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Life abroad can be filled with challenges and difficulties, family struggles and job insecurities; and all while you are away from your usual support networks at home. Despite all the wonderful aspects of living as an Expat (in Italy or any other country), moving to another country can also be filled with unexpected problems that leave you dealing with a huge range of emotions and feelings.
This means that there may come a time when you need to talk to a professional counsellor to help you deal with the issues that you are facing; especially since you are in a foreign land.
While you are living abroad it’s not always easy to find the right counselling services; particularly if you are living in a country that isn’t English speaking. This can leave you feeling hopeless, lost and regretting your decision to move abroad in the first place!
E-counselling is a convenient solution that you can embrace to help you through the tough times, which is, unfortunately, often overlooked by Expats who hadn’t previously considered it as a potential option.
What Is E Counselling?
E-counselling, or online counselling, is a modern service which provides clients with an alternative to in-person counselling. This allows you to access fully qualified professionals on the internet without the need for visiting their offices in the conventional manner.
E-counselling is also sometimes referred to as cyber therapy, e-therapy or even web counselling; but essentially they all mean the same thing.
Services are usually provided using video conferencing facilities, email, messaging and real time chat. This allows counsellors to connect with their clients around the world to help with a wide variety of problems including mental health issues, nutritional guidance, psychotherapy and other forms of personalized support.
Why Might You Need E-counselling As An Expat?
There’s a wide range of reasons why you might find yourself seeking the services of a counsellor that can include anything from a serious crisis to just needing some help to get back on your feet. Whatever it is that you need help with though, e-counsellors are available 24 hours a day to assist, support and guide you through the difficulties that you are facing.
- Are you experiencing stress and anxiety brought on by living overseas?
- Is it feeling difficult to fit in with your new community and the foreign culture you are living in?
- Are you feeling homesick, isolated or missing your homeland?
- Has your relationship with your spouse, partner or family been suffering as a result of your move abroad?
- Are you suffering from depression or feelings of low self worth?
- Has your work or career been impacted negatively by your move abroad?
- Do you feel disconnected from your friends and family back at home?
- Is your future feeling uncertain or are you worried about your prospects?
- Are you lacking confidence and positivity in your life overseas?
No matter why you feel that you may need some support, e-counselling is a valuable resource that you can rely on; regardless of whether your problem is big or small!
Who Can Help You When You Contact An E-Counsellor?
When you contact an e-counselling company you will be matched with an appropriate counsellor who has previous experience and expertise in dealing with issues like the ones you are facing.
Every counsellor has a unique approach and so finding the right one is essential for you to get the most out of your e-therapy. Naturally, if you have started working with a new counsellor and you feel that the match isn’t right then you can easily arrange to change to another one.
What To Look For When Seeking A Good E-Counsellor?
When you’re looking for a counsellor in an online line setting there are a few things to check before you commit to accepting their services. It’s vital that you find the right match for your own personality and circumstances to get the most out of the relationship but this simple checklist will help you to cover all the main bases.
- What is the counsellor’s background and qualifications? You should always ask a potential therapist about their training and official qualifications.
- What types of counselling services do they have experience in delivering?
- Does the counsellor have a particular specialty? For instance, some counsellors specialize in working with certain groups of people such as survivors of violence, depression, anxiety, younger people or minority groups like the LGBTQ+ community.
- Does the therapist have previous experience of working with people who have had similar problems or issues to the ones you are facing?
- Is there a waiting list for their services, and if so, how long will you have to wait to begin your counselling?
- Is there a penalty fee if you have to cancel a session or are unable to attend for any reason?
- How long are the therapy sessions and how regularly can you arrange to have them?
- What are the general benefits and risks involved in the therapy? Ideally, there should be no risks but if you are working through some difficult issues you may experience emotional discomfort; however, the counsellor should help you work through it.
- It’s crucial to find out about the company and the therapist’s confidentiality policy. Are your sessions 100% confidential and how do their services relate to the local laws and regulations?
- If you have any disabilities and may need some adjustments to the way the sessions are conducted then you should ask if your requirements can be accommodated by the counsellor.
- Do you prefer to speak with a counsellor of a specific gender? If so, you should make this clear from the outset of your contact with the e-counselling service.
- How much does the e-counselling cost per session?
How Do You Contact And Communicate With Your Counsellor?
There are several main ways that you can contact and communicate with your e-counsellor. The specific way that you decide to communicate with your counsellor will largely depend on your own preferences because they will be very accommodating of your wishes.
The ways that e-counsellors communicate with you include:
- Online messages and emails.
- Live chats with your counsellor.
- Video conferencing.
- Telephone calls and texts.
You can use any method that you feel most comfortable with and so if you just speak with your counsellor you can arrange the most convenient way for you.
How Does The Messaging Process Work?
Your e-counsellor will assign you a private online ‘room’ where you can communicate with them. You can then send messages to your counsellor in that room to ask questions or discuss a problem that you are facing. You can also use the meeting room to arrange future appointments and video conferencing sessions.
Once your counsellor has seen your message they will respond to you with their feedback, advice and further guidance. One of the best things about getting help from an e-counsellor is that you can message them 24 hours a day. Although you may not always get an instant reply you will usually receive a response the same day. After your counsellor has responded to your message in your private room you will get a notification in your email inbox or on your phone.
How Much Does E-Counselling Cost?
Prices for e-counselling do vary, depending on the types of services you are receiving and who is providing the service (their location). But generally speaking it costs between $50 and $100 per week.
The Benefits Of E-counselling.
There are many benefits of e-counselling which can be hugely helpful for Expats and other people who are living overseas. Being separated from your support network, friends and family at home can be very difficult and so getting a little extra help can have a massively positive impact on your life going forward.
- Great Accessibility: One of the major advantages of e-counselling is that it is highly accessible. This means that no matter where you are in the world you can get in touch with a counsellor who not only speaks your native language but is also there for you 24 hours a day. This is extremely helpful for people who live in rural areas where there may not be nearby counselling services, as well as people with disabilities and Expats as well.
- Convenient And Easy To Attend: Unlike face to face counselling services, when you work with an e-counsellor you can contact them from the comfort of your own home without needing to travel or attend their office in person. For many people, this is a significant benefit if they are anxious about leaving their house or have a busy schedule and can’t fit in an in-person session.
- You Can Keep All The Information: When you see a counsellor in person they will retain the information and details of your conversations in their notes; however, when you work with an e-counsellor you will have a permanent record of your communications with them so you can refer back to them at any time. This means you can look back over the advice and guidance you have been given to reflect on at any time you like. Having access to your communications also means that you can monitor and assess how you’ve grown and changed throughout the sessions.
- Privacy And Anonymity: When you seek the help of an e-counsellor you can have a lot more anonymity and privacy than if you were meeting in person, since you may not even be in the same country as they are!
- Lower Cost: E-counselling is a lot cheaper than in-person counselling services which means if you’re a little unsure, or on the fence, about how it can help you the investment is not going to be off putting.
E-Counselling Can Be A Lifeline For Expats.
For many Expats life overseas can be very challenging, particularly in the early days. Being separated from your friends and family in a new environment can leave you feeling isolated, anxious and depressed but you can always reach out to an e-counsellor to get the extra support, guidance and help that you need.
E-counselling is an extremely flexible way of getting mental health guidance and personal support that is not only far more convenient than in-person counselling but it’s also cheaper and more accessible, no matter where in the world you are.