Mental health and trauma counsellors say online counselling can be a powerful tool for those who suffer from PTSD.
Amber Gossett, the executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association, said she was happy to hear that more people were using online counselling as a form of psychological support.
“I think it’s going to be a big thing for people who suffer in a really vulnerable situation, who feel like they have no one to turn to and that’s not right,” Gossetts said.
“It’s really going to give them the support they need.”
But online counselling isn’t without its challenges, especially for people experiencing trauma.
“Online counselling is not a substitute for therapy, but it does allow people to seek help,” Gissetts said, adding that online counselling is better for people dealing with PTSD, depression and anxiety.
Gossetts says online counselling also has its challenges in terms of privacy, confidentiality and access.
“There’s no privacy protection whatsoever,” Gressett said.
“The idea that someone can go into a chat room and ask you questions about your symptoms and then send you a video or text message is just ridiculous.”
If you don’t want to see a video, you can’t see a text message.
That’s the problem.
“Gossett said people who use online counselling have a responsibility to their counsellor.”
She said online counselling has also had its drawbacks for those dealing with addiction and mental health issues.””
They are also going to want to be clear about what their therapist is asking them to do and who they’re seeing.”
She said online counselling has also had its drawbacks for those dealing with addiction and mental health issues.
“It can also be very isolating and can be very hard to access for people,” Gessetts said and said many people find it difficult to connect with a counselloress.
“We are concerned about the potential of addiction, for example, and the possible impact on people who are in recovery, which is why we have been concerned about that,” she said.
Online counselloring can be particularly useful for those with psychological issues, including PTSD, which can affect people’s ability to function in society.
“People with PTSD need help to be able to function and also to connect to their peers and to their families,” Gussetts said about PTSD.
Grossett said online support groups have been used to provide mental health information and support for many people who struggle with their mental health.
Gould said she’s noticed that some online counsellores have become more welcoming of people who have mental health challenges, even if they may not be a member of a group.
“Some of the things they do is just a little bit more inclusive than others,” she added.
Goddetts said online services such as her organization’s counselling are designed to be accessible to anyone, including people with mental health problems.
“You’re going to find that if you are struggling with your mental health, you’re going get help and you’re not going to get isolated,” she explained.
“Whether it’s someone with a mental illness or substance abuse issues or an addiction issue, you know that there’s someone there who can help you.”
Gould believes there’s more to counselling than just a chat session.
“When people are looking for help, they’re going in the right direction, whether it’s online or face-to-face,” she advised.