Online Therapy- 10 Reasons Online Therapy is the best Mental Health Game-Changer.

Let’s talk about online therapy. Maintaining our mental health during the pandemic has been a huge challenge for most of us. Covid 19 made us aware that we need more options for accessing mental health services. Conventionally, you would contact an agency and submit a request to see a counsellor and you go on a waitlist to be placed with a counsellor. Then you will get contacted and be given your counselling session information and which counsellor you will be seeing. All of these steps can be a stressful and time-consuming process.

Consider what you want from counselling therapy. Is it any of the following key attributes or all of them?

1.       Convenience

2.       Flexible appointment times.

3.       Safety

4.       Affordability

5.       Cost-effective

6.       Choices

7.       Accessibility

8.       Freedom of choice.

When you can’t access the mental help you need, the quality of your well-being can decline rapidly. In a recent NZ well-being survey completed in 2023, people aged between 15-24 and those aged 75 and above are currently the most vulnerable to poor mental health.

Most of us have at least one device to access the internet these days. We use them to allow us to work from home, order our groceries, do our banking and get the latest entertainment online. We also use it to connect with our loved ones when we cannot see them face-to-face.

Online platforms, aside from entertainment and paying bills, help us connect with the outside world when we cannot venture outside and help us access crucial health services when we can’t see them in person. Modern technology has allowed us to do more things from home, freeing up travel time. But free time is just one of the reasons why online therapy is a game changer.

In this article, we will share with you 10 more reasons why online therapy is a game-changer:

1.       Flexibility: Online therapy often offers more flexible scheduling options.

You can choose when you want to be seen. It also offers the option for partners and family members to join the session without having to coordinate a meeting location.


2.       Convenience: Online therapy can be done from home.

You can still go about your day at home or any safe location and then join the Zoom session with your counsellor. All you need is a smartphone or a laptop with a good internet signal. If you want to make more use of your time at home, consider online therapy.


3.       Accessibility: Online therapy can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

This can make it more accessible to people who live in remote or rural areas. The stress and anxiety of finding a new counsellor can be overwhelming when you move to a different location. If you do relocate, you can still have the option to continue your sessions with the same counsellor or therapist.



4.       Anonymity: Online therapy values privacy.

One of the biggest barriers in people seeking out counselling is having to describe their issues
multiple times before they can be seen. Online therapy can be more private and anonymous, allowing people to feel more comfortable discussing sensitive issues directly with their counsellors.


5.       Cost-effective: Online therapy can be more affordable than traditional therapy.

There are no travel costs to get to the counselling session. With rising fuel prices, travel costs can also be a barrier to accessing counselling. You do not need to look for parks or worry about paying for parking or paying for a babysitter while you have a counselling session.



6.       Freedom to choose: Online therapy is about your right to choose.

Finding the right counsellor to suit your need is important. Sometimes you need to cast your net
wider to find the counsellor that can work with you collaboratively. Online therapy provides access to a wider selection of therapists, as clients can choose from professionals located in different cities or even countries. Be empowered
to do your research about your counselling needs. Most counsellors have their charges information and availability on their listings. You can choose who you want to engage with without having to wait for a counsellor to be assigned to you.


7.       Consistency: Online therapy allows clients to maintain a consistent schedule of therapy sessions.

Relocation is like starting over again. Sometimes, it can be daunting to restart your therapeutic journey with someone new. Having a counsellor that offers online therapy allows you to keep the therapeutic relationship you have with them. You can even travel and still have access to your counsellor when you need them.


8.       Sharing knowledge: Online therapy sessions allows easier knowledge sharing.

The digital platform also allows counsellors to share learning models and diagrams easily. It is better than having multiple pieces of paper that will likely get lost.


9.       Improved access for disabled clients: Online therapy is accessible to people with disabilities.

If you have difficulty accessing traditional therapy locations or is more housebound, try online therapy. It offers the convenience of being able to connect with a counsellor and sometimes an interpreter easily from your own home. It is also helpful when you can get some funding to maintain your mental health. Sometimes, openly bringing into a discussion about your financial can be stressful. At we provide up-to-date information on how you can get WINZ funding for your online therapy sessions.


10.   Comfort and safety: Online therapy sessions can be done from the comfort and safety of your home.

You don’t have to brave the weather to see your counsellor or endure cold nights. You can avoid the unpredictable weather and dark evenings by having your counselling sessions online.

Online therapy is about bringing back empowerment to you when it comes to counselling. There may be more benefits that have not been listed here. The road to better well-being starts with a simple mouse click.

Effective Online Counselling

Online Counselling Safety

When counselling online, it is essential to meet the privacy and quality standards that clients expect—using a quality platform that provides good digital communication standards such as a quality connection and protection from data breaches.

Counsellors also need to protect clients from electronic data breaches by using wired or secured Wi-Fi connections, ensuring a firewall and virus protection is in place. Passwords need to be complex enough to prevent attacks and vulnerabilities.

