenon all over the world. Several couples still experience heart breaks for so many reasons. These spouses usually end up in divorce or legal separation. Unfortunately, some marital ties have already reached a point where reconciliation is no longer feasible between the parties involved. Sometimes, no matter how hard lovers make an effort to save the marriage, they will still decide to part in separate ways.

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How The Family Can Further Help A Bipolar Patient During Therapy

Getting a diagnosis for bipolar disorder is not only challenging to accept for the patient but also for their family members. Although the illness takes years to confirm, the parents and siblings who have always been by their side undoubtedly wish that the disease is something else – something curable. After all, nobody wants to believe that his or her loved one has a condition that will continue to weaken that person throughout their life until the test results are out.

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Top Reasons To Go For Career Counseling

 

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Many people tend to think that counseling is only for one’s mental health or marital issues. What they forget is that some career counselors help individuals recognize their potential in their professions. Others may think this is unnecessary, but it may actually have present vital benefits for people today.

If you’re considering seeing a career counselor, but aren’t entirely convinced, here are some reasons why you should get an appointment as soon as you can.

 

Clarify Career Goals

It’s hard to build a career without having any clear objective. While it’s good to go out and experiment to see what it is you want to do in the future, you can’t do so forever. At some point, you’re going to have to set your foot down and make decisions and goals.

This is where your counselor comes in. They’re trained to help you identify specific targets that are feasible, timely and reasonable. This way you can make sure that you can actually realistically achieve them.

 

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Identify Strengths And Weaknesses

 If you’ve ever been interviewed before, be it for work or for the university, you’ll know that one of the most typical questions they ask is “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” So that you don’t find yourself scrambling for an answer, you should figure this out beforehand.

Admittedly, it may be difficult to have an objective awareness of your faults and assets. You may not realize that you have some good abilities and skills that are perfect for the workplace. Likewise, you may not also notice habits and traits you have that are unfavorable to coworkers and employers. A career counselor will be able to help you identify these from an objective standpoint.

 

Learn Effective Communication And Networking Skills

 It’s true that those who find success in their careers owe it to having a good network of contacts. The idea of networking and socializing may be daunting to some. It’s difficult enough ordering that daily cup of coffee from a barista you’ve already spoken to several times, what more when you’re talking to potential employers and co-workers in a business environment?

But having an extensive network opens up so many opportunities. The idea is for both you and your newfound contacts to be able to benefit from your connection. One connection leads to another and another and so on. These contacts can potentially help you land a job or connect you with big players in the industry.

A counselor can help you get ready for such events and situations. You’ll have the benefit of practicing with only a single person for a while before they help you by trying out the real deal.

 

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Gain Knowledge Regarding Professional Requirements

The first thing employers screen with applicants is their resume or their curriculum vitae (CV). Would you know what the differences between these two are? Do you know how to prepare a cover letter? These are absolute essentials when seeking employment.

A career counselor will be able to guide you through these requirements. You’ll be able to know how to improve your resume or CV so that it stands out from the rest. They’ll also be able to coach you on basic etiquette during interviews as well as dress codes and policies.

Therefore, if you are still unsure of what you should do for your career, having a career counseling is not a bad idea. It will help you from preventing yourself from going into a profession that you have zero interest and saving you from wasting your time.

How Can You Foster Creativity During Therapy?

 

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More or less, each person has a left and right side of their brains. Left brain, meaning, inclined to numeracy and with logical functions.  The right side of the brain, on the other hand, is used to cater to artistic capability, imagination, and the more creative sphere.

 

What Does This Mean?

Not all people are wired the same way. Some individuals are more functional using their right brainand there are others who are using their left brain more.

In therapy, verbal communication is often used as the primary tool to engage the patient. However, not all people can respond to oral communication in the same manner. As such, are you aware of that in therapy, creativity can be increasingly utilized?  That therapy and creativity can actually jive together? Know more about it here.

 

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What Is The Importance Of Creativity In Therapy?

Through creative pursuits, people can reveal their innermost feelings without even talking. It can serve as an outlet for many kinds of patients in therapy. Furthermore, this approach can be used and greatly help when the patient has gone through traumatic experiences.

Moreover, using creative approaches to therapy may also be used in engaging children. Most children enjoy drawing out what they have imagined. In the same manner, children tend to express repressed emotions through drawings or other creative outlets like poems and stories. Most of the time, there is no fine line between reality and imagination for children. As such, they are most likely to respond to this kind of therapy.

