Online Counseling - The Nuts and Bolts
Online Counseling may be the choice for you. I have been offeringnet consultations since 1998, but this year will give birth to this neednationally, in the public's eye. The numbers are climbing steadily, showing that you are looking specifically for online counseling.
I sat down with one of my private practice clients last week. She came in a few minutes late, sat down and said, "I don't have time to be depressed!"Receiving personal help through your pc for depression, anxiety, addictions ormarital issues is convenient because it fits into YOUR schedule, and we seem to be as busy as ever these days. Taking time out of your busy schedule for a therapy appointment costs in time, money for therapy and often money for childcare as well.
Services can occur in a variety of forms.
(1) EMAIL CONSULTATION
This is the most popular form of online counseling, probably due to the simplicity. All you have to do here is sendand receive email. Other benefits of email consultation include time to be thoughtful about questions. This benefit also applies to me as well. I often find myself in my study pullingreference books for a thorough and helpful response.
Many of you now use instant messaging, through Microsoft Messenger, I.R.C., I.C.Q., Yahoo Messenger and a variety of other programs, to communicate live to friends and family. This live chat can also be used to receive my help. Once youhave the software loaded on your computer and have signed up for a free account, you are ready forto receive care. I use I.C.Q., which you may download at www.icq.com, Once you've signed up and downloaded their program your are assigned a unique number. All I need is your uniquenumber, I put out a call to you across theinternet, and as long as you have the I.C.Q. program running, you are alerted and we canbegin the chat. A box pops up on your screen including a section for the text you typeand a section for the text I type. If there is one downfall to scheduling live chat.It's a very simple misunderstanding. We do not all live in the same time zone. Scheduling has to take into consideration the variance in time, depending on where weeach live. I live in Indianapolis, Indianan - USA a Central Time Zone area.
(3) GROUP CHAT
Group chat occurs by signing into a website chat room. I would host the chat aspsychotherapist and clients would sign up prior to the beginning of the chat and then sign in at the designated time. A benefit is the cost tends to be lower than one on one chat. A potential negative occurs when the group size gets too big. A good group leader willnot allow the group to be over 10 people.
(4) VIDEO CONFERENCING
The least used service, video conferencing, requires a fast connectionto the internet by client and psychotherapist, otherwise the quality of the online counseling is very disruptive compared to the benefits. The majority of internet users continue to connect to the internet by modem. Video conferencing may become more popular as high bandwidth connections become mainstream... BUT here's an interesting researchsurvey. In a study measuring disclosure of information in online counseling between chat and livevideo, people without the visual connection shared 80% more information.
For specific information on my confidential consultation services, including price list click on the link below.
Online counseling is not for you if you are currently contemplating suicide. If you are currently suicidal you need to immediately email me to receive an appropriate referral.
If I have not addressed a specific question you have please take a moment anddownload my Consumer's Guide To Online Counseling. I created this information-packed book with you in mind. It will go muchfarther in scope than this article has in answering your questions about onlinecounseling. I look forward to lending a helping professional hand through online counseling.
Dave Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW
622 W. Valley View Drive
Indianapolis, Indiana 46217
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