From the desk of a psychologist!

Why Online Counseling?

When I decided to choose the line of psychology and become a therapist, I never thought I’ll one day advocate Online Counseling. To be very honest, in our time there was no field  called as online counseling. Technology was still finding its place at that time. I had the full intention of becoming a traditional counselor and I did so too. Gradually I started hearing the term ” online counseling” and I thought must be a way of fooling people. My personal belief was no proper certified psychologist will do this. I found it below my level!

And as they say a little knowledge is dangerous, it made me naïve and think like a fool.Today, after gaining some knowledge in this field, I am at a very different stage . I started online counseling as a way of helping someone, who was just not in a situation to come out and look for a therapist. It started because there was no other alternative but became one of my biggest tool today. So, here I am with the reasons why I find online counseling an emerging way of helping those, who really need it but can’t get it in the traditional face to face way. Lets start with what in the first place counseling is ? Here is a power point to shed some light on the definition of counseling:

counseling

This was about counseling and why do we need it.

Now there could be two situations pertaining to this : you need something and you go ahead and fulfill it but many times, due to various reasons there are issues which hinders you achieving your need. Same goes for counseling, lets talk about the different issues which can make the conventional face to face counseling difficult for a person :

Lack of resources : In our country finding a trained qualified therapist is a tough job. You recognise the need for counseling and try to find a therapist but it becomes difficult and gradually you leave hope. The extra stress of looking for a counselor,who really can help  is something which only adds to your misery.

The taboo of visiting a shrink : ” Oh my God, is everything alright?”, ” Do you want to share with me about it”, “Are you crazy?” are some general reactions and apart from these questions there are also the judgmental looks to go through. You really need to be superhuman to not to be bothered by them.

Busy schedule: sometime you just are so occupied that finding time becomes an issue. You want to see a therapist but when?

No travelling time & stress: India has many great things to boast of but traffic is not one of them and if you’re in one of the big cities, God bless you!

Being in your comfort zone:  If you’re troubled, going to an alien place feels traumatic. Just the security of being in your house give you the courage of starting the process. I have known so many people who have made the phone call but when the time came to visit the therapist, they just were not able to do so.

These are my general reasons of trying to prove that online counseling can be a good way for people who needs counseling but unable to reach out to a therapist’s center but now the million dollar question is ” What is online counseling and how is it carried out?”

It is actually very simple and straightforward.Online counseling is the provision of professional counseling services concerns via the Internet. Services are typically offered via email,real-time chat, and video conferencing.

So, the different medium of video conferencing could be:

            

A very good way which has emerged for group therapy & self-help groups is Google+ hangouts.

This was a glimpse of online therapy and what it has to offer. I am sure it must be a great feeling to know that YOU HAVE OPTIONS! 

If this article has left you with questions brewing in your mind…Go ahead and ask, it is not going to hurt anyone 🙂

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Comments on: "Why Online Counseling?" (20)

  1. There are many HIPAA compliant online counseling technology options. Visit the website http://www.counselingcomparisons.com for a list and comparison of online counseling technologies, online counseling networks and consumer oriented online counseling programs. It will save you hours of research.

    • unwrappingminds said:

      Thank you Jay for the site. The options I have shared was the ones I use, and where I am a lot of people are comfortable with them.

  2. Richard Orona said:

    You have provided material I was not familiar with. I have recently begun using online resources for working with clients. Do you find that clients are generally receptive of this format of work?

    • unwrappingminds said:

      Hi Richard,

      Yes, I find clients being very receptive of this mode as it is less threatening & easily accessible.

  3. Hi, I was wondering what the credentials would be, to have an online counseling service such as you. I start my masters degree this week and I can adjust my credentials if need be

    • unwrappingminds said:

      Hi Linda,
      I am sure you need to be certified in your country or state at least to begin with.

      • Thank you for responding, I truly believe online counseling is the future. There are so many people that might seek therapy online that otherwise would not. Number one they can remain anonymous in their idea of therapy by not having to show up to a conventional office as always, in the past. There may be more people seek help via internet vs walk-ins. I truly believe it is one of the greatest break through s in decades. Just think of the possibilities.

      • Hi I will start my masters in August, what would I need to take for completion in order to become an online candidate, Masters? PHD? PsyD? I want to plan my career accordingly to be able to implement online counseling into my practice. Can you advise me and point me in the right direction?

  4. Yes , I am a clinical psychologist ( Psychotherapist practicing for 35 yrs. & I do counselling online thru Skype for some of my out of country clients who find it difficult to connect to ` Foreign’ counsellors .

  5. ayesha ali said:

    so….online counselling seems veryyy interesting but i was also thinking that is there any earning aspect to it …? i mean those who are giving in their services?? thankyou!

  6. AAQIB JAVED ANSARI said:

    hi i am a clinical psychologist , how can i deal with patients?

  7. Mrigaya Sinha said:

    Hi! Its great to hear discussions regarding online therapy finally emerging among Psychologists in India. Videoconferencing is of course the most exciting option in online counselling currently and even reluctant therapists are being pulled into it by eager clients. I have been following Dr. Maheu’s site telementalhealth.org for a long time and I do feel that the forum’s discussions on ethical and privacy issues related to telemental health are important for Psychologists to understand. HIPAA is not something that therapists in India are aware of but an awareness about confidentiality/ethical issues of the medium being used is imperative. We need to also share our own experiences with VC, example the differences between having few sessions face-to-face versus all sessions on line. The length of therpay that seems to be suitable for the medium and many other such questions.
    I also feel that online forum should help therapist in different locations to come together to provide better service to those in need. I do hope that the discussion generated on this forum can continue with more suggestions and insights in this area.

    • One question, how do you get paid for services online? I know you would need a tax ID# and all that, but how do clients single you out?

    • Hi I went to telementalhealth.org and the site was very confusing, how do I find a suitable therapist to compare?

  8. I think that is among the most important info for me. And i’m happy studying your article. But wanna commentary on few general issues, The web site style is ideal, the articles is in point of fact great : D. Excellent activity, cheers

  9. Chuck Young said:

    I am interested in beginning to offer an online service and I am reading all I can find to bring myself up to speed on how to. I like some I have no skills in setting this service up. This I believe is a necessary service to many who of they come forward will be black balled from their chosen profession.

    • unwrappingminds said:

      Which country are you from Chuck? I am asking this question because the way it works changes according to the place you are working

  10. […] to technology now we have the amazing world of online counseling . You need not come out and announce it to the whole world but discreetly could seek help. We, […]

  11. […] Why Online Counseling? (unwrappingminds.wordpress.com) […]

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