Wednesday, January 1, 2014

4 Unconventional Ways Technology Is Improving Counseling

Technology makes it possible to research and get help for many life problems online. With savvy search engines, narrowing down the right arena for you makes it easy to seek out help for common problems. Technology is also taking it a step further with some out-of-the-ordinary approaches to finding help.

1. Support Through Smartphone Apps

One can find smartphone apps for both iPhone and Android phones that can help with everything from cognitive behavior therapy to alleviating anxiety to battling addiction.

Cognitive Diary CBT Self-Help – Developer Excel At Life offers this free app to help you “Improve your life by changing your thinking.” If you feel the pressures of anxiety, anger or low self-esteem, this app first helps you recognize triggers and helps you set goals to change these behaviors and moods. It also includes a diary which was developed by a licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience.

iPromises Recovery Companion – From Elements Behavioral Health comes this get-your-life-back app. It allows you to set alert triggers and join meeting with other users. Connect with others in recovery and keep a daily journal. You can even include an addiction sponsor and set a one-touch contact button. The app can find AA or 12-step meetings using its GPS feature and beyond addiction, this app also helps with other problematic areas like grief, loneliness and family issues.

2. Therapy and Counseling Online

Technology is also making it easier than ever to find therapists dedicated to specific counseling and to find support groups locally. is a referral service but instead of offering up a list of counselors, it works much like an online dating website. Free to use, the website guides you through a list of questions to identify your needs and personality and then matches you with qualified counselors. This was developed by someone who had problems connecting with the right therapist. – A more advanced way to connect those seeking counseling comes through the website Many think of this website as a way to meet friends and find fun events but this website also offers meet-ups dedicated to counseling and support. Search in privacy online, read about the group and then join! Many meet-ups are low-cost or free.

3. Support Forums To Match the Need

There are many support forums online where you simply search for the problem and add “online support forum” to your search. Yahoo! Groups offers support forums dedicated to health and wellness. Many of the forums created are monitored by experts in various fields.

For example, you can find addiction forums, mental health forums or one to help you stay on your weight loss path.

4. Becoming a Counselor Through Technology

In addition to finding counseling help online, technology also affords those who have that special touch to train and become a professional counselor. Beyond basic counselor training, one can even enroll in masters programs in counseling to begin a career in the counseling world.

Once trained, counselors have the opportunity to offer their services in online venues or in-person or a combination of the two. These online training courses are great for those looking to make a career change or those who have always had the desire to help those who need it.

Once again, technology is paving the way for everyone to find the counseling they need and with app developers and online counseling companies on the rise, we can expect these online offerings to grow.

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