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And Talk? Pros And Cons Of Online Consulting - The Quality Of Life
And Talk? Pros And Cons Of Online Consulting - The Quality Of Life

Video: And Talk? Pros And Cons Of Online Consulting - The Quality Of Life

Video: And Talk? Pros And Cons Of Online Consulting - The Quality Of Life
Video: Why I moved OUT of Denmark - 3 things they don't tell you! 2023, June

For several years I have been working as a consultant psychologist at one of the major Internet portals for women. An astrologer, interpreter of dreams, make-up artist, phlebologist and other specialists worked side by side with me. Online consulting is more like a game than something serious. First of all, we are talking about the "written question-answer" format, which does not imply further communication. Users sometimes angrily ask: "Is it possible to advise something sensible only by writing?" Let's try to figure out what are the pros and cons of online consultations

Once, while surfing the Internet, I came across the site of a popular sexologist. Among other things, consultations were organized there. After following the link, I discovered an amazing uniformity. No, users presented a variety of problems, observing all intimate details. But the sexologist, like a carbon copy, gave the same answer: “The situation may have different reasons. Find an opportunity for a personal consultation. " Without a doubt, any problematic situation can have different causes. And (who would argue!) It is better to come to any specialist personally. But people are looking for information, which means that you need to understand how to work in such a way that at least "no harm" and, as a maximum, help.

What can psychological online consultations do?

Answering the question, it is impossible to give truly individual recommendations that would "work" in solving the problem. There are many reasons: the client's personality is "hidden" on the other side of the screen, the description of the situation is one-sided. But you can try to broaden the horizons of both the author of the question and those numerous users who go to the "consultations" in order to find something similar to their own stories. This means that the answer can be detailed, contain both assumptions about the causes of problems, and the advancement of different hypotheses. If in a personal consultation the psychologist follows the path of "narrowing" the problem, its concretization, then in the Internet answer, on the contrary, there is a possible expansion of the problem field. This allows users to look "wider", perhaps to think about options that they never thought of.

Perhaps, all popular psychology, pouring out from the pages of books, magazines and newspapers, has a rather low efficiency (coefficient of efficiency), even if professionals worked on it. It is certainly very interesting to read and recognize in the descriptions of yourself or your acquaintances, and this gives ground for thought. But in order to resolve your own problem situation, this is not enough. Even rare books that can provide actionable recommendations that can be applied do not work precisely because they need to be applied. You need to train, develop new skills, and most often - laziness. Motivation issue. But such literature completely solves the problem of increasing psychological literacy.

Internet consultations, as well as articles on the pages of the "world network", are no exception. This is a new, modern way to convey to people what they probably won't read anywhere else (due to the fact that they don't buy books or magazines). This is why you shouldn't underestimate online consultation. But, alas, it's not worth looking for solutions to pressing problems that require an individual approach. And of course, there is a danger of spam authors who are not experts in the profession they claim to be.


Psychological literacy is a pressing issue. This is noticeable when you, a psychologist, begin to be confused with astrologers. Perhaps I do not fully understand the scientific background of this craft. It may be many centuries old. But, oddly enough, the profession of "astrologer" does not exist, and all this activity, in my subjective opinion, is on the verge of shamanism. And when some colleagues start calling themselves "psychologist-astrologer", then my professional respect for them falls, and confusion, on the contrary, grows.

In the consultation, when contacting me, users often wrote, referring to themselves as Virgos, Gemini and others like them. Perhaps they did not confuse the psychologist and the astrologer, but simply, having filled in the question, they decided to send it "at the same time", and suddenly the psychologist will say something. Letters, containing only details about the place and time of birth, came with sad regularity. There were also nonsenses.

“Hello, Julia. My name is Valentina, but I would like to know about my daughter. Her name is Masha, she was born in the city of Naro-Fominsk, Moscow region on February 9, 1982 at 7 o'clock in the morning, with her husband Boris (born May 5, 1979 in Moscow) live in Moscow, in a rented apartment. Will they be able to buy their home and when? This worries us greatly. " Well, how do you like that? One thing is clear: the astrologer has enough dates and times to make a prediction. But the psychologist is not! In complete bewilderment she answered: “Dear Valentina! I was again confused with fortune-telling astrologers. I don’t guess by dates of birth. In general, I doubt that dates of birth can help to make at least some plausible prediction of buying an apartment. Good luck and financial stability!"


"You are my last hope." This is how many letters began (or ended). I can guess that it was a hidden compliment, they say, "where am I without your advice, do not let me disappear." Several times after this phrase, others were even added: "I'll lay hands on myself" and "I even think about suicide (suecide, suezide)." I confess - not convincing. More like manipulation: do not become, comrade psychologist, the cause of the untimely death of an Internet user, drop the answer!

It can be very funny when a person does not indicate important information. Here's an example of such a story. A 19-year-old girl wrote to me that a guy has been caring for her for a year. He comes every day with wine, cake to watch a romantic movie. But it doesn't even come to kissing. When the girl asked who she was to him, he “disappeared”. In my answer I suggested that the guy is a modest and indecisive virgin. A few days later another letter came from her. There, she thanked for the answer and the article, but clarified that the guy is hardly a virgin, since he is 33 years old and has two marriages behind him. Having laughed off, I wrote an answer in which I asked to be more careful in the wording and not to call men over 25 years old "guys". In my memory there were also cases when girls wrote that their “guys” were 37 and even 42 years old!

