Benefits of Virtual Counselling
By Melissa Burton| December 3rd, 2020
In 2020 we have all had to adjust to a new ‘normal’. The mental health service sector has had to adapt to meet the needs of the community and offer virtual services. Prior to COVID-19, many mental health professionals were already providing virtual services and recognized the benefits of such services. If you have wanted to seek out counselling and hesitated about virtual counselling services, let’s discuss the benefits of this service.
As mentioned earlier, many mental health professionals were already using virtual services. Here in Ontario, Canada we have had access to the Ontario Telemedicine Network since 2006. This service has provided video conferencing medical consultations with medical specialists right across the province. The purpose of this service was to provide access to specialists outside of a patient’s community. Now that most mental health professionals have adopted a virtual service platform, you have access to a therapist who specializes in your specific issue anywhere in your province or state. Not only do you get access to a greater number of (and higher quality) specialists, it is now easier than ever to connect with them.
Another benefit of virtual counselling services is more obvious, it is a time saver. You do not need to take extra time to travel to your appointment. Although you should be in a location to ensure your full attention and privacy, you can essentially take that appointment anywhere. You could sit in your car on a break from work (or your kids) and attend a therapeutic session to help you with your concerns.
If you live in a town or smaller city, your options for counselling can be limited. Perhaps there is a personal connection with the local therapists. Or maybe you are well known in your community and have hesitancy about seeking service locally. Using virtual counselling services with a therapist outside your community can ease your concerns, ensures anonymity and allow you to get the therapy you need.
Therapists and counsellors are able to provide the same high quality therapy virtually, as they are in their office. If you feel you would benefit from counselling but are concerned about virtual services. Ask for a free consultation. Many therapists offer a 15 minute free consultation. This could be done by phone or video to help you test out virtual counselling to see if it is a good fit for you.