Telehealth Counseling: Online or Phone
I offer online counseling for adult residents of Texas who are unable to travel to my office in Austin!
How does online counseling work?
I use programs very similar to Skype, called VSee and Google Meet. I chose this program
instead of the more popular Skype and Facetime because VSee and Google Meet have better privacy settings, which is important for a counseling setting. It functions just like the other programs. You open a free account on VSee, add me to your contact list, and with 1 click we can see each other and hear each other in real time. Sessions are still scheduled and last 50 minutes each, just like in person counseling. I can also send an invitation to join me in the Google Meet session. Having 2 options is helpful in times of glitches or incompatibilities issues.
Is it as effective as in person sessions?
My clients tell me that they find online sessions very helpful, some even deny missing the in office experience at all. There are occasional things that get missed when meeting online, for example I will miss any body language that is outside of the camera’s frame. We compensate for this with increased communication to clarify what we are missing. Therapy conducted over the internet is fairly new in research terms, but so far studies show that it is quite comparable to in person counseling success rates. This is great news for people who really want counseling but do not have local therapists experienced in their specific issues. Even for locals, sometime the time spent in traffic or concerns around staying well around contagious viruses is too much of a barrier to getting the help you need. It is also an option for clients who may be too anxious to leave their home or are unable to walk up the 2 flights of stairs to my office.
What do I need to do counseling online?
You will need either a computer with a webcam and microphone, an ipad, droid tablet, or a smart phone. You will also need adequate internet connection for the device. If you are unsure if your equipment meets these requirements, you can always try it out before scheduling an appointment. Download the program from VSee.com or Google Meet or look for VSee or Google Meet in your app store.
You will also need a private space to meet. We need to know that you are safe, not to be overheard by others, even family.
Why does where I live matter?
I am licensed in the state of Texas, so I am only legally allowed to provide counseling services for clients who live in, or are currently in, Texas. So unfortunately I am not allowed to counsel American clients out of state. If you are international, feel free to contact me and I will find out what the rules are for your country.