Christian Online Counseling

People are doing things online these days that only a few back would be thought a bit strange to say the least. One of those things is counseling. And there are those who are particularly looking for Christian online counseling.

Christian counseling itself is unique from counseling in general. Those seeking it believe in the Christian message and that its principles can give them help that they could get in no other way. And the Christian counselor believes much the same and draws on the Christian faith in giving the help seeking person directives for their lives.

This has been done on a face to face basis for generations but now with all the technology there other avenues being used including counseling by telephone, email and video conferences. It’s not for everybody and not for every kind of problem. There are serious problems that require more immediate and personal intervention. But there is a time and place for online Christian counseling.

In this article we’ll suggest advantages and disadvantages of using online counseling services.

First some advantages.

Some problems are embarrassing or for one reason or another hard for a person to open up and talk about in front of someone else. You do maintain a bit of anonymity through counseling online. You may find it easier to open up and say more than if you were physically present with a counselor.

Second, it is a time saver. One hindrance to people getting counseling help can be in just finding the time to go. You’ve got to drive to the counselor’s office and perhaps wait for your appointment. This can be very time consuming. Time that you could be using writing emails and going over them thinking carefully about what you want to say to express the problem you are having. And the writing of these emails themselves can be therapeutic and part of the growing/learning process.

A third benefit of this approach to counseling is that you may have more choices of counselors online than you do in your own home city. Especially in you live in a smaller town, you may not have many choices of local counselors. Nor do you want the gossip mill to begin that you are seeing a counselor.

But what about possible disadvantages? These are important and should be taken into consideration.

A good counselor is trained to take into consideration non-verbals from the counselee. Obviously this isn’t possible with communications over the Internet and even video interactions are not as good as being in the same room with another person. It may take more time then in the give and take in questions and answers to get to the bottom of things.

There is also the privacy issue. While protections and safeguards can be used I suppose there is no absolute guarantee that online communications could never become known to someone else. You might want to discuss this with any online counselor can you talk with. They should know some of the ins and outs of maintaining privacy.

And third, some problems just shouldn’t be handled online. They are serious enough and immediate enough that a person should seek local professional counseling help as soon as possible.

All said and done there is a place for Christian online counseling and it’s up to you to determine if it is the right thing for you do to.

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