We are living in the age of the Internet. I hate to say it is the golden age, because who knows what is coming. We haven’t had VR for that long and barely have online streaming games at this point with Alphabet’s Stadia. Hopefully there is more to come.
But what we do have now is near instantaneous connections with millions and billions of people. We need to know where to look to find them, but they are there. Whether social media like Facebook and Twitter, online forums like Reddit, blogs like this one, newsletters, and so on and so on.
We also have ways to worship online so that we don’t have to leave our home church behind if we go on a business trip or vacation. We have whole platforms for creating online streaming that takes it beyond just streaming a video to include chatting and connecting with people. Has this gone too far? Another alternative to take it a step further, we have the ability via numerous companies to do therapy online.
Whether you decide to jump onto a video chat with a therapist or do therapy and even crisis services via text messages, there are so many different ways. So as the article asks, how far can online services go?
There is even a growing telepsych program for brick-and-mortar counseling centers to do due to a huge shortage of psychiatrists and teledoc services from primary care physicians for minor, regular colds that can cut down on doctor visits and get access to medication much, much sooner without having to miss work.
We did a whole podcast episode if online relationships are as good, better, or worse than face-to-face relationships, so I won’t dive into that conversation. I’m actually not going to advocate one way or the other since I have a stake in the game because I’m a licensed professional counsellor with in-person clients, though I know of others who do part-time online counselling as well for extra income.
It should be noted we are in the early stages of a lot of this. Most insurances at the time of this writing do not cover online anything, it has to be in-person. There are limitations where counselors are not allowed to work with severe clients in online therapy who have a high risk for self-harm or lethality.
So to the more tech-literate audience we have than the average Joe:
How do you feel about these traditionally face-to-face services becoming more and more online? Is this watering down what is being offered? Are we delusional that these services are even worth it? Or should we get our heads out of the sand and actually do these services because of how helpful they are?
How far can online services go?
Tell us in the comments what you think.