To counsel online, or not to counsel online—that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the car to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous traffic
Or to stay at home in one’s PJs and bunny slippers
And enjoy the comforts of the hearth. To stay at home—
Yes, more—and by staying to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That driving is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To stay at home—
Or office—perchance to counsel: aye, there’s the boon
For in that counsel online what advantages may come
Anyone who knows the story of Hamlet would undoubtedly agree that Hamlet needed counseling. If he had had the option of online counseling, he would not have had to go through the hassle of harnessing his horse to his carriage and making his way across the crowded city, fighting traffic, and risking the loss of privacy by people seeing him, the Prince of Denmark, entering the counselor’s office. Frankly I think he would have felt more comfortable talking to his counselor from the safety and comfort of his palace. If Hamlet had had the option of online counseling, things might not have ended up so rotten in Denmark.
So what advantages do come with online counseling?
To start with, online counseling is very convenient. You merely log in to your video chat program and, Voila!, you’re there.
Online counseling is very economical. Since there is no drive-time to the counselor’s office and back, time is saved, which can then be spent on other pursuits and activities. This adds greater flexibility to your schedule. You also save money on gas and on the wear and tear of your vehicle.
And let’s not forget the blessing of avoiding the built-in difficulties and troubles of the road, that is, it’s less of a hassle: No traffic. No traffic fumes. No bad drivers. No mad drivers. No fender benders. No fighting to find a parking space. No battling inclement weather.
Meeting with your counselor online is more comfortable. For many, going to a counselor’s office may be intimidating, even fearful. As a counselor, I know it is so important to establish a comfortable relationship with my client, one in which the client is free to unburden himself/herself as he/she learns to trust the counselor and the surroundings. Counseling online allows you to stay “on your own turf,” whether that is at home, at the office, or even on the road. It is the place you choose, and this creates a sense of comfort and safety.
Online counseling is particularly advantageous to those people who have found a counselor they want to work with, but who is too far away to meet with face-to-face. Reasons for working with a certain counselor may stem from his/her association with trusted organizations, a particularly biblical approach, referral from a friend, or simply exposure to him/her. All of these create trust and hope, which boosts your comfort.
I think Hamlet would have benefitted from online counseling. If you have been putting off getting help because of any of Hamlet’s issues, take seriously the opportunity to get help that is less of a hassle and more convenient, economical, flexible, and comfortable.