Did you ever want to talk with a family member, good friend or colleague and, for whatever reason, calling or texting wasn’t a good option? Sometimes, using Skype or Facetime is the best option – especially when you want to see the other person.
Online counseling (also called telemental health, telehealth, remote counseling, etc.) works in a similar way. Sometimes it isn’t practical or preferred to go to a counselor’s
office, but it is still important to meet with a counselor. You could call and talk to the
counselor, but a lot is lost when talking to a “voice at the other end of the phone”. It can also be difficult to tell if the counselor is listening, sympathetic, concerned, or ignoring you while on the phone. However, if you could see the counselor, it would be pretty easy to tell.
Online counseling is when a counselor and client meet face to face but in different locations. This means that they can see and hear each other but are in different places. There are many options for how to securely and confidentially meet. My preference is doxy.me because they offer bank-level security, a high level of confidentiality, and are HIPAA compliant without the need to download software or for the client to remember yet another password.
This might sound wonderful, but is it effective? Recent studies* have shown that online counseling is comparable to in-person counseling, and can even reduce the need for inpatient psychiatric care for some people. Stay tuned for our next online counseling blog to read more about the benefits of online counseling. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact me here.
MA, ICAADC, CCPG, LPC