Your Questions about Virtual Counseling Answered
Can you still get counseling during the COVID-19 crisis?
The answer is a resounding YES! Telehealth and virtual counseling options are widely available. Telehealth refers to counseling by phone or video.
Many therapists have quickly adopted virtual counseling and Telehealth. This allows people to continue receiving counseling services, without risking person-to-person transmission. I am currently taking on new clients, but you must be a Colorado resident.
What should I look for in a Telehealth Provider?
If doing video, I would suggest making sure the counselor is using a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform. Personally, I use SimplePractice Telehealth, which is secure and easy to use. Everything is streamlined! You can sign all the forms electronically, with a click of a button. You will also receive a link in your email ten minutes prior to the start of your video session, so there’s no digging around to join the live meeting. It’s virtual counseling made simple!
Some therapists are more experienced than others in utilizing Telehealth and virtual counseling. I am fortunate to have already conducted hundreds of Telehealth sessions over the last four years, so it comes very naturally at this point. Not all providers are comfortable with Telehealth, so I would recommend working with someone who is confident in providing counseling services via phone or video.
What if I don’t have privacy in my home?
The good news is, there are lots of options! Some clients call me from their cars. Others simply wear earbuds or headphones. Some have even downloaded a white noise app on their phone and place it outside their door, while able to do a video session on their computer. For most people, there are ways around it. I can always help you problem-solve here.
Is Telehealth as effective as in-person?
Absolutely! Again, I have done hundreds of sessions virtually and had similar results as in-person. Some people even have better results with Telehealth, due to various factors. In short, there are advantages and disadvantages with each platform. However, at the end of the day, getting help and support through virtual counseling is usually better than none at all.
There are certain exceptions, such as when severe mental health issues are present or suicide is a concern. In this case, it is imperative that you contact 911 or an emergency mental healthcare provider. For Colorado residents, you can call Colorado Crisis Services. It’s a free, confidential crisis line, allowing you to chat with a mental health professional, available 24/7. 1-844-493-TALK (8255). Visit them online here.
Who is a good candidate for virtual counseling and/or Telehealth?
You are a good candidate for Telehealth services with me if….
- You are a Colorado resident
- You are experiencing anxiety or sadness, related to COVID-19 or other factors.
- You find that you are feeling isolated or alone.
- You are having a hard time setting boundaries with others, even if it means ensuring your safety or the safety of your family.
- You are experiencing conflict in your marriage or relationship.
- You have low self-esteem and are getting wrapped up in negative self-talk.
- You are looking for some tools for reducing stress and increasing self-care.
How does it work?
If you are a new client, please contact me to set up a free phone consultation to ensure that Telehealth and/or virtual counseling is a good fit for you. Then, we can decide if phone or video is best.
For phone sessions, I will simply call you at our appointment start time. For video, you will receive detailed and easy to follow instructions for getting set up. Your credit card will be charged at the end of each session.
That’s it — it’s really that simple!
As easy as it is to get started, I know the hardest part is taking the first step. It takes courage to reach out to a stranger for help. I know it may seem odd to start counseling without having met in person first, but I hope that you are willing to take the risk and try something new. You never know what benefits you may see!