- Mental Health
Advantages of Telephone Counseling Over Face-to-Face Therapy
Telephone counseling may seem new to laypersons, but it has been around for a long time in the form of crisis counseling - on suicide hotlines, for example. However, you don't have to be in a state of crisis to benefit from telephone therapy; more and more individuals are finding that because it's easy and convenient, telephone therapy fits into their busy lives much better than traditional face-to-face counseling.
Telephone counseling is available and suitable for people who need therapy:
- as a second opinion on a psychological matter.
- for depression or anxiety.
- for parenting or caregiver issues.
- while considering, going through, or recovering from divorce.
- for work-related concerns.
- to deal with aging and life transitions.
Benefits of phone therapy over face-to-face counseling include:
- the decision about which therapist to work with isn't limited by geography; you can choose to work with the counselor with whom you have the best rapport or because she or he specializes in the issue for which you're seeking counseling.
- you don't have to travel anywhere for your appointment, which makes carving out time for therapy easier. You don't have to deal with traffic or other transportation problems, making the overall therapeutic experience less stressful.
- you can participate in therapy even if you aren't feeling completely well or are particularly upset, because no preparation is required. If you're having a bad day, you may want to let your therapist know, but you don't have to worry about whether or not your nose is running or your eyes are swollen from crying.
- it is usually easier to schedule an additional appointment if one is needed (for example, after a difficult divorce court hearing). Your schedule won't have to change much to fit in another hour of counseling, and your counselor will likely have a more flexible schedule than someone with a brick-and-mortar practice.
- continuity of care: you can maintain your relationship with your counselor even when you go on a business trip, go on vacation or move to a different state - or even a different country. And should you wish to reestablish contact with your therapist after you have terminated counseling, she or he is only a phone call away, no matter where you happen to be living.
- many telephone therapy clients feel there is greater equality between themselves and the counselor than in traditional face-to-face sessions. This can be comforting for clients who don't like the power disparity that sometimes accompanies face-to-face analysis.
- many phone counseling clients find it easier to talk openly about deeply personal issues, emotions and experiences over the phone than in person. Knowing that the therapist can't see your face when you discuss sensitive issues can make it easier to talk about them. This is particularly comfortable for clients who don't like to show their emotions to others.
If you've been thinking about trying telephone counseling, all you have to do to see if it's right for you is pick up the phone. What could be easier?