What is online counselling/ online therapy? Online counselling or online therapy is simply a virtual alternative to the traditional method of face-to-face counselling for several issues related to the mind. Online counselling includes providing support and treatment of a range of conditions like: Panic disorder Depression Anxiety Illness-related or relationship-related emotional disorders and trauma Post traumatic stress disorder Eating disorders Substance abuse Negative patterns of thought and behaviour Obsessive-compulsive disorder Poor coping mechanisms Poor societal and community interactions and functioning
Online counselling, also known as e-therapy, mind therapy, web therapy, etc., is an outcome of the advancements in technology and innovations by healthcare platforms that help you go beyond the constraints of offline or the physical seeking of mind therapy. Online therapy allows people to access mental health experts through audio and video calls (via the internet). Online healthcare platforms like Cult.fit act as aggregator spaces that bring together speciality-specific healthcare professionals and people who are seeking speciality healthcare advice and treatments. The entire process of online counselling services, right from searching for the doctor to getting the treatment, is done digitally. This is how online counselling works: Go through the profiles of available mind therapy specialists on the website or app of Cult.fit depending on your area of concern. Book an appointment with the doctor of your choice and make the payment for the online counselling services. Either you can choose the plan yourself or choose the one recommended by the experts. Once you make the payment, you will receive a confirmation email on the registered email with a link for your online counselling session. You can choose your mind therapy session to be over a video or an audio call and even chat sessions. Set your goals and expectations from these sessions. Share your medical history, reports, and records with the specialist before your appointment for her/him to study your case in detail and provide appropriate treatment. To make the best use of the time for your online counselling session, note down your symptoms beforehand along with any questions that you might have. During your personalised online counselling session, the specialist will do a thorough investigation into your case and recommend the best way forward.
The times that we live can be easily described as overwhelming and chaotic. Our daily experiences and happenings around the world affect us in more ways than one. Especially people, who are more sensitive than others, get affected by the constant rigmarole around them and experience emotional distress at one point or other in their lives. Here are some indicators that occur over a period that signal the need for online counselling: You are no longer able to control your emotions. This includes feeling sudden and prolonged bouts of anger, irritability, and frustration. You feel extreme emotions i.e. in a situation that warrants sadness, you feel irritable and frustrated. You feel overwhelmed by everything and have the feeling that you have too much to do and too many issues to deal with. This is accompanied by the feeling of not being able to rest or breathe. You get constant panic attacks resulting in being unable to leave the home and being in unfamiliar surroundings. You are constantly anxious and worry. Though we all worry from time to time, but when this takes up a major part of your day, it is a sign for seeking online counselling. You lose interest in activities that you used to enjoy once. This is indicated by perpetual disinterest in your hobbies, socialising, etc. You have suffered a life-changing event like a divorce, breakup, or the loss of a loved one, and are feeling grief and distressing emotions for a prolonged period. You have suffered personal trauma like childhood abuse or other painful experiences and you keep recollecting them. You feel hopeless and feel that you don’t have a future. This and the accompanying thoughts of suicide is one of the strongest indicators for the need for online counselling. You feel constant fatigue without exerting yourself, insomnia even after sleeping for several hours or sleep more than you used to. You feel no appetite or constantly overeat. These are all physical manifestations of issues affecting the mind that indicate the need for online depression counselling. You are continuously struggling to build and maintain your existing relationships. Feelings of inability to communicate, set boundaries, anger, etc. indicate the need for relationship counselling online. You seek to make a change and improve yourself but don’t know where and how to start. This is an important indicator of the need for online therapy. You have become used to drugs, food, smoking, or alcohol, to numb the feelings of constant panic and anxiety. Using any of these coping mechanisms indicate the need for online counselling. Besides these, in case of the following reasons also, you can seek online counselling: When you have a busy schedule and don’t want to waste time travelling or waiting for appointments. When you are immobile and cannot travel for your online therapy. When you have compromised immunity and travelling to crowded clinics or hospitals may increase your risk of infections.
