Earlier this month Kids Help Phone announced they will soon be offering a free texting support service for children and youth in crisis. The organization already offers phone and online chat support and hopes this service will be available by the end of this year. This is great news for our communities! It is another example of how technology is being used in creative ways to deliver quicker and more accessible mental health services.
As we all know the boom in technology over the past 20 years has had a huge impact. When it comes to offering mental health and counselling services, technology has opened up some new and exciting ways to increase accessibility to services. While counselling has traditionally been a series of 60 minute face to face sessions, the introduction of video, text based and chat services has meant people can have quicker access and tailor services to fit their particular needs.
Since the question of face to face vs online sessions often comes up - I want to be clear - face to face counselling will always have a real richness and value to it. It's the experience of sitting face to face with another person, the non-verbal communication and the value that comes with setting aside and time and physical space for conversations that cannot be replaced. However, there are also some great advantages to accessing online counselling which are worth considering:
Some caveats: When considering online therapy it's important to also exercise some caution - just as you would when seeking any therapist, ask yourself these important questions:
My hope is that I have expanded your ideas about what online therapy can offer. If you are interested in learning more about how my services may be helpful to you are someone you know please don't hesitate to get in touch!
To learn more about services with Kids Help Phone check out:
Below....a fond memory of my first phone - we've come a long way since then!