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Advantages of Telephone Counseling Over Face-to-Face Therapy

Updated on July 27, 2010
Telephone therapy offers several advantages over face-to-face counseling.
Telephone therapy offers several advantages over face-to-face counseling.

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?


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    • Rachaelle Lynn profile image

      Rachaelle Lynn 6 years ago from Gainesville, Florida

      Thanks for the kind feedback, smcopywrite!

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 6 years ago from all over the web

      thanks for sharing this useful information on telephone counseling, i wasn't aware of all of the uses. great hub.

    • Rachaelle Lynn profile image

      Rachaelle Lynn 7 years ago from Gainesville, Florida

      Marie, I'm glad you liked the article. I'm sure you would agree that the benefits of phone counseling have not been extolled enough. This article is an effort to correct that imbalance. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • profile image

      Marie 7 years ago

      Hi, I am based in London and work in the Telephone Counseling field. It was very nice to come across this article. Thanks for posting it!

    • Rachaelle Lynn profile image

      Rachaelle Lynn 7 years ago from Gainesville, Florida

      Thanks Jaggedfrost and belliott! I'm glad you both liked the article!

    • belliott profile image

      belliott 7 years ago

      Good information. I can see that it might be easier for a variety of reason for some people to use Telephone Counseling.

    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 7 years ago

      I appreciate the perspective. It has reminded me that it is a form that I could look into.

    • Rachaelle Lynn profile image

      Rachaelle Lynn 7 years ago from Gainesville, Florida

      Thanks so much, Susan!

    • susanlang profile image

      susanlang 7 years ago

      Wonderful insights for telephone counseling...we all need alittle of that from time to time :) I rated up.

    • Rachaelle Lynn profile image

      Rachaelle Lynn 7 years ago from Gainesville, Florida

      You are welcome, kaltopsyd, and I'm so glad you found the article helpful! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      I think telephone counseling is a great idea. I wasn't aware of the other types of telephone counseling (only depression and suicide hotlines). So thanks for educating me.