Q. 1: What Is Online (Virtual) Counselling/Psychotherapy and How Does It Work?
What do I need to do online counselling? All you need is a computer (desktop or laptop), a private space, and a good Internet connection
How easy is it? Just call to make your appointment and Hardie Counselling will email you a link for your session. Then all you have to do is just click on the link provided and we begin our session!
Online (virtual) counselling has emerged as a response to a need that people have been expressing: Almost everything these days can be done through our phone or our computer, so why not health services as well? The health care system is already utilizing this technology to provide Telehealth care by physicians and other health care providers. It eliminated the hassle of travel and eating up time to get to appointments huge hassle to book appointments and spend a significant amount of time travelling to them especially with all of our competing work and other personal demands.
For your convenience, Hardie Counselling and BrainWorX, Inc. is now providing virtual counselling services. and you can have your therapy sessions from the comfort of wherever you are. Many clients, who were worried that they were technologically challenged, found this method easy to use and convenient. If you are familiar with FaceTime® or Skype® then this is along the same principle - only more reliable, secure and HIPPA compliant (fewer dropped calls, less freezing, and confidentiality is protected –no ability for an outsider to eavesdrop on your call).
- Of course the main, and most obvious, benefit is the convenience .
- We save both time and money . We do not have to spend any extra time or cost travelling to a physical location and are less likely to be required to take time off work to attend appointments.
- And of course, safety . We are able to do therapy from wherever we are able to get access to a computer and an internet connection.
- Online (virtual) counselling services also help to remove barriers for people . Not having to travel to a physical location is often a preferred choice for many people, particularly for those who:
- Live in more remote or rural locations
- Have physical limitations
- Do not have access to reliable transportation
- Are unable to take time off from work or work shift-work
- Have young children/are single parents
Research demonstrates that for the vast majority of presenting issues (e.g., work and relationship stress, anxiety, and mood disorders) the effectiveness of therapy services experienced by people are:
- virtually equal to – and in some cases even better than – traditional in-office delivery.
- actually preferred to in-office by many.
- more likely to want to repeat their experience
- appreciating the convenience technology can afford
Virtual counselling, however, is not just for people with busy schedules who struggle to make in-office appointments. Online (virtual) counselling is for people who:
- Live in rural areas who want easy access to in-person counselling services,
- Have disabilities or physical limitations and struggle to make the commute into an office.
- Experience financial constraints and are looking to save the cost of commute time or the requirement of taking time off work to attend in-person sessions.
- Are juggling the responsibilities of work and raising a family or are attempting to coordinate sessions with their partner, or those who are single parents.
- Are looking for a faster referral process, decreased wait times, and greater appointment flexibility (evenings, weekends)
- Want their preferred choice of clinician, without limiting that on considerations related to where they or the clinician lives.
Confidentiality, for anyone who has not previously been to therapy, is a critical aspect of the therapeutic relationship. Best practice and ethical guidelines for psychotherapists and counsellors are very clear that information between a client and a therapist cannot be shared with anyone, barring any concerns of safety or acute risk. Confidentiality is an important part of therapy as it ensures that people are comfortable sharing personal details about their lives without fear of that information being shared elsewhere. Before starting therapy, the therapist ensures that the client understands what confidentiality means, as well as what the limits to confidentiality are and an informed consent form is signed.
Just because virtual counselling services are conducted online does not mean they cannot be held to the same standards. Hardie Counselling & BrainWorX, Inc. is committed to protecting our clients’ privacy and ensuring that our online (virtual) counselling/psychotherapy meets professional standards. This includes ensuring that information is kept confidential and that clients are fully understanding and providing informed consent to treatment.
When it comes to online services it is impossible to completely mitigate security risk, but it is important that everyone understands the risks before making a choice.
We utilize HIPPA compliant application to insure that no one can eavesdrop on our online counselling session. We are happy to ensure our clients are comfortable with the process and welcome any questions or concerns about how we approach security.
Are you ready to book an online Virtual Counselling appointment? If so, get in touch! We’re also happy to provide more information if you have any questions.