Online Therapy in Washington State & Abroad
Benefits of Online Counseling
Technology has made it easier to participate in counseling than ever before. There are many benefits to online therapy sessions. You might be considering online counseling due to your busy schedule, difficult commute, physical limitations/disability, limited access to transportation, or limited options for therapists in your area. Online counseling can be a great solution to those challenges. You can avoid the travel time and transportation barriers by using your computer, tablet, or smart phone to connect with your therapist during the time and at a location that is most convenient for you. Attending therapy sessions online cuts down on missed appointments due to traