Admitting that it's time to seek therapy is a big step as a couple. Learn more about online relationship counseling and see if it's right for you.
Keyword(s): online relationship counseling
Have you been thinking about seeking professional help for some aspect of your life lately? Maybe you are feeling stressed or depressed. Perhaps you are having trouble in your relationship.
You aren't alone.
Many people seek out counseling to improve communication and conflict resolution skills in their relationships. While many people can benefit from professional counseling, often they do not seek treatment.
Why? One barrier is time.
People sometimes can't take the needed time away from hectic workplaces and their busy schedules to find a therapist. They feel trapped without time to schedule appointments or remain in treatment.Luckily, online options are becoming more and more prevalent.
Luckily, online options are becoming more and more prevalent.
Are you curious about online relationship counseling? Looking for some more information? You're in the right place. Keep reading for five things you should absolutely know about your options before signing up.
As you begin seeking out online options, you must familiarize yourself with licensing issues. If you come across services saying you will be able to chat with a licensed professional, you still need more information.
Therapists generally must be licensed in the state or states where they provide services. This can be confusing with online relationship counseling. If you live in Pennsylvania, the therapist you speak with must have a license in Pennsylvania.
While it may seem like a minor issue, it can present legal issues. If the counselor is not licensed in your state, you may have trouble filing complaints. There also will be fewer protections for you if something goes wrong.
Make sure you research or ask if the therapist if they have a license for your state. It is a good idea to also research what area of therapy they are most experienced in. These steps will help you find reputable online therapists.
2. Therapist Training
After checking about licenses, you will want to ask what background they have specifically in web-based therapy.
Therapists and psychiatrists have a code of ethics they practice by. It lays out that therapists should only practice within their own competence and experience level.
This means if someone provides online therapy, they should have extensive training and experience doing so.
Unfortunately, many online therapy services cannot provide proof of such experience. Many may have reputable practices in a building somewhere, but providing online relationship counseling can be very different.
3. Privacy of Online Relationship Counseling
Confidentiality is one aspect of therapy that gives people some comfort. As such, there are many questions to consider when seeking online counseling. While it may be hard to assess, you should ask what the therapist's protocols are.
For example, if they must abruptly leave their computer, what happens? Does a secretary monitor the chat for emergencies for a few minutes or is the computer left completely unattended?
To feel comfortable, you will also likely want to know where your therapist is practicing. Do they have a private office or are they discussing your life while sipping a coffee at a cafe?
When considering online counseling, also think about your computer situation. If you share a computer with family, it is possible they could accidentally see your personal information.
Best practice suggests avoiding using your work computer.
4. Technology Limitations
While it is everywhere, the internet has problems. While online relationship counseling websites can be secured and encryption applied to email and chats, nothing is perfect.
Communication with your therapist is vulnerable to hackers. Depending on what you discuss, this could be dangerous to you or others.
In addition to hackers, sometimes the internet connection will just go out. This is especially true of the average homeowner's internet connection. How will you feel if you are having an in-depth conversation and you lose your connection?
Before committing to online counseling sessions, you must be aware of these possible complications.
Technology also removes another key part of in-person therapy: non-verbal cues. These help in-person therapists decipher more about their client.
Fidgeting, blushing, and avoiding eye contact are all important things that will go unnoticed with online counseling. Missing these may mean your therapist will take longer to understand you.
Make sure you are okay with this before paying for any service.
5. Safety Backup
In-person therapy sessions frequently get intense and can cause strong emotions that you as a patient were not expecting. Make sure you ask your potential online therapist what the plan is for when this happens.
Your online therapist should have a standard procedure for your sessions, especially in case of an emergency. Ask them if they will call you and if they have information on local resources.
Benefits of Online Services
While it may seem like a lot of questions, research, and work, once you find an online therapist, it can be life-changing.
As mentioned, online counseling can be perfect for people with busy lifestyles. It can ease the stress of making in-person appointments. This type of counseling is usually flexible and on your own schedule. You talk when you want to.
Online counseling also provides people a sense of anonymity. This can be helpful for anyone worried about people seeing walking in and out of an office.
This type of counseling can also be groundbreaking for anyone in an area with limited services. Some rural areas may be hours from counselors so this is a way to access the help you need.
Online services are also great when language barriers may be an issue. Online, you have access to diverse options.
Take the Next Steps
As you can see, there are things you should know about online counseling. Doing your own research will help you find the best option for you and your situation.
Now that you've learned a little more about online relationship counseling are you ready to seek the help you may need?
Contact us to schedule an appointment, and take the steps towards improved communication and a happier relationship.
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