The coronavirus pandemic, or COVID-19, has changed so many aspects in every person’s life for months now, especially when it comes to mental health care. With social distancing becoming the new normal, people are in need of more support for anxiety, depression, and whatever else they are going through now more than ever. All across the country, online counseling platforms have exploded and become the new normal and while mental health services in the traditional sense might be on pause for right now, online counseling has never been more accessible.

While online counseling has been available for as long as the internet has been invented, the options are endless nowadays. In fact, therapists are recommending this option during this time of crisis. According to the CDC:

Telehealth services can facilitate public health mitigation strategies during this pandemic by increasing social distancing. These services can be a safer option for HCP and patients by reducing potential infectious exposures. They can reduce the strain on healthcare systems by minimizing the surge of patient demand on facilities and reduce the use of PPE by healthcare providers.

Therapists Recommend Online Counseling During COVID-19

Tips for Making the Most of Online Counseling

Face-to-face traditional counseling does differ slightly from online therapy, so it is important to know different ways you can get the most out of your online visit. It may take some getting used to, but online counseling is easier than you think and very convenient.

  1. The first tip is to carve out intentional time and a safe space for you during your counseling session. While one of the greatest benefits of online counseling is that you can do it anywhere at any time, not every place may be ideal to get the most out of it. A place with distractions is never ideal.
  2. Awkwardness is normal at first. Just like with traditional counseling sessions, it may feel weird to tell a stranger about your feelings and experiences. This is no different with online counseling. It may also take some time to get used to doing things over the Internet and it may not feel like you and your counselor are in sync right away. That is okay and normal. Keep an open mind and open stream of communication and this will dissipate.
  3. Be open and embrace the unique qualities of online counseling. Online counseling is accessible in a different way and you are able to do things with it you can’t do in traditional therapy. Perhaps you found an article that you have resonated with. Now you can send it to your counselor to talk about later. Online counseling can feel a lot more engaging when you get creative with all of the tools available.
  4. Be okay with talking about what you need, even if it seems small. During this pandemic, in particular, many people are struggling with meeting some of our most basic needs, which makes taking care of ourselves a challenge at times. Perhaps we are struggling with loneliness or sometimes it may just be difficult to be an adult right now. This is okay to voice and will make the connection that much deeper. It can be tempting to tell ourselves that we are overreacting when in actuality you are far from the only person struggling with the same thing.

You don’t have to go it alone

Offering online counseling during this trying time allows us to reach more people, for whatever reason they have, and they can get the help they need. Life can be very challenging and we all need support from time to time. For any mental health concerns, online counseling can be a great approach for you. At the Counseling Center for Growth and Recovery, we offer a solution-motivated approach where we can explore, in a safe way, your challenges in life.