Online Vs. Face-To-Face Counseling – The Difference

Traditional, or face-to-face counselling, has been around ever since science established that mental stress and tension can be treated and cured in the same way that physical issues can. Going to a counselor was the same as visiting a doctor – you went for treatment on a regular basis until the problem was overcome. While that system still continues, the advent of the internet has allowed for a more convenient and effective way of getting the help that is required. Just as doctors can be consulted online for medical conditions, so too can counselors be contracted on the internet for their guidance and help in resolving issues which cause stress to the mind and psyche and affect the quality of one’s life. The differences between traditional and online counselling are often a cause for confusion leaving people wondering which option is better for them. Here is a brief summary of how the two systems differ.

The advantages of Online Counselling

Traditional counselling is formal in structure. An appointment is made, the counselor’s office is visited, time is spent discussing the problems, the counselor decides on the next step and another appointment is scheduled. For some people, discussing personal matters with another, even if that person is a professional trained to help, is difficult. The formal nature of the meeting also makes it difficult to open up and discuss issues without fear or shyness. In the case of online counselling, the 2 people involved never meet. All interaction is done on the internet. This means that you are able to communicate with the counselor from a location that you are comfortable with.


Online Counselling saves Travel time

For many people, finding time to visit a counselor regularly is very difficult. Add to this the time and discomfort of traveling to the appointment, and you may arrive at the counselor’s office in a tense mental state which is not what you should be in when going for counselling. Online counselling allows you arrange for a session at a time that is convenient for you and saves the hassles of traveling. You are able to interact with the counselor in a relaxed state of mind which results in a more productive session.

Online Counselling-Privacy and Anonymity protected

People are often reluctant to discuss personal matters with others, be it even a trained professional who is there to help. Since in online counselling you do not meet face-to-face with the counselor, your anonymity and privacy are protected. This allows you to interact freely in a manner that you would hesitate to do if present in the same room as the counselor. This will enable the counselor to deal more effectively with the issues involved and provide the best solutions.

It would be wrong to dismiss face-to-face counselling as being no longer relevant. It may suit the needs of some individuals for whom it will be beneficial. However, in a fast-paced world, where time is at a premium and distances may make direct interaction with professional counselors difficult, if not impossible, online counselling offers a convenient way to get the help an guidance you need to overcome problems you face. The fact that you do not meet the counselor is of no significance – studies show that online counselling is as, if not more effective, than traditional methods.