There were many lessons learnt in 2020 for almost every type of profession — and that especially includes counsellors and mental health professionals. In an industry that requires human connection, we would assume that losing in-person counselling would hinder client progress. But that’s not what we observed. The necessary shift to online counselling during the COVID-19 global pandemic demonstrated that not only could it be done, but it could be done effectively. So, what exactly did we learn from this change in the industry? Keep reading to find out.
No one could have predicted the wave of events in 2020. If this year taught us anything, it was that we can’t always control our world. But we can be flexible in how we respond to external forces. We saw this in counsellors and mental health professionals when they moved online as soon as it became necessary. Some counsellors were already set up for online sessions, and others caught up quickly to meet the moment. No matter how the transition went for you, the important thing is your flexibility in supporting clients through the chaos. Whether in-person sessions turned to video calls for that all-important facetime, or whether clients preferred to just jump on the a phone call. It was inspiring to see the work continue, and the industry progress.
Virtual counseling is here to stay
We know technology is integral to our world. That’s no surprise, and it’s not new information. However the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light just how critical technology continues to be in keeping us connected when physical connection isn’t possible. This became especially evident in counselling practices. Counsellors who offered both in-person and online counselling had a much easier time transitioning than those who strictly offered in-office services.
Now that counsellors and their clients have discovered that virtual therapy is possible and effective, there’s no going back. For some clients, the sheer convenience of online counselling is what makes it most desirable. The ability to squeeze in a session between meetings, and avoid traffic or transit. For others, like those living in rural areas, online counselling may be the only way they can get the support they need. So not only is online counselling convenient, it’s increasing accessibility to clients everywhere. Accessibility is incredibly important to ensure every client can get the help they need, when they need it. Everyone’s needs are different. Meet your clients where they are — even online.
Digital tools are a necessity
As the industry and it’s clients embrace virtual counselling, digital tools are essential to ensure clients are staying on-track between sessions. A digital homework app like Therachat is an innovative tool counsellors can use to support their clients from a distance. It offers features like daily homework reminders, skill-building activities, emotion tracking, and mindfulness exercises. It’s a way to stay connected to your clients and support them as they meet their goals.
Looking back to move forward: lessons learnt in 2020
This year was turbulent and unpredictable, but there were many lessons learnt in 2020. This year illuminated the need for better mental health supports and celebrated the counsellors doing their part to support the cause. It showed the importance of flexibility and meeting clients exactly where they are. It demonstrated that virtual counselling is not only possible, but it’s fundamental to increased accessibility of mental health resources. And finally, as the industry moves towards online counselling, integrating digital tools in your practice is one of the best ways to keep clients on-track and help them meet their goals between sessions. 2020 was a tough year — but it came with important lessons we can confidently take into 2021.
Are you ready to integrate digital tools into your practice? Therachat can help. Find out how we can support your practice in 2020. Learn more.