Seeing an Online Therapist? Welcome to the Future

In our brave new world of online services, an online therapist no longer seems like such a far-fetched idea. In fact, it has become a reality that millions of people worldwide are beginning to utilize to impressive results.

There are hundreds of personal services now being offered online, ranging from employment placement to dating and marriage. So it should come as no shock that people are now warming up to the idea of having their emotional and mental issues addressed by an online therapist. The method offers several advantages that traditional, face-to-face therapy cannot meet.

That's not to say that traditional therapy is on the way out. Psychologists long ago discovered the advantages of face-to-face therapy to determine the extent of a patient's problems and as the best, most effective way to treat them. It was Sigmund Freud, in fact, who pioneered the idea of examining a patient's responses to questions and personal behavior, as well as the concept of examining their dreams, to determine their problems as well as the best treatment. For many problems, especially crisis counseling, traditional therapy is still the best method of treatment.

But an online therapist offers a new option for many patients, one that features convenience and economy.

An online therapist works in much the same way as a traditional therapist, asking questions to assess a patient's emotional and/or mental issues, then offering strategies, plans, and exercises to help them work on overcoming those problems. An online therapist will conduct regular sessions, just as a traditional therapist would, and make note of a patient's progress.

The method of discussion, of course, is where an online therapist differs from their traditional counterpart. Since the treatment is not face-to-face, an online therapist uses new methods to explore a patient's problems. An online therapist may consult a patient via email exchange, live chat, or video conferencing. While some of the nuances of speech and discussion may, of course, be lost in transmission using these methods, a good online therapist will know the proper questions to ask to get the exact nature of the problem.

Though the method of treatment may be entirely different, an online therapist must be just a qualified as his traditional counterpart. The same credentials and qualifications that are common with traditional therapists should also be held by an online therapist. Patients contemplating being counseled by an online therapist should ask for their qualifications and perform a background check to make sure the therapist is indeed a member of the organizations to which they claim to be members. In fact, potential patients should also check out the organizations themselves as some of these alleged groups may themselves not be recognized by a state or federal government organization.

It is worth noting that many traditional therapists are now working as an online therapist as well, which can make checking their credentials easier as well. The convenience of working as an online therapist has made it an attractive options for many traditional therapists who wish to expand their practice.

There are many advantages to being counseled by an online therapist for the patient as well. First, the convenience of working with an online therapist is one that may be attractive to a potential client. Because an online therapist can be reached from any computer, public or private, a session can be conducted anywhere, giving the patient a flexibility in scheduling that they cannot find in traditional methods. Instead of arranging an appointment, driving to the therapist's office, finding parking and attending a session (all while trying to not be late and miss valuable minutes), a patient can simply log in and meet with their therapist while on a lunch break at the office, in the convenience of their home, or even in a park (provided there is wireless internet service nearby).

This method of treatment is also advantageous for those living in remote areas who may find it difficult to attend regular therapy sessions. Speaking with an online therapist from a remote location is often better than having no treatment at all. And for those who only occasionally require the services of an online therapist, the treatment method offers a convenient way to .check in. and assess their progress.

Next, seeing an online therapist may be the ideal way for patients with social problems to address their specific needs and problems. Patients who suffer from social anxiety problems may not be equipped to handle venturing out in public to meet with a traditional therapist, so receiving treatment from an online therapist may be the ideal way for them to get the help they need. Likewise, patients who are somehow incapacitated and are limited in their mobility can receive help from an online therapist, whether their emotional problems are related to their physical conditions or not.

An online therapist is often less expensive as a traditional therapist as well. Since an online therapist does not require an office, secretary, or other similar expenses, their cost of operation is far lower than a traditional therapist. Therefore, their cost to the patient can be lower as well. Also, an online therapist may not offer the same services to the extent of a traditional therapist, so the length of their treatment may not be a long. For instance, an online therapist may only offer treatment to a patient for a few months or weeks, rather than years, and after that may refer them to a traditional therapist for further treatment. This also will reduce the cost of online therapy.

Many an online therapist will make it clear to a patient that their method may not necessarily be a substitute for traditional treatment. While minor and general problems can be address by an online therapist, deeper issues such as clinical depression and crises will need to be dealt with by a traditional therapist. But an online therapist can begin to unearth those problems and point a patient in the right direction, whether that direction is self-improvement or toward a more complete therapy treatment.

Mytherapycouch.com wants you to know that an online therapist session can be a great way to not only take advantage of the new electronic frontier but address problems in a convenient, timely manner. With proper preparation, discovering the benefits of an online therapist can be a rewarding experience.