These terms tend to be used interchangeably and have quite a bit of overlap. In a very broad sense, counseling has historically been seen as more focused on helping clients develop skills for coping with immediate concerns in a relatively short course of treatment. Psychotherapy tends to refer to a deeper process of examining long-standing ways of perceiving and responding to the world that aren't working very well and can be changed.
Online counseling allows you to receive treatment from the comfort of your home or a location that you choose while still being able to communicate with your counselor through voice, sound, and video. As long as I can see and hear you, I have enough information to perform my job at the highest standard. Appointments are still required.
I do online counseling sessions through a high-security private videoconferencing service in order to protect your confidentiality. Video conferencing software such as Skype is *not* secure, and although other counselors use it, I am not willing to risk your privacy by doing so.
To participate in a voice only session, all you need is your phone. To participate with video and audio, you can use your cell phone, a laptop or desktop computer that has a webcam and microphone. I will make sure you know how to use the secure videoconferencing service; it's user-friendly.
Online counseling, also known as telemental health, is a branch of telemedicine. (It may also be called e-therapy, Internet therapy, distance counseling, among other terms). It's not a completely new therapeutic approach; it's a different way for counselors to deliver therapy services when it's hard for the client to get to their office. Existing research indicates that online counseling can be equally as effective as traditional face-to-face counseling in addition to being convenient and time/cost-effective. Because there are some important differences between the two methods, it's best to find a professional with specific credentials in distance work. I am a Distance Credentialed Counselor (D.C.C), a course of training approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), and an Affiliate of the Telemental Health Institute, Inc.
As your counselor, I will not keep you in counseling any longer than necessary to help you reach your goals. Most people come in once a week at the beginning and then less frequently as they feel better. You can stop coming anytime you wish. If I think you would get better results with a counselor who uses a different style or approach, I will refer you to one.
Because you will have met the goals we established together at the beginning of treatment. The issues you came in for will be either resolved or will be greatly improved.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D.) and can prescribe medication in addition to providing therapy. Clinical Psychologists (Ph.D., Psy.D) have Doctoral degrees; Licensed Mental Health Counselors and Licensed Clinical Social Workers have Master's degrees in Psychology (M.S., M.A.), Education (M.Ed), or Social Work (M.S.W.). Clinical Psychologists, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers are not medical doctors and do not prescribe medication. They all provide services ranging from psychological assessment to psychotherapy, counseling, case management, and more.
Yes. For counseling to be successful, it is essential that you are able to trust your counselor to keep your personal and private matters completely confidential. I take this very seriously and am extremely careful with all client information.
If I have good reason to believe one of the following is occurring, I am required by law to contact the authorities:
Many people with mental health and emotional problems experience suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming others. I will work with you to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
I will get your written permission (Release of Information) before releasing any treatment records. If you want me to bill your insurance company, I will need a release of information to provide them with certain information, such as your diagnosis and the type of counseling provided. If you don't want your insurance company to have access to any of your treatment records, you can choose to privately pay for my services. If you change your mind later, we can assist you in billing your insurance company. If it would be beneficial for me to disclose information to another party, I will only do so after we have discussed it and you have signed a Release of Information.