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 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 internet and various other gadgets, we can keep in touch with friends.
Today, we’ll look at how technology is being used to improve quality of life and counseling services in particular. We discuss the pros and cons of technology and some things to be cautious of when using technology in online counseling.
Technology And Online Counseling
Many things that we enjoy during the pandemic are products of technological advances, such as delivery and streaming services and communication apps. And now, because of the physical constraints imposed by the pandemic, telemedicine is being used more and more. Even medical consults are now done online.
Because of this, counselors can help their patients even though they cannot meet physically. Online counseling lets patients meet with their doctors through an application online and with the internet. This way, doctors can reach out to their patients and help them with their concerns immediately.
Online counseling provides the same level of service as traditional face-to-face counseling. The only difference is that the sessions are done virtually. Online counselors have a variety of options for conducting their consultations, such as:
You can exchange emails with your therapist to share your concerns with them. Your counselor will reply within a certain number of hours or days, based on what you’ve agreed upon.
- Phone Calls
You can also ring your therapist when you have something urgent. This is the method for you 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. These are more convenient, though, because you and your therapist are in the comfort of your homes.
- Instant Messaging
Similar to emails, you get to communicate your issues to your counselor through writing. The difference is that instant messaging occurs in real-time, and you receive immediate responses from them.
You have to take note that these mediums can be used independently or can supplement each other. Your therapist will determine when and how you will hold your sessions according to your needs and availability.
The Effects Of Technology In Online Counseling
The advantages and effectiveness of online counseling vary from one person to another. However, here’s how technology generally improves counseling services:
- Provides Dynamic Resources
Technology made resources and knowledge more accessible to everyone, especially for counselors. Through the ever-growing library of resources, they can think of novel ways to help their clients. Now, they can make more dynamic approaches to address their clients’ issues on a more holistic level.
- More Ways Of Communication
Technology makes it possible for clients and counselors to talk virtually in many ways. Options include email, video conferences, chat rooms, and so many more. These channels 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 cuts down the expenses for fare and rent.
- Higher Accessibility
Online counseling can 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
With the help of technology, counselors can now make assessments and evaluations of their clients more effectively. They can make graphs, progress reports, and even referrals more easily. Compared to the old ways of storing physical records, counselors can 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.
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.