Once you have made the decision to seek online counselling, you often wonder about what will you get out of online therapy? Here are the things that you can be prepared with for your online counselling session: If you are used to seeing therapists face-to-face, you may feel awkward during an online counselling session that you might be doing through audio or a video call. You may feel the eye contact to be too intimidating. However, all this is normal and gradually gets better as you do more of these online counselling sessions. Also, if you feel uncomfortable doing video sessions, you can start by doing audio calls. There may be some technical glitches during your online counselling sessions. And they may happen at the time of an intense or crucial discussion and may break your thought process. To avoid these challenges during your online therapy sessions, you can take some steps like closing the download windows and checking your Internet connection beforehand. If you have any concerns about the online therapy session, it’s best to talk them out with your doctor. You should also talk about what are your goals and expectations from these online counselling sessions and how she/he could help you fulfil those. Don’t expect your online counselling sessions to start changing things immediately. Remember that improvements and changes happen over time to be long term. Don’t try to speed up the process and expect things to change before proper intervention.
In times like these, stepping out of your home for attending online counselling sessions, may prove to be more a burden than support. Here are some important benefits of online counselling services: The most important advantage of online counselling is that it is available even if you reside in remote or inaccessible locations and cannot travel to the clinic or hospital for a face-to-face session with your therapist. Another important advantage of online counselling is that it is available for people who cannot travel for health reasons. You may be immobile, wheelchair-bound, have low immunity, or are healing after an injury or surgery. This is when accessing your therapist online helps. Online counselling services are available in affordable plans and costing. The other way in which they are cost-effective is because they help you save on the cost of travel and parking. Online therapy sessions are flexible and can be fixed as per your schedule. You don’t have to disturb your schedule to spend time waiting for your appointment and travelling. Online counselling is more private for people who do not want to be seen at the therapists’ office. Individuals and couples wanting to take relationship counselling online can take sessions from the privacy of their house. Online marriage counselling also provides a non-judgemental and safe space for couples to discuss their grievances. Since online therapy is so accessible, it removes the hurdle of people accessing treatment faster before their problem snowballs into a larger one. The option of virtual counselling lets you access professional help rather than talking to your friends and family who may or may not be qualified to help you. This in turn has a great impact on your physical and physiological health. With platforms like Cult.fit, you have the option of choosing from the best therapists in the country and can be assured of the best care and treatment. That’s not all. You can even change your therapist at the click of a button that’s generally not possible during physical sessions. Your progress is tracked constantly through regular assessments and progress tracking. You get a free follow up session within eight days of your first consultation. All your medical records and reports are digitised. This offers you the convenience of accessing them anytime anywhere.
Cult.fit offers a range of online counselling services to meet your therapy needs: Stress/ anxiety/ depression counselling: Online therapy for depression, stress, and anxiety involve the use of psychotherapy where you elucidate the causes of your stress for the therapist to help you with a coping mechanism and strategies to deal with these reasons. An important technique of online therapy for depression, anxiety, and stress is cognitive behaviour therapy. In online depression counselling, people are taught to recognise negative thought patterns and improve negative self-talk and behaviour. Online depression counselling involves the use of psychodynamics where one assesses the root cause of depression and what would work best for them. Marriage counselling: For people willing to seek marriage or relationship counselling online, this helps in providing couples a neutral and safe space for couples to talk about their problems and coping them with their emotions. An important component of online marriage counselling is that the therapist listens and makes positive suggestions. Online marriage counselling also involves exercises, role plays, and other activities that help to bring about a behavioural change. Self-improvement counselling This involves setting personal self-improvement goals that may be about improving your social skills, anger management, fitness, self-confidence, assertiveness, etc. The therapist draws up an achievable goal-oriented plan for your improvement that involves various strategies and exercises to boost optimism. Focus counselling This involves listening to the challenges that you feel are acting as obstacles in achieving your goals. It involves exercises that let you overcome practices like overthinking and inducing mindfulness. Sleep counselling This involves assessing the reasons for your insomniac sleep patterns. Cognitive behaviour therapy and other structured programs for replacing thoughts and behaviours that worsen your sleep patterns.
This is how you can find the best and most effective online counselling services: Look for unique and credible health aggregating platforms like Cult.fit that have the country’s top specialists for the best guidance and treatments. With Cult.fit, you can choose alternative treatment options and orientations. These may be unconventional but work as well as traditional approaches.
Conduct your online counselling session in a place that’s peaceful and free of distractions. This will allow you to talk freely without inhibitions. Since your online therapy session will be virtual, make sure that your WiFi connection is stable. Sit in a comfortable position to relax and make the most of your online therapy session. Since online therapy may bring up painful memories and feelings, you may not always have a pleasant session. But this is normal and gets better as you do more sessions. Keep evaluating your progress and revisiting your goals till the time you feel you have started making progress. Keep a notepad ready to take notes. Write down all your queries, topics, and discussions beforehand that you anticipate during your session. This will help you not missing out on important stuff.
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