And here is another letter that I especially remember.

"Hello! I am 18 years old and I am dating a married man, he is 30 years old. On the first dates, he swore his love and said: “Ask what you want! “But for several months he hasn't answered my SMS, and when I call, he has dropped it. I really want a car. Do you think I can ask him for it?"

As they say, no comment.

Sometimes users send their questions 5-10 times in a row, and then indignantly write: "I sent you a question an hour ago, where is the answer ?!" Do they really think that the psychologist spends all the time at the screen, eager to get another question in order to instantly answer it? After all, it can hardly be assumed that this employment with a specialist is the main and only one. Psychologists often work in online consultations for free. And they answer questions in their free time from work and family.


When it comes to personal consultation, the client himself decides that he needs help, looks for a psychologist, comes to him with his feet. All of these are quite serious steps, in and of themselves, indicating a determination to sort out the problems. A person is ready to spend at least time on this, and as a maximum - money. Therefore, he prepares for the conversation, thinks over what he will tell the psychologist. As a rule, he sets tasks for himself: what result he would like to receive from the consultation, that is, is it an “active principle”.

Online consultations are another matter. Getting help online is attractive. First, it's free. Secondly, it does not require much effort from a person, except for writing a few lines. Even the "fifth point" from the chair does not have to be torn off. Thirdly, if you like the answer, you can exclaim: "How right I was, even the psychologist confirmed!" And if you don't like it? Reactions range from the aggressive "Some nonsense, these psychologists are only experts to skate round" to the quite peaceful "Well, he (she) has not seen me, so he cannot give advice." In any case, everyone is happy.

That is why in Internet questions it is often impossible to find a specific request for a problem. Most often, the letters end with the phrases “What do you think about this?”, “Advise at least something”, “Give advice”. That is why the answer to such a letter can be either extremely short (“To understand the problem, come for a personal consultation”), or, on the contrary, written in the style of reasoning about “what-could-be-be”. As you understand, it has nothing to do with specific help. And users are unlikely to really expect help. Rather, they want to twist the situation this way and that, sometimes just out of boredom.

How are consultations over the Internet and personal

The similarities between online and personal consultations are incorrectly formulated requests and one-sided presentation of information. The people who describe the situation find themselves "in white", and the oppressors (spouses, parents, children, bosses, and so on) - "in black." The most popular query is "do something with him." So a person is trying to find out how he could change another, so that he, his beloved, was good. In fact - a request for training in manipulation. But psychologists don't (or at least shouldn't) do this. Personal consultation allows you to highlight the key points in a different way, to get closer to a certain objectivity of the data. After that, the client already decides whether he is ready to change something and make decisions. Internet consultations do not provide such an opportunity. By answering, you can only explain to the user that his request is manipulative,and you will have to take responsibility. I believe that such an answer can cause resentment and disappointment in the psychologist, who did not want to give a free magic wand to improve loved ones.

  • First of all, psychological online consultations are a way to have fun. And for those who write in them, and for those who just read. It is always interesting to "look through the keyhole" after seeing a piece of someone else's life. It is doubly more interesting if you can immediately find out what the psychologist thinks about it.
  • Secondly, online consultations are one of the channels for obtaining information. It can help develop psychological competence. But even in this capacity, he should not be the only one. It's good if you sometimes pick up books and magazines. This way you can be sure that you are receiving information from a specialist, and not from spam authors, which, unfortunately, are numerous on the Internet.

But as a tool in solving a pressing problem, Internet consultations do not work. If you are really considering going to a psychologist, do it in person. Don't waste time looking for "similar" situations, they are still not about you. Do not write huge letters describing the situation, all the same much will escape the attention of a specialist.


Personality is lost

In counseling, not only the personality of the client, his individual characteristics of character and temperament, but also the personality of the psychologist is important. In online consultations, both personalities are "blurred".

The situation is distorted

Most often, in the questions of users, you can see a one-sided description of the situation: the past is not touched, and the present is described from the position of "have pity on me, the poor." Where a psychologist would ask a clarifying question in a personal consultation, on the Internet you have to be content with what you have.

Responsibility disappears from both the client and the psychologist

At a personal consultation, this issue is specially discussed: the psychologist must act on the basis of the "code of ethics", the client must make decisions and think about their consequences. But when the psychologist and the client are just lines on the screen for each other, responsibility is lost.


Elena Rekunova, consultant psychologist


When communicating through the verbal channel, a person receives only 7% of the information. Everything else is read through intonation, gestures, eyes, emotions. So, let's say that a client has written a very detailed letter to an Internet counseling psychologist outlining their problem. But he did not mention how his close people behaved in the described situation, he did not say anything about his feelings. The psychologist, having read the text, perceived 7% of what the client had in mind. He was very intelligent and conscientious and answered in detail as best he could. In turn, the client, naturally, accumulated only 7% of what the psychologist wanted to convey to him. And what did they correspond about? Psychology is the science of the soul, so a psychologist, in order to achieve a result, needs to feel the movements of the client's soul during a conversation. And the main thing is never to give advice. He can only show various options for solving the problem. And they ask for advice!

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