When most people think about counselling, images of a couch, a comfy chair, and a cozy room with a therapist come to mind. However, what you might not have known, is that online counselling, tele-psychology, and e-counselling have been growing in popularity over the past number of years.

With the Canadian government and authorities recommending a work-from-home policy as we try and flatten the curve of COVID-19, our Canada Career Counselling team has moved online! We’re all working remotely to keep ourselves and our clients safe and healthy. With that being said, physical health isn’t our only focus; the support and mental well being of our clients is also our top priority. That’s why our team is working at full capacity and continuing to see clients at a distance.

Did you know you could continue to have your sessions online? And just as importantly, did you know research has shown online counselling to be just as effective as in-person counselling? In this blog I’ll break down the facts so you know what you can expect with remote counselling.

What is Online Counselling?

Just as it sounds, online counselling is the delivery of mental health counseling through the internet. Mental health providers typically use platforms where you can hear and see each other. At Canada Career Counselling, we use a platform called GoTo Meeting, which is secure and complies with the privacy legislation, we as Psychologists, need to adhere to. You can rest assured knowing your session is still private and confidential.

What Does the Research Say?

To many people’s surprise (including my own), research suggests that online counselling is just as effective as traditional face to face counselling (and in some research cases more effective)! In both online and in person counselling, clients had similar levels of reduction in symptoms and similar levels of session satisfaction.

How could online therapy be just as effective as in person? Doesn’t the client need to be in the same room as the therapist to feel their warmth and support? Interestingly, research suggests individuals may make greater therapeutic progress in online counselling, because it creates just enough emotional distance that clients feel even more comfortable sharing their personal difficulties with their therapist, than they do in person.

Other Advantages of Online Counselling

  • We are all busy and online counselling allows for additional convenience and accessibility especially to those with limited mobility, time restrictions and limited access to mental health.
  • Online counselling creates an additional sense of privacy, so those who feel shame for seeking support may feel less social stigma.
  • Anecdotally, I have found that many clients are hesitant to begin online sessions, however, after their first session, they generally report enjoying the convenience of receiving counselling from the comfort of their home, not having to commute to one of our offices, and many mention they don’t find it much different than in person counselling.

Who Are Online Sessions Suitable For?

Online counselling is best for those with mild to moderate-severe emotional difficulties (such as career counselling) but may not be suitable for those with severe disorders or suicidal ideation.

Canada Career Counselling & Online Sessions

At Canada Career Counselling, we have been offering online counselling for years. Due to the current circumstances with COVID-19, Canada Career Counselling will be moving entirely to online sessions starting March 20, 2020. If you are seeking a career counsellor or general mental health support, please use the information above to make an informed decision if online sessions are right for you. To learn more about our services at Canada Career Counselling and to book a 15-minute complimentary consultation contact us at [email protected]

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Brittany is a Career Counsellor at the Toronto and Oakville office and has completed a MA in Clinical and Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto.

If you are looking for career counselling email our office at [email protected] to schedule a 15-minute complimentary consultation. You may be able to use your insurance plan or extended health benefits to cover counselling and assessment fees.

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