In today’s fast paced life, stress and strain on mind and body have become common thing. This has led to increased tensions, exhaustion, burnouts affecting the family life and social cohesion. Also as incidents of substance abuse and alcoholism exist, there is urgent need to curb such social evils and to guide people out of these habits. There are also various people who are disabled and need support and guidance to help find their place in the society. There are school and career counselors, mental health counselors, marriage and family counselors, rehabilitation counselors, etc who fulfill all these varied roles.
Due to the growth of the internet, online counseling is gaining popularity in the present times. The only condition is that both the counselor and the client must have access to a computer for fulfilling this purpose. It can come in various forms but typically online counseling can be in the form of email, text messaging, voice and video links, chat rooms and discussion boards. Most of the people are familiar with this type of communication as internet has made them used to them and may have used some form of online communication tool. Online counseling can be provided to individual or group, same as in case of face to face counseling. Online counseling is also known as web counseling, e-counseling,e-therapy and internet counseling.
Since in online counseling, the counselor remains invisible to the client and cannot be seen face to face it may be implied that online counseling is dangerous. That is why gaining as much information as you can about your online counselor is important to verify their credentials so that it is ensured that an online counselor is not faking anything. This risk can also exist when taking counseling sessions face to face. Hence it is not the concept of online counseling which may seem to be dangerous, but the fact that there is a risk that your counselor may not be credible or ethical. There are thus various inherent advantages and disadvantages of online counseling which are discussed below.
First advantage is that you don’t have to travel anywhere to see your counselor and sessions can be held in the privacy of your home. Nobody needs to know that you are taking the services of a counselor as it can be done on the time of your choice.
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