Online Counseling Guide

Online Counseling and Therapy

LiveBeyond Counseling offers Counseling and other therapeutic services online to clients anywhere in Texas. Online Counseling has been shown to be as effective as in-person Counseling and offers several additional benefits. Online Counseling can make it easier for you to access services from your own home, office, or any other location where you have internet or cell service.

There has been an increase in demand for mental health support and online services can help fill this need. It can be hard to find the time and transportation to access Counseling in person. At LiveBeyond Counseling we want to make it as easy and comfortable as possible for you to get the support you need so you can live your best life. 

What is Online Therapy? 

Online therapy refers to Counseling and psychotherapy services that can be conducted over the internet through video or just voice. Online therapy allows you to access a counsellor or coach using any device that has an internet or cellular connection such as a telephone, computer, tablet, or smartphone. Online therapy is often used interchangeably with teletherapy or e-therapy.

It is important that you find a safe and quiet space to do online therapy in. It is important to remove yourself from the distractions in your office or home to settle into a session so you can get the most benefit from it. Driving is also not a safe space to engage in online counselling, although it is convenient, Counseling requires a focus that may distract you from driving. 

Who Is Online Counseling For? 

Online therapy can benefit many people, couples, and families. Having access to Counseling from the comfort of your own home or environment of your choosing can help you better manage your time and improve your health and well-being.

Online Counseling is a great solution for:

  • Individuals and families who live in remote or rural areas where services and resources are scarce
  • Anyone whose schedule keeps them very busy, and they are unable to take much time away from work to attend Counseling sessions
  • Individuals who have mobility or transportation barriers
  • Parents or caregivers who struggle to find childcare to take time to go to a Counseling appointment
  • Individuals who have phobias or difficulty leaving their homes to participate in in-personal counselling
  • Couples or families who would like to participate in Counseling or mediation services, but they are unable to come together in person due to various reasons such as distance from each other or having due to having a difficult time during a separation

Is Online Therapy As Effective As In-Person Therapy? 

Many people wonder if online therapy is as effective as in-person therapy. Does it work? Is it safe? Research has shown that online therapy is safe and just as effective as in-person therapy for a number of different disorders. Also, that many therapeutic models can be easily transferred to online therapy and are just as effective.

Research has shown that online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy for a number of different mental health conditions such as anxiety, trauma, depression, domestic abuse, etc. Although many people worry about online Counseling not feeling as personal, many clients report feeling just as understood and seen by their therapist as they do in person. 

Remember you can always try it out and if it does not feel as comfortable for you that is okay. Although you might find you really enjoy being able to talk to someone from the comfort of your own home. Also, that this form of therapy gives you more time to do the inner work as there is no rushing before or after the session.

Benefits of Online Therapy 

There are a number of benefits to online therapy including it offering more flexibility and accessibility for people. It can also make it easier for people to connect as there is more privacy and often people feel more comfortable in their own homes. 

Here are some benefits to online therapy: 

Accessibility

Many people live far away from the counsellors they wish to see. With online counselling, it is easier to get the help you need, especially if you live more remotely or far away from the office. It also allows you to talk to your therapist when you may be outside of town or have a very busy schedule.

It also increases accessibility for people who may have a physical limitation and are housebound. Mobility can be a big barrier to seeking mental health support. Many in-person practices are not set up to accommodate clients of all abilities.

Scheduling Flexibility

There is often an increase in flexibility when it comes to receiving online counselling. Since you do not have to drive into the office for a session it also offers you more flexibility in booking since you can do it in any private location of your choosing. Also, there is often more availability with online Counseling as the sessions can be closer together as there is less transition time for the therapist and client. There are often more hours offered as well than the traditional 9 am-5 pm.

Anonymity

Since you do not have to come into the office for sessions you increase your level of privacy. You do not risk bumping into other people in the office or waiting room. Some people find it nicer also to have the screen or phone between them and the therapist. 

Increased Comfort

It can feel more comfortable and safe to conduct Counseling from the comfort of your own home. They can be in your comfortable clothes, no worry about make-up and can just a tea and settle in. Some clients find it easier to open up as they feel safer at home instead of a Counseling office. People do not have to rush through traffic to get to a session on time in a certain location, due to this they are more relaxed and calmer in the beginning of the session. This can help with doing deeper work quicker as well. 

Limits of Online Counseling 

While online therapy can be very beneficial to people there are certain situations and circumstances that might not make it the best option.

Immediate Crisis

If a client is facing an immediate crisis such as being a high risk of suicide or at risk of hurting someone else it is important, they seek in-person support, normally at the hospital. Online counsellors may be able to direct someone to suicide support services or access emergency support.

Serious Psychiatric Illness

For people experiencing serious psychiatric illnesses such as active psychosis, it is best treated in person. When an individual has some stability online Counseling can then become ongoing support.