Physical protection to ensure clients are not seen or overheard. Working ethically with a client must be driven by a client’s need for online
counselling. Clients working online may not feel safe, especially in a lockdown situation where they are stuck at home, and people may overhear them.

Research into Online Counselling

A paper by McKenny, Galloghly, Porter, & Burbach (2021) found that 65% of therapists found using video technology to conduct sessions a positive experience. However, 66% of those therapists also felt that the move online negatively impacted their techniques and the therapeutic relationship.
Additional training, better online features, and greater creativity can
improve online therapy. Counsellors NZ helps counsellors specialise in online counselling.

Avatar-based therapy for clients with anxiety could be beneficial. Teooh is a platform that lets people choose an avatar and engage in that way.

Dr Albert Rizzo from the University of California’s Institute of Creative Technology helps people therapeutically use Virtual Reality (VR). According to Dr Rizzo, Virtual Reality can help people in several ways, including Exposure Therapy for PTSD, Pain Management, and ADHD. Other professionals are also discovering how VR Therapy can help clients with Generalized Anxiety Disorders.

Counsellors NZ’s vision is to make counselling more assessable and effective for clients. Incorporating additional technology like these could be our path forward towards a healthier future.

Effectiveness of Online Counselling

Counsellors NZ provides clients with self-reporting scales. These are questionnaires that clients answer about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. The advantages of using these are that they can be performed relatively quickly, they can be done outside of the session time, and they are free to do. They can help clients find out where they are at, and when retaken, they can reinforce a client’s progress.

Peered reviewed data is essential when using assessment tools such as this so that the client can gain a realistic perspective on themselves. Where possible, Counsellors NZ uses New Zealand based research, so assessment results are as culturally accurate as possible. One example is the Clinical Anger Scale, initially published in the New Zealand Journal of Psychology by Reynolds, Walkey & Green. It is a 30-question scale in which clients or potential clients can measure their amount of agreement or disagreement.

Self-reported assessments are designed to avoid false results such as;

Infallibility Error is when therapists avoid the possibility of their error by thinking that the client is not ready to change or some other mitigating factor. Therapists can help prevent this error by actively seeking feedback about the effectiveness of their work.

The self-reported assessments help prevent the Acquiesce Bias (where participants respond to every question similarly) by asking the same question in reverse. In the Clinical Anger Scale, we ask participants to scale how much they agree or disagree with the following reversed questions.

  1. I get mad easily
  2. I hardly ever get angry.

To help avoid the Social Desirability Bias (where participants respond in a way that makes them look good), self-reported assessments are filled in anonymously; no personal details were taken from participants doing these assessments. The wording of the questions is stated in a neutral tone.

An online questionnaire removes the interviewer effect problem, where the interviewer’s characteristics affect participant responses.

The self-reported assessments on Counsellors NZ use Likert scales (participants choose how much they agree or disagree with a statement) to create comparable standardised results. They may help participants gain awareness of maladaptive behaviours (such as anger).       

Because results are anonymous, counsellors do not know if a client has done a self-reported assessment. So, clients can bring their results into the session to talk it over if they so desire.

Doing self-reported assessments in conjunction with online counselling helps clients track their progress and ensures clients are getting what they need from their sessions.

Disinhibition Effect

When working online, we need to be aware of the disinhibition effect. It is an effect where people feel safer saying things online than they would in real life, and this could have some benefits in therapy, helping clients feel safer and more open. Counsellors must also keep this in mind and be
well-grounded, as this effect can influence both parties.

Clients have been reported to find it much easier to leave online counselling sessions; it only takes a mouse click to go. This can increase their autonomy as they take more control over when the session ends.

Online Counselling with Zoom

As far as video-based platforms go, most professionals hold Zoom in high regard. One benefit of this platform is that it does not require any of the client’s details to set up a room. The client can just be sent a link. The room can be locked after the client enters, ensuring no one else can enter the room and the session remains private.

Video platforms offer additional anonymity and counsellor availability because clients can elect to work with a counsellor anywhere in the world. Advantageous in smaller towns / rural areas where face-to-face facilities might not be available.

Tips for having a Great Session

There can be numerous technical problems and the internet connection itself, which can interrupt sessions and stop a good flow from happening. Buying good equipment, such as a camera and headset, and going with a reputable internet provider will help prevent these problems.

If clients can find themselves in a comfortable space, in their own home, where they have more control, at a more convenient time, and at a lower cost than traditional counselling, then online counselling is the future. I hope you will join us by booking your first session for free with one of our online counsellors. Click here to get started.

Once you book your first session, a link to your session will be provided. These links will also be emailed to you from Counsellors NZ.

We provide two different links: the Zoom download and browser versions. Check your email from Counsellors NZ for these links. Test both links to ensure you can get both camera and sound to work.