Why Distance Counseling?
In this electronic age we now have technology that assists people in connecting and receiving support services without having to meet face to face in person. Having completed over 20 hours of specialized training in distance counseling and certified as a Distance Counselor, I am able to provide therapy for clients living in the state of Georgia or living outside of the United States who, for many varied reasons, via email, phone and video conference. Here are some reasons clients may opt for distance counseling:
- My specialized services may not be provided by another qualified therapist in your residential area where you live and it’s too far to drive.
- You may be house-bound due to severe anxiety or other medical issues.
- Your schedule and my schedule may not match up for an in-person session but a distance session may be possible.
- Distance counseling is more affordable! I have a flat rate for email and phone/video sessions that is at a lessor cost than my standard in-office sessions.
About Video Conference Counseling
Using a HIPAA compliant platform, live video sessions are available for clients who wish to have that face to face session at a distance. There are advantages and disadvantages to this kind of therapy and it is a matter of comfort-level of the client. The cost of these sessions and process for registration is the same for phone sessions.
The Benefits and Advantages of Distance Counseling
- The greatest advantage of online counseling is the convenience. Traditional therapy requires clients come to see me at my office. Sometimes it can be difficult for clients to find way to sync their schedule with mine in order to see me in person. Although an in person therapy session only lasts 50 minutes, the total time may for a client to travel to see me and return to home or work with traffic sometimes may be a couple of hours. Online counseling takes place in the comfort of one’s own home on one’s own schedule. With wireless technology now available, online counseling can take place just about anywhere although I have a policy that clients agree to access their confidential email sessions with me from a secure setting in order to ensure their privacy.
- Online counseling is generally less expensive than traditional in-person face-to-face counseling.
- Another significant advantage of online counseling is a sense of anonymity. Clients can be much more forthcoming knowing they are not being observed and scrutinized. Self disclosure and honesty tends to occur more rapidly in online counseling because of this sense of anonymity.
- Individuals who are shy, have social anxieties or have transportation limitations can comfortably access therapeutic intervention via online counseling.
- Some people express themselves much better in writing than they do in person. For such people, online email based counseling offers a perfect avenue for discussing their problems with a professional counselor.
- Online counseling emails can be read and re-read allowing for review weeks or even months after the actual session.
The Disadvantages of Distance Counseling
- Online counseling is void of all visual cues and clues such as posture, gestures and facial expressions which often provide a great deal of information.
- Online counseling is also void of verbal elements such as rate, rhythm, tone, inflections and volume of speech which also provide the counselor with useful information.
- Online counseling requires a computer and Internet access as well as the ability to use a keyboard. Although reading is also an important requirement, there are software programs available which can translate the printed word into the spoken word.
- Online counseling services often require payment in advance for an intangible service from an unknown professional who may not meet the client’s needs. I circumvent this problem by allowing clients to contact me at no charge via my online secure contact form or by telephone for a 10 minute consultation.
- Online counseling cannot address certain issues such as crisis or severe mental illness.
- Online counselors are sometimes unfamiliar with the client’s community and the local resources available.
Clearly, online counseling can be a useful therapeutic resource for some people. It is certainly a service which will continue to expand along with technology. As people’s lives become increasingly complex and harried, the need for counseling will likely also increase. The many pros of online counseling make it a very appealing alternative to traditional therapy.
Get Started by contacting me directly! Let’s discuss if this is a good fit for you!