The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes in our lives. Social
isolation, constant exposure to negative news, disrupted access to basic needs, loss of job
or income, illness or fear of illness, misinformation, and loss of loved ones has led to
increased levels of anxiety, stress and depression. Some people have resorted to alcohol
and drug abuse as a means to cope with the situation. Moreover, pandemic has created new
barriers for those already suffering from mental illness and substance abuse.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during June 2020, over
40 percent of American adults reported struggling with mental health issues or substance
abuse. Another study conducted over January to June 2019 revealed that 4 in 10 adults in
the US reported symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder.
With so much going on around the world, it is important to have a place to feel safe and
supported. Speaking with a counselor and discussing your fears and mental health concerns
can offer great benefits. Even with physical distancing guidelines in place, online counseling
can be an effective way to address mental health concerns. Let us find out the key benefits
of online counselling during these unprecedented times.
Online therapy is the perfect solution for people who don’t have easy access to a counselor
due to their location or lack of adequate transportation. With online counseling, they do not
have to travel long distances for a session. It is particularly helpful for those suffering from a
physical condition that limits their mobility. You also get access to specialists located
anywhere in the country. You don’t need to travel to another office or city to access a
Under current circumstances, when anxiety and uncertainty are rampant, people with no
history of mental issues are also finding it hard to cope with the pandemic. They may be
unsure of where to find a counselor, or may be apprehensive or fearful of visiting a
counselor’s office. For such people (or for anyone else), online counseling may prove very
convenient. All you need is an internet connection and you can have a session with your
counselor at a mutually agreed upon time from the comfort of your home, office or dorm.
A lot of people miss their therapy sessions due to reasons like illness, bad weather, traffic or
fear of Covid infection. Online counseling is an effective solution to these hurdles and allows
patients to be more consistent with their therapy. This ensures better therapy outcomes.
Also, due to fewer logistical issues and hurdles such as taking time off work or having to
travel, patients are able to schedule more frequent sessions and hence, they are able to get
A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in March 2020 focusing on the
differences in quality of interactions between face-to-face and telephonic psychotherapy
found there was little difference in terms of how effective the therapeutic relationship was,
the levels of empathy, how much clients disclosed, participation or attentiveness. Previous
studies have also shown that online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face sessions
especially in the long-term