Online Counseling or Virtual Counseling or Telemental Health
Available now for those in Indiana and Califonia. All the above terms refer to the same type of modality of counseling. Online counseling can be conducted from anywhere in the world. All you need is access to the internet. Online counseling provides professional and supportive counseling and guidance from the privacy of your home or office. It may decrease any anxiety and intimidation that can sometimes occur with face-to-face sessions. You may feel more relaxed and in charge of the counseling process. Online based counseling can be beneficial for:
- Busy professionals who do not have time to leave their office for a therapy session
- People whose work schedules may conflict with a meeting during business hours.
- People who live in remote areas who do not have therapist within driving distance.
- People with physical disabilities where transportation is a challenge.
- Those who do not have time to meet face-to-face due to parenting or caregiving responsibilities.
- Those who have concerns talking about issues face-to-face due to feeling embarrassed or intimidated.
- Teenagers who don’t drive yet or have access to a car
- Young adults away at college
What equipment do I need for online counseling services?
You will only need to have access to a computer or laptop with a web camera and use this link to connect to Vsee. If you are receiving telephone-based services, you will need a good connection. You may need a headset with a microphone.
What are the possible drawbacks with using online counseling services?
It should be mentioned that as with face-to-face or traditional therapy, there is no guarantee that online counseling will be effective in helping you reach your identified goals. A therapist should not be expected to make important life decisions for you. These decisions are yours alone, although the therapist can offer guidance in helping you work through what may be the best decision for you. Therapists are not authorized to provide any legal advice or custody advice, as these activities are outside the scope of practice.
The possible risks from online counseling, include, but are not limited to:
- The possibility, despite reasonable efforts on the part of the therapist, that the transmission of medical information could be disrupted or distorted by technical failures
- The transmission of medical information could be interrupted by unauthorized persons and/or the electronic storage of medical information could be accessed by unauthorized persons
- It is possible that technical problems might at times cause messages not to be received
- It is also possible that misunderstandings due to lack of visual or verbal cues may occur (phone sessions)
- Turnaround time for asynchronous (such as email) communications cannot be immediate
- Possibility of misunderstandings through text-based communication
- Possibility of technical issues such as power outages or phone interruptions
- Problems with helping those who are actively suicidal or homicidal
- Requires being comfortable with computers and typing
- Insurance companies generally do not cover online services
When is online counseling NOT recommended?
Online counseling can be effective for many people, however, there are some individuals and situations where online counseling is NOT advised:
- If you are actively suicidal (you are having thoughts to hurt yourself) or homicidal (you are having thoughts of hurting someone else), please seek IMMEDIATE help by calling 9-1-1 or contacting the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to your nearest Emergency Room at a hospital
- If you are under the age of 18 (parental consent and oversight is needed)
- If you are experiencing a crisis situation that needs immediate attention such as rape, physical or sexual abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, or any form of domestic violence (Child Abuse Hotline 1- 800-422-4453; National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233; Rape Abuse & Incest Network 1-800-656-HOPE); TTY (800) 787-3224
- If you want to address health or medical issues without seeking medical advice or attention from a doctor
- If you need intensive, in-depth counseling for severe mental health issues or intensive psychiatric care
How can counseling help me?
Throughout our life, there will be times when we may need help addressing certain problems and issues that cause us emotional distress or feelings of overwhelm. When you are experiencing these types of issues, you may benefit from supportive and professional assistance from an experience, trained, and licensed professional. Counseling offers a caring and supportive environment that we often need during stressful times. A therapist can help you identify your problems and assist you in discovering best ways to cope. A therapist can help you develop and implement techniques that can assist in changing behaviors that contribute to the problem and teach healthier ways to deal with situations that are beyond your control.
Therapist offer help in addressing many situations and issues that can cause emotional distress, including, but not limited to:
- Anxiety, worries, perfectionism, stress
- Depression, and other emotional issues
- Family and relationship issues
- School difficulties and challenges
- Career change and job stress
- Grief and loss
Your privacy is important to me. Confidentiality is essential to client/therapist relationship. The law protects the client/therapist relationship and information cannot be disclosed without your written permission. However, there are exceptions and I am mandated by law to disclose certain information related to:
- Suspicion of child abuse or dependent adult abuse
- If you threaten to hurt someone else, I am required to notify the police and inform the potential victim
- If you threaten to hurt yourself, I will make every effort to receive your cooperation to ensure your safety. If you do not wish to cooperate, then I am required to notify the police or emergency contact.