Technical Difficulties

One limit can sometimes be the internet connection or the general failure of technology. Sometimes phones or computers shut down or the service goes down which can all interrupt Counseling sessions. It is also important to keep track of and set reminders for your online Counseling session as it can be easy to forget and missed a without it.

Insurance Coverage

It is important to check with your insurance provider that they cover online therapy. It is also important that your insurance covers counsellors registered in Texas.  

Types Of Counseling Offered Online 

  • Individual and Couples/Marriage Counselling

Individuals and couples therapy can be easily accessed online through video or telephone. This can be beneficial especially for couples Counseling if people are in different locations, each person can be connected to the session, so distance does not matter. This is also helpful if each person has different schedules, and they are not able to make it to the office for a session.

Online individual or couples Counseling sessions are similar to in-person sessions. Couples will learn how to identify issues to work on and gain insight into their relational patterns and dysfunctional dynamics. A counsellor will help you identify your strength through solution-oriented approaches while also teaching conflict resolution strategies based on empathy and compassion.

  • Depression and Anxiety Counseling

Online Counseling can be very beneficial for people who are suffering from anxiety and/or depression. This is especially true for people who are having a hard time leaving their homes due to different symptoms and motivation levels.

For example, if you are having panic attacks and are afraid to leave your home having access to therapy from the comfort of your home can be a great place to start. It can be also very difficult for people who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as it can feel overwhelming and stressful to be in public places.

  • Christian Counseling

Online Counseling can also be an easy way to access Christian counseling. It can be difficult to find and access this form of therapy in your area so accessing it online can help you integrate it into your home environment. This form of therapy helps you access both psychological and spiritual wholeness.

  • Trauma Counseling

To heal trauma it is important to have a safe space to do this deeper work. Online therapy has been proven to be able to create this space just as effective as in-person counseling. Sometimes clients can even feel safer when they are at home than when they have to leave to an unfamiliar office. The comfort of one’s home helps one to open up quicker to do deeper trauma work faster. Online therapy also reduces some of the stigma people face by receiving support as they can do it from the comfort of their own homes. Online trauma therapy helps survivors’ safety process and heal from a wide range of traumas from your own home.  

  • Spanish or Swahili Language Counseling

We are also able to offer these different forms of therapy online in Spanish or Swahili. It can be helpful to process and be led by someone in your first language. A lot can be missed when you are not being supported in your native language and we recognize the importance of having this option available for those who would like therapy done in Spanish or Swahili.

How Online Mental Health Supports Can Help You

Not only is Counseling and therapy being offered online but with the expansion of technology there are more and more mental health and well-being supports you can access on your own. Technology has opened the door to more easily accessible tools and skills that can help you with your health and well-being.

5 Top Mental Health and Well-Being Apps

  1. Mindfulness and Meditations: You can use apps to help you access more calm and relaxation. Many people do not realize mindfulness and meditations tools help you build up muscles in your mind that will help you access more well-being between sessions. 

There are so many different forms of meditations it’s important to find one that you resonate with. A great free app Insight Timer or Calm or Headspace. 

  • Mood Boosters: There are many apps such as Happify or Live Happy that can help guide you in boosting your mood. These apps can help with creating gratitude practices, increased optimism and help change one’s thought patterns with the use of positive psychology. Studies have shown that those who used positive thinking have greater health and happiness.
  • Thought and Mood Trackers: Keeping track of your thoughts and moods is a key part of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that can help you identify unhealthy beliefs and patterns of thinking so you can replace them with more helpful and healthy thoughts and behaviours. Many apps can help you identify and challenge unhealthy thoughts such as CBT Thought Diary.
  1. Physical Health: Some apps will help you with your physical health by guiding you through personal training, yoga, dance, and many other inspiring ways that you can move your body.
  1. Educational: Many apps can help you learn new information to help your health and well-being. Audible is an app where you can listen to books, TEDx app is filled with inspiring talks. Podcasts also provide you with new information and perspective to help you grow your health and well-being.

How To Access Online Therapy

Please feel free to reach out to us online or by phone to LiveBeyond Counseling & Coaching. You can also reach us at one of our offices in Fort Worth Texas areas including Fort Worth, Alliance, Southlake, Keller, Texas areas. We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you have about taking your Counseling online. We can also support you in setting up your first online session on our Make an Appointment Page

References and Hyperlinks 

https://insighttimer.com/en-ca

https://www.headspace.com/subscriptions?gclid=Cj0KCQjwwY-LBhD6ARIsACvT72MGq-7GhXCaeTBOWc1nFwW6lZ_I_XgaYpU-V1HuChWX59qTUGgo954aArmDEALw_wcB

https://www.happify.com/

https://cbtthoughtdiary.com/

https://mindsightcounselling.ca/blog/2020/4/9/the-effectiveness-of-video-counselling-session-what-the-research-tells-us

https://www.verywellmind.com/positive-thinking-apps-4171906

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-mood-tracker-5119337

https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/top-yoga-iphone-android-apps

https://www.audible.ca/

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ted/id376183339