Why Online Therapy?
There are many reasons people choose online counseling over traditional in-person therapy. Some people know this is what they are looking for, while others many not realize it’s an option of be aware of all the benefits. It can be helpful to know the terms, though. When talking about doing counseling over the internet, it’s often called telehealth, online therapy, or video counseling. There’s no one right term, so using any of these should get the same response from counselors.
Doing counseling over the internet can be a great way to connect and get the help you’re looking for when there are no counselors in your area with openings for new clients, none with the specialty you need, or if you live in a rural town with limited access to these services.
Video counseling saves time. Instead of driving to and from appointments, especially during traffic, you can stay in the comfort and privacy of your home, office, or even in the car. This can reduce the amount of time that therapy takes away from your day, making it easier to commit to for busy people.
Another benefit of telehealth is that it makes psychotherapy more accessible for people with anxiety or social phobias. It can be a huge relief to not have to worry about running into someone you know in the waiting room!
Important Things To Consider
While there are many positives about online counseling, there are several important things to consider before making the commitment. First, it’s vital to have a strong wifi signal and internet bandwidth. Since video counseling streams across your internet, it does send and receive more data. Also, if you have a lot of devices accessing the internet on your network, make sure those are not all active during your session to improve the quality of the video.
Next, your device matters. When the coronavirus pandemic happened in 2020, software platforms immediately began adjusting to make it as easy as possible for patients to use telehealth software. It’s a good idea to test your device before starting the session, or have a backup option in case something happens. If you use your mobile device, you may need to keep it plugged in as video can zap a battery in an hour session. You may also want to consider earbuds with a microphone in order to maximize your privacy.
With all this information passing across the internet, security is an important issue to consider. Most telehealth platforms are encrypted and secure, meaning they protect your information on both the sending and receiving end. Make sure your provider’s platform is HIPAA-compliant for maximum confidence. At Life Discovery Counseling Services, we love technology and make sure to protect your information as much as possible by using the most up-to-date products and services!
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure your insurance company and benefit plan cover telehealth services. Our Administrative Assistant can call and check for you before your first session. Just let your counselor know and we’ll take care of you. We want to make navigating insurance easy for you.
How Does It Work
Online counseling is very easy! All of our paperwork is electronic, and even scheduling appointments can be done on our website. Once you’ve scheduled with one of our clinicians, they will send you the paperwork electronically for you to fill out through our secure client portal online. It’s simple and only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.
Your counselor will then email you a link where you will click to start the session. The link is specific to each clinician and they will admit you into their virtual office to start the appointment. This whole process happens within a matter of seconds and with only a few mouse clicks!
You’ll want to make sure your camera and microphone are working prior to the appointment. Also, close any other tabs on your web browser and ensure you have a good wireless signal in order to maximize the video quality.
It may be a little strange at first to meet with a counselor over the internet, and it does feel that way to us as well. We also know it can be a huge help for people to have this as an option so we’ll do our best to guide you through the process. If you’ve done any video conferencing with work, you’ll find that you get used to it and it can quickly become productive. That’s our goal! We’re in it together with you and want to make it as comfortable as possible.
Our counselors are excited to work with you if you live in Oregon. We work with anxiety, trauma, relationship issues, marriage problems, and codependency. Contact us today to talk with one of our counselors, or schedule an appointment if you’re ready to get started right now.