Today, people are beginning to recognize the importance of mental health, and getting counseling is losing the stigma it unfairly held for so long. Living in today’s world can be challenging and there are few people who couldn’t benefit from some form of therapy. For treatment to be effective, it must be regular, generally once a week. You travel to your therapist’s office for each appointment and come back home when you’re finished. Wouldn’t it be great if your doctor made house calls and you could do it from home? Well, therapists, like other doctors usually don’t make house calls, but you can still have sessions from the comfort of your own home using the modern technology of the internet.
A Brief History
It may surprise you to find out that the first online therapy session occurred in 1972. The internet was in its infancy and during a conference in October, Stanford University and UCLA demonstrated the web by holding a simulated psychotherapy session. The seed was planted and destined to grow.
As bulletin board services developed in the 80s. virtual self-help groups were formed. These were the precursors to online therapy as it exists today. By the early 90s when the internet became public, mental health professionals created websites offering information to people who needed help. Some of these virtual patients reached out through electronic communications and furthered the development of online counseling.
Advantages of Virtual Counseling
With all of the communications software that allows video and audio communications, it is not hard to find an online therapy platform. They work exactly like an in-person session. You talk to a qualified therapist about your anxiety and other issues and get help working through the problems.
There are several advantages to online counseling. The most obvious is that you don’t have to travel. This can be very convenient in inclement weather or if you don’t have a car. For those who live in areas far from the nearest therapist, access from home may be the only way they can get help.
Sitting in their own homes is more comfortable for many people. Therapy usually involves talking about very personal subjects and memories. A familiar setting can make that a little easier. There can also be a greater feeling of confidentiality. All therapists are bound to keep details private, but being in an office outside of their homes may make some people worry about being overheard.
Online therapy is often less expensive than the traditional form of counseling. This can allow people without health insurance to afford to get help for mental health problems. Many online therapists do take insurance, so people who have it can use it.
Mental health is every bit as important as physical health. It’s hard to lead a happy, productive life without it. Help is available from the many mental health professionals who practice throughout the nation. Now, thanks to the internet and communications software, you can choose from a large list of counselors and get your therapy at home.