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Sunday, October 2, 2022  

Can Online Counseling Work?Published 9/1/2009

From groceries to diamond jewelry, you can have practically anything delivered via the Internet. That list includes personal services as well, such as online counseling, or “cybercounseling” as it’s sometimes called.
It’s a service a lot of people are using. For someone suffering from a fear of crowds or going outdoors, or who’s ill and housebound, online counseling can be a great alternative. But due to its ease and convenience a lot of people are taking advantage of such online services.
It’s important to remember that it’s not right for everyone or every problem.
Many qualified professionals now offer very effective help via online counseling, but you need to check out any before working with them. Professional organizations have established ethical standards that provide online counselors with clear guidelines to protect consumers working with them.
These standards require that counselors should offer complete and honest disclosure about themselves and services.
They should make it easy to find out what degrees are held and in what fields, what licenses and certifications are held, and professional organizations in which the person participates.
A legitimate professional will offer a trial period, without requiring an expensive, long-term commitment, so that you can judge if the services offered are helpful for you.
A professional counselor will inform a client early in the relationship if cybercounseling is not the correct approach, and should suggest alternatives better suited to the problem.
Online counseling can be a valuable resource for many people, but it does have its limitations.
Ask questions and evaluate carefully to make sure it’s the best way to get the help you need.
The Counseling Corner is provided by the American Counseling Association, the nation’s largest organization of counseling professionals.

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