Researchers call it the’disinhibition effect’, and it’s largely because of the anonymity and invisibility of being online. Behind the safety of a monitor you will feel less vulnerable and more able to share your feelings with others. You loosen up, shed your inhibitions and express your inner feelings openly. Additionally, it helps when you’re in a familiar environment. You are more inclined to open up about your feelings and previous experiences from the safety and comfort of your own living room than in a peculiar and unfamiliar workplace. On top of this, you obtain a substantial degree of hands when online. You can to better help counseling choose where, when and how you react to individuals. You may take as long as you like to reply to messages, or you could ignore them altogether.
This amount of control may be important if you are doing something that is challenging, for example digging deeply into your past and researching emotions that are difficult. It helps to create a feeling of empowerment – and that is even before you have started to experience the many benefits of the therapy! You’re in control – you can reveal as much or as little as you’d like and you will stop and start as you desire. True, you can do exactly the exact same in face-to-face therapy to a certain degree, but it’s much less difficult to move away from a computer than walk from a session when things get too much.
Summing up, online treatment isn’t only a convenient and cost-effective direction of accessing support, but it could also result in strong self-exploration, empowerment and discovery. It gives you a little bit of extra confidence to explore new parts of your character and previous experiences. Obviously, this willingness or’disinhibition’ can have a drawback. Revealing your deepest and most distressing or emotional secrets when nobody is present can leave you feeling vulnerable. Online therapists will need to be aware of this and ensure they offer a suitable degree of support and advice.