Is Online Counseling Right For You?
Online counseling can seem like a strange thing. We’ve long been raised with images of the ‘therapy couch’ – a Freud-like experience of laying down and confessing our dreams or, at the very least, sharing space with a trusted confidant as we explore our troubles and hopes. Doesn’t online counseling feel cold and distant? Can you really connect with a therapist this way? Does it even work?
Now more than ever therapists and counselors are taking their services online. Guided Wellness has been offering online counseling sessions (also known as telehealth) since March 2020 and I’ve learned a few things along the way. Let me share them here so you can decide if online counseling is a good choice for you and dismiss some of the myths surrounding this method.
First, you really can connect online! This has been, by far, the happiest realization I’ve had since integrating online sessions for the treatment of depression, anxiety and trauma. I find that connecting through the screen invites me and my clients to be more mindful of our working relationship. No longer being able to rely on body language and more subtle cues in the room, a space has been created for you and I to be more intention, direct and sincere.
Second, the technology is easy to use. If you can open an email or text then you can do online counseling. At Guided Wellness Counseling I use a website service called Doxy.me for sessions. Doxy.me is a great option because it’s ‘medically secure’ (unlike FaceTime and Zoom calls). Also, there is no need to set up an account or password ahead of time. I simply email or text you a link, you click and the call begins.
Finally, when you do counseling for your PTSD, mood, relationships and more online from your home you have access to all your comfort items. I love seeing my clients join an online therapy session from the comfort of their couch, hot cup of coffee in hand. They often bring a blanket to snuggle or snack if needed. Pets become impromptu emotional support animals, wanting stroking and closeness. These items not only make sessions comfortable but can help you to self regulate (e.g. keep your stress low when talking about upsetting topics).
I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about your stress and mood and if telehealth counseling is right for you. A free 15 minute consultation will let us get to know one another and see if we are a good fit. I’m happy to provide free resources, recommendations or referrals to other professions if needed.
Still wondering if telehealth counseling is right for you? I really enjoyed this article by Sam Dylan Flinch as shared at Healthline.com about his experience and tips for making online counseling work.