What is online, video or e-counseling?
Online therapy is when phone, email or video is used to provide counseling services. This type of service is conducted exactly how traditional face-to-face counseling is done, except the session is not held in an office setting, but is held where ever a person has a private and a compatible device. An individual or couple can be at work, home, car or anywhere else they desire to be and still be able to attend their session if they have access to a phone, tablet or video capabilities where internet is available. It actually is very easy!
Benefits to online counseling?
Online counseling gives individuals, couples and families flexibility in accessing therapy services where ever they are. How would you like to be able to see your counselor while at home or in your office at work with just a click of a button? With advances in technology and HIPAA compliant software, video counseling or other e-counseling methods provide a secure way to meet your therapist without worrying about street traffic or finding the location of your therapist’s office. Being late is less of a concern because you can use your phone to video chat or do phone therapy. Privacy and comfort is important, and I make every effort to keep your information safe. Most of my clients say they feel more comfortable in their home while talking to me over video. Online counseling is easy to access and provides quicker and more flexible services that are more convenient than in-person counseling.
Methods of online counseling?
Advances in technology now allow us to reach people where they are at. All you have to have is a cell phone. Online counseling can be done over the phone, through emails, and through video chat. Emails are slower to access, but can be like an ongoing conversation with your therapist. Phone conversations can be as quick as calling a therapist and asking them if you can have a quick session. Video counseling usually needs to be scheduled to provide for the ability to get to a more private place, but can provide the feel of actually being in the office with your client. Video counseling also allows the therapist to be able to help you in your everyday environment, which cannot be done in the therapist office.
Types of services offered during online counseling?
Video counseling, phone therapy, or email counseling can be used to provide all services that you can access in an office setting. Through the use of video counseling, couples sessions, family sessions and individual sessions are all possible. I can see you and you can see me. Therapy can simulate being in the office with the difference being that we can be anywhere and have a confidential conversation. Email counseling is helpful when immediate assistance is not needed, and advice or specific questions are asked. Email counseling can be used for individuals, families and couples. Phone counseling is very similar to video counseling, except therapists and clients cannot actively see each other. This decreases the ability to read social cues and see the environment that a client is in, but can be effective for immediate help if video is not available.
How does Video Counseling Work?
I currently use Simple Practice (my HIPAA compliant EHR) to provide video counseling. I also use a HIPAA compliant phone number and email if a client desires phone therapy or email counseling.
Doxy.me is another type of video platform that is also HIPAA compliant and allows for safe transfer of information. I have used this in the past and it is available as a back-up if for some reason Simple Practice is not working.
The way it works is that you will receive an email from me. In that email, you will see 2 different links. The first one allows you to enter the video session. How simple is that? One click! That is all you need to do if you are using a laptop or a desktop computer. If however, you desire to use your phone or laptop, it only takes one more step of downloading the app given to you in the email, then clicking the ling to enter the video session. I try to make it as easy for you to access so it is actually easier than finding my office and walking up the stairs.
Possible, but Fixable Complications
One thing to remember is that online therapy does use technology. We all know that sometimes technology doesn’t always work as well as we would like it to. Although it can be so useful, it also can falter at times. Please don’t worry! We have options!
If a video session falters, I will call you and if all else fails, we can do phone counseling until the video gets fixed or we find another way to meet. Video sessions can be amazing, but remember that we are working with technology and patience is the key. Many people love the convenience of video counseling and have preferred it, despite the kinks. Try it out, maybe you will like it too.
To schedule an appointment, please hit the orange button that says SCHEDULE A NEW CLIENT at the top right hand side of this page, or call 706-955-0230.
Brandon Coussens, LMFT
- Address3540 Wheeler Rd., Ste. 110
Augusta, GA 30909