For most of us, the idea of therapy involves sitting on a couch, facing the counselor and sharing your thoughts. While this certainly is the most orthodox and effective setting for a therapy session, it comes with a number of limitations, especially in a country such as India. Issues such as limited availability of experienced therapists in the country and inhibitions attached with visiting a clinic to see a therapist are few of the many shortcomings of such face to face therapy. Fortunately, with the advent of online therapy, most of these issues are being taken care of.
Online therapy or counseling involves therapists interacting using video or audio chats and emails to help their patients. This type of counseling goes by so many names such as cyberspace counseling, e-therapy, e-counseling and tele-counseling. Online counseling has the potential to overcome the huge dearth of learned therapists that India is facing and at the same time it has made it possible for anyone to consult therapists, while sitting in the comfort of their homes, without getting scrutinized by anyone.
According to a recent study by the University of Zurich, the number of people switching from traditional counseling to online counseling has been steadily increasing. Further, it reveals that in this digital age, online therapy is just as beneficial — if not more so — than conventional therapy. According to this study, close to 57% patients who undertook online therapy sessions got rid of their depression, in contrast to the 42% patients who went for face to face sessions. People who are skeptical about online counseling question the emotional depth that can be achieved through written words. Their question is that how can people possibly form deep and caring relationships online with therapists without visiting them? However, therapists who have used online therapy reveal that online counseling can have a remarkable intensity and intimacy that is very real, and not imaginary.
One of the reasons that make online counseling a major success is the convenience of interacting with a therapist online rather than visiting a clinic, which apart from traveling also involves risk of being seeing by someone. Online counseling is effective in eliminating social stigma associated with receiving therapy. For those who are uncomfortable with receiving therapy, online counseling allows access to such services in private without having to visit a clinic. Counseling can take on a completely different shape when executed by the client from their own home through the computer. It allows the client to feel less stigmatized without having to be seen by others in the waiting lobby or the administrative staff of the therapist. Another reason is that since the online world has no geographical boundaries, it becomes possible to find an experienced therapist to treat your problem instead of being dependent upon the ones who live close to your house. Online therapy also takes away the hassle of calling the clinic and scheduling appointments, which are more common in traditional settings.
World over, at least 5% of the global population is suffering from one kind of mental illness or other. The situation is even worse in India. A number of cases related to suicides, loss of productivity and cardiovascular health can be traced back to mental health issues. An increasing number of student suicide cases are being reported in India with every passing year. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, in 2013, 2,471 suicide cases were traced back to “failure in examination”. While most of the parents try to talk their kids out of teenage issues and peer pressure, it is not possible for them to replace a trained therapist. Relationship issues are one of the most significant causes of depression among the women in the country. Most of these problems can be easily tackled with the help of trained therapists.
In a country like India where mental health is still a taboo and people seeking counseling are termed as ‘crazy’, online therapy has the potential to be a game changer. According to several publications, over 50% cases of mental illness in India go unreported due to societal pressure. The anxiety arising due to suppressed feelings worsens the condition. With over 80% of hospitals and medical experts in India concentrated in big cities, those living in tier 2 or 3 cities have negligible options when it comes to high quality and learned therapists. In most parts of the country, doctors, due to their lack of knowledge about mental illness, resort to medication in order to suppress the symptoms of anxiety and depression. This further aggravates the situation and can often force the patient to take drastic steps.
Online counseling comes with a number of helpful features, including accessibility, affordability, convenience and anonymity. For a generation that is much more comfortable while using digital platforms, online therapy is a boon. Face to face therapy often creates a barrier between the patient and the therapist with the patient not being able to open up entirely due to concerns such as physical appearance, gender, size or age. With online therapy guaranteeing anonymity, such inhibitions are tackled. Interestingly, it is not only the patients who are turning towards online counseling. Most of the renowned therapists and psychologists are only diverting their working hours from face to face discussions to online therapy. Apart from increasing their overall reach, it also ensures that the patients stick to their schedule. In totality, online therapy sessions are a win-win situation for both, the patients and the therapists.
The rising anxiety levels while traveling to the therapist and the awkwardness of being watched by people while visiting such a clinic can force patients to re-consider their decision of seeking expert help. With online therapists just a click away, such concerns can be subdued easily. A well trained therapist is now waiting to help you online at https://www.juno.clinic/. Open your computer and give yourself and your loved ones a new lease of life.
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