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What you should know

There are some things you should consider before choosing online therapy services

Online counselling, also known as online therapy, e-counselling or teletherapy, is the delivery of mental health services through digital platforms such as video conferencing, email, instant messaging, or phone.  I offer video conferencing (through a secure platform) or phone sessions.

 

If you are considering online counselling, there are some points you should review before you decide if online therapy is right for you

Advantages and Benefits of Online Counselling:

  1. Effective: Research has shown that online counselling can be just as effective as in-person therapy for a variety of mental health issues. *

     

  2. Convenient: Online counselling can be very convenient when it comes to scheduling your appointments and eliminates the need for travelling to a physical location. This saves both time and effort!

     

  3. Comfortable: Do you feel uncomfortable talking about personal issues in a public space? Do you feel confined in an office environment? With online counselling, you can access therapeutic services from the comfort of your own home or any preferred location.

     

  4. Accessible: If you live in a rural area or have mobility issues, online counselling may be particularly useful as it provides you with access to mental health services that may not be available locally.

     

  5. Safe: Online counselling often feels like a 'safe' alternative to in-person settings for those people who are unable to leave their home for various reasons (such as PTSD, social anxiety, severe depression).

     

  6. Anonymous: I understand.  Some people may feel more comfortable discussing sensitive issues or personal problems in an online setting where they can remain anonymous or use a pseudonym. That is totally okay.

     

  7. Flexible: With online counselling, you don’t have to worry about being at the cottage, on vacation or out of town. With online counselling you don’t have to skip or miss sessions while you’re away.

     

  8. Affordable: Since you can attend your therapy sessions online, you can schedule them for the times that are most convenient (and cost-effective) for you — without having to take PTO from work or getting and paying for childcare, gas or parking.

Risks and Disadvantages of Online Counselling:

  1. Insurance Issues: It is always important to check with your extended health care providers to determine what your insurance will cover. Different health care or insurance plans have different policies around online counselling services. It is important to note that most Canadian providers will not pay for therapeutic services if they are based outside of Canada. So if a mental health app or online service is based out of the USA or the UK, it most likely will not be covered. This is because therapeutic services must be offered by a licensed professional that is registered to practice within your province.

     

  2. Ethical and Legal Concerns: Because online counselling has eliminated geographical constraints, therapists can treat clients from anywhere in the world. However, as we mentioned already, Canada and it’s provinces have different licensing requirements and treatment guidelines than the United States and other countries. It is important to confirm your counsellor or therapist’s qualifications and experience beforehand. I am a qualified, mental health professional registered to practice within Ontario.

     

  3. Serious Illnesses: Whether or not online therapy may be appropriate for you depends on your specific issues and the severity of your symptoms. While online counselling is useful for a variety of situations, it is not the best option for people that require close or direct treatment such as serious addictions or more complex symptoms of a mental health condition. (If you are unsure whether this applies to you, please reach out.)

     

  4. Technology Issues: Since information is transmitted online, it is important to make sure that whoever is offering online counselling can ensure your confidentiality and privacy.  Our video sessions are via a secure network so can rest assured that your personal information is safe.

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