 

For adults, there are also existing kinds of therapy that integrate the greater use of the patient’s imagination to foster increased mental awareness for patients. For example, there are activities in therapy where the patients are required to translate their negative emotions into drawings, so that they may be aware of it and prevent themselves into going more in-depth into those emotions in the future.

 

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The importance of this kind of therapy is that the patients will be able to illustrate feelings they are having trouble expressing. During this moment the person can freely say anything, no matter how trivial, for him to go through the depths of his imagination and cognition.

Using the principle stated above, because there are differences on how people are wired, some individuals may greatly benefit from when using the creative approach and may even respond positively.

At first, the therapist and the patient may go through a rough start since sharing one’s creative nature is indeed uncomfortable, but once they freely explore them and let their minds wander, then will that individual be able to free himself from the shackles of a deep emotional slump.The therapist may incorporate creativity into every session.

This kind of therapy might expose emotions which are previously unknown to the patient.

Thus, the therapist’s job in this kind of approach is not to be taken lightly because the therapist will be the one to handle and process these raw emotions professionally.

In this time and age, different kinds of therapy are already available for patients. While this type of therapy may further enhance the experience of patients in therapy, it is important to note that the higher burden of healing lies with the support of friends and family.

 

What To Do If You’re Feeling Anxious For Your First Therapy Session

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Most people, even the elders,and professionals become nervous and anxious before they meet their therapists. In fact, people who are suffering from mental health problems avoid one-on-one therapy sessions because of the required presence of a stranger (a.k.a therapist or psychiatrist).

How To Know If You’re Seeing The Right Therapist For You

 

Choosing the person the spend your days with is one of the most important decisions you will make — and I’m not just talking about your future spouse. With doctors, hairdressers and tailors, you can’t always rely on just anyone. The same goes for your therapist.

To make sure you’re seeing the right therapist for you, here are some things to consider.

 

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You Don’t Know Them Personally

As people will often advise you, don’t work with family or friends. Likewise, don’t hire a therapist that you know outside of this environment. Distant acquaintances may still hold, but even casual friends are off-limits when choosing your counselor.

As it goes, it may be difficult to separate your work relationship from your personal relationship, even if your friend is a stellar professional. Being entirely objective is never a guarantee. Likewise, you risk personal relationships falling apart or being affected in some way. This is also part of basic ethics of all specialists when working.

 

They’re Available When You Need Them

 When it comes to your therapist, you need to see someone who’s there for you when you need them. You shouldn’t have to force yourself to adapt to their schedule. Find someone whose hours work well with your timeline and needs.

Likewise, many therapists will allow their patients to contact them outside of sessions. If you find your counselor unable to return your calls, pick up or respond to e-mails, you might want to consider looking for someone on a more similar schedule as you.

 

They Aren’t Scared To Tell You The Truth But Are Mindful

Again, your therapist is not necessarily your friend: they are your therapist. And when their objective is to help you get better, sometimes some tough love is needed. They have to be able to tell you the truth about your condition and the issues you’re dealing with. However, therapists don’t have to be hurtful to it either by being honest when needed and giving helpful criticism or advice.

Moreover, they have to be able to tell you if they can help you or not. The first session spent with therapists is often a way of determining if they are capable of supporting you with your problems. Therapists are not specialists in every disorder, and it’s essential to find the right one who can give you relevant and expert advice specifically for your condition.

 

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You Feel Challenged

To find growth and progress, you have to step out of your comfort zone. This is especially true with therapy. Occasional moments of discomfort is a sign of success towards overcoming your personal demons. Your counselor has to be able to challenge you in a way that you don’t stay too lenient and not find improvement with anything.

That being said, it isn’t right if you only ever feel uncomfortable. You and your therapist have to be able to find a way to strike a balance between needed comfort and significant challenges. Only then will you find yourself on the path towards recovery or improvement.

Ways To Prevent A Depression Relapse

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Lately, people have come to discuss depression and mental health, in general, more openly as awareness is raised. While many people often discuss the struggles of trying to get better, the road to recovery may come with more complexities than people realize.

 

Even as one learns to manage their depression, there’s always a risk of relapse occurring. To

prevent this from happening, read on.