Is The Future of Counseling Online?

By Sarah Fader

I am in my late 30’s now and I’ve never tried online counseling or home counseling.

 

I’m not actually old, and I’m not even middle-aged. But, I’m not a millennial too.

 

I have many theories about why I haven’t given this modality a shot, but the main one is this: I’m old. I’m being facetious when I call myself old. I’m not actually old, and I’m not even middle-aged. But, I’m not a millennial too. I am someone who is between Generation X and millennials. I have a ton of millennial friends and I love them, but I am not one of them.

 

I don’t communicate well through text.

 

It’s been hard to assimilate into a world where people use the Internet primarily to communicate other than text messaging. These things are difficult for me to accept because I am an auditory learner and I have a theater background. I don’t communicate well through text and I often have to request that people call me on the phone for clarification on things. This has the capacity to frustrate people as this isn’t their style of communication.

 

I am always anxious and I may impulsively call you.

 

Then I also have anxiety. So not only do I want to talk to someone on the phone, there is a sense of urgency associated with this request. Even if I am seemingly flexible about asking them, they don’t seem to get that. I am always anxious and I may impulsively call you if you’re my friend.

There is a technological divide between me and 2017. I want it to be the 90’s and I’ve made that quite clear to my friends and family. Thank goodness my parents were born before the technology existed and they actually talk to me on the phone.

What is your point, Sarah Fader?

 

I am afraid because I associate therapy with an office and a person.

 

My point is this: my technology resistance is hurting me in some ways. I am afraid to try things that could actually be helpful to me like online counseling. I have so many memories of being a teenager and going to a therapist’s office. I can’t get my head around the idea that someone on the Internet could help me, which is ridiculous! I work in social media, I have 400 friends I have never met IRL. That makes zero sense. But I am afraid because I associate therapy with an office and a person.

 

I need to get over myself.

 

I need to get over myself, stop being so old and actually see if online counseling could help me. Who knows? I am somewhat of a hermit so maybe talking to a therapist at home could work for me and help with social anxiety.

 

Is it a generational gap? I want to figure this out.

 

Is it a generational gap? I want to figure this out. Are people not using online counseling because it’s something that they feel is too “new” for them or they can’t figure out the technology or are they set in their ways? I’m not sure. But I do want to know from you.

Michelle and I were talking about this and she and I collectively agreed that the core issue is that we are old. So, maybe we just need to get over our oldness and try this whole thing. Is online counseling good for old people like us?

Sarah FaderCEO of StigmaFighters.com
Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York.

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2018-02-18T20:14:09+00:00 December 30th, 2017|blog, Sarah Fader, writing|