Updated: Jan 19, 2022
Have you ever come across any ad on social media claiming to provide free online counseling? You must have. But the question that arises here is should you opt for such online free therapy or not. Let's find out.
The online therapy market is growing rapidly. After the pandemic, mental health issues are being given more importance now. At least people are discussing their issues over various social media platforms. Countless platforms are operating in the country claiming to provide the best online counseling and therapy and what attracts the clients the most is the cost of a therapy session. The concept of online free therapy appears here.
Mental health is one of the least talked about topics in an Indian household. It's difficult to make the older generation understand your emotional issues. In fact, it's a non-existent topic in various societies across the country. Fear of social judgment and the fear of being left out refrain them from taking professional help. Online platforms are a great option to opt for mental health issues. It erases the chances of social judgment and reduces the pain of waiting in a clinic.
Online free therapy:
‘Free’ is the perfect keyword to attract Indian audiences. We love discounts and “free” on any website. Similar goes with the case of mental health platforms. If quality service is offered freely, that's perfectly fine. However, in general, we don't see both going together in many websites operating in the country.
Mental health is an alien concept in the country. As awareness is very low, people don't understand the requirement of paying a fee to just talk to a counselor. They are hesitant towards paying a booking fee just to talk to a counselor. We get a lot of requests asking for free sessions. Financial aid is a different thing but offering quality service completely free is not feasible for any business model.
Online psychiatric consultation or psychological counseling is comparatively costly from a middle-class perspective. Most of the platforms are offering services at a very high fee. It's a genuine problem why many want to solve everything by themselves. FlyingPepper follows a very realistic approach in solving this issue by offering therapy and counseling at a very affordable rate. Our counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists are highly experienced having a wide range of expertise. Charging a minimum fee will help those who cannot afford a therapy session in the traditional format while maintaining the quality of therapy at the highest possible level.
Why you should not opt for platforms offering free online counseling and therapy!
Sounds odd, right? Why would someone discourage you from opting for a therapy session that is offered for free? And what is the loss of attending a therapy session even if it fails to solve your issues as you are not paying anything for it?
The answer is not that simple though. There are many free online services that don’t cost you anything. Genuine and authentic services are no doubt highly recommended. However, it’s not the same with most of the free platforms.
1. Authenticity: As mental health awareness is very low in our country, many are not aware of the professional qualifications that are required for offering mental health help. There are many services available online offered by someone who is not trained in it. Counseling is something that seems doable by anyone but it’s not like that. You need to have proper education and training to offer counseling help. Empathetic listening is ok, but to provide counseling services, you need to have counseling psychologists onboarded on your platform. Research well before approaching any site for therapy rather than falling into the trap of keywords like “online free therapy”.
2. Not possible: Before saying “don’t go for free online counseling and therapy”, let’s discuss the feasibility side of it. See every platform follows a business model. In the end, they have to survive. If they offer completely free services, it won’t be possible for them to survive for long which will eventually stop the services. Charging too much should definitely be avoided. A reasonable rate is what we should opt for while launching any service around mental health.
3. Quality: It’s totally perfect if quality service is offered for free. Nothing can be better than that. But it is just impossible to offer free services to anyone that too with high quality. So, better opt for something which is having high quality rather than going for free. Nobody looks for free consultations with a doctor. Everyone is familiar with the physical healthcare system. When it comes to mental health, we become reluctant. Looking for free online counseling and therapy is just a reflection of it. There are many who cannot afford these services. They must be given financial aid or if needed offer free sessions. But it’s not logical for someone who can afford to seek free services. In a way, it’s a disrespect for the professionals who are working hard to solve the mental health problems of their fellow citizens.