Every day there are new technological advances that promise to make our lives easier and better. For example, take a look at electric vehicles. People used to consider them impractical, but e-vehicles became a trendy and viable option for everyone. We only imagined these things in the past, but they have become a reality.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, everyone is technically advised to limit the number of people in a social gathering, if they hold one at all. A lot of people’s mental health has become unstable due to being isolated in their homes. However, thanks to the technology and various other tech gadgets, we can keep in touch with friends.
Today, we’ll look at how technology is being used in counseling to improve quality of life and counseling services in general.
We discuss the pros and cons of technology and some cautions in using technology in online counseling.
Technology And Online Mental Health Services
Many things that we enjoy in pandemic are products of technological advances, such as delivery and streaming services and communication apps. And now, because of the physical constraints imposed in pandemic, tech is being used more and more. Even medical consults are now done technologically.
Because of this, counselors can help their patients even though they cannot meet physically. Tech counseling lets patients meet with their doctors through an application online technologically. This way, doctors can reach out to their patients and technically help them with their concerns.
Technological counseling is like traditional face-to-face counseling in terms of counseling services.
The technical difference is that the sessions are done virtually. Tech counselors have a variety of options for conducting their consultations, such as:
You can exchange emails with your counselor to share your concerns with them. Your counselor will reply within a countable number of hours or days, based on what you’ve agreed upon.
- Phone Calls
You can count on your counselor when you have something urgent. This is technically the best method if you find it easier to convey your problems verbally.
- Video Calls
Video calls are the closest to the traditional face-to-face counseling sessions. Using tech is more convenient, though, because you and your counselor are in the comfort of your homes.
- Instant Messaging
Similar to emails, you get to communicate your issues to your counselor through writing. The technical difference is that instant messaging occurs in real-time, and you could receive immediate responses from them.
You have to take note that tech counseling mediums can be used independently or can supplement each other. Your counselor could determine when and how you could hold counseling sessions according to your needs and availability.
The Effects Of Technology In Online Counseling
The advantages and effectiveness of tech in online counseling vary from one person to another. However, here’s how technology technically helps in counseling:
- Provides Dynamic Resources
Technology could make resources and knowledge more accessible to everyone, especially for counselors. Through the ever-growing library of resources, they could think of novel ways to help their clients. Also, they could make more dynamic approaches to address their clients’ counseling issues on a more holistic level.
- More Ways Of Communication
Technology makes it possible for clients and counselors to talk virtually in many ways. Tech options include email, video conferences, chat rooms, and so many more. These channels technically help counselors interact with their clients, as well as collaborate with other counselors.
- Affordability And Convenience
Online counseling can take place in the comforts of your own home. This makes it more practical and cost-effective for both counselor and client. It technically cuts down the expenses for fare and rent.
- Higher Accessibility
Online counseling could reach more people compared to traditional in-person counseling. Those who have trouble meeting appointments due to their busy schedules will find this set-up convenient and more accommodating. People who have disabilities and can’t physically leave their homes can benefit from having online counseling sessions.
- Assessment And Evaluation Of Clients
In using technology, counselors can now make assessments and evaluations of their counseling clients more effectively. They could make graphs, progress reports, and even referrals more easily. Compared to the old ways of storing physical records, counselors could store their clients’ data more efficiently.
Setbacks In Online Counseling
Despite being a novel way to address people’s concerns through online channels, online counseling still has setbacks that we must consider. Here are a few things to think about:
- Lack Of Non-Verbal Interaction
We communicate with each other not only through words but also through non-verbal cues. In traditional counseling, non-verbal cues are easier to notice. This is more difficult in online counseling since the interaction is done through computer screens, and many factors affect the quality of video transmission during a call.
- Therapist Qualifications
Online counseling is steadily growing, and various sites offer this kind of service. However, you must check the credibility of the therapists that are available to you. Ensure that it is a professional who is assisting you with your issues.
- Confidentiality Risk
The clients’ personal information could be compromised when stored online. Before making an appointment, please find out how they will store your information. Remember that you must always protect your identity. Any service that requests your identity must protect it as well.
- Technology Troubles
Not everybody is computer and internet literate. Online counseling is more complicated for those who are less tech-savvy. Technical difficulties can also interrupt ongoing sessions and disrupt the flow of your discussions.
With everything that’s happening in the world right now, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Living in a time when physical interactions are limited, we rely so much on technology to connect and reconnect ourselves and our loved ones. In times like these, we come to realize technology helps us in safeguarding our mental health.
Technology In Counselors’ Minds: Does Technology Help In Counseling? Should Counselors Use Tech In Counseling?
Online counseling is at the frontlines of preserving our mental health. It highlights the use of technology in addressing our mental and emotional concerns. It’s also a great alternative if you immediately need to talk about your problems with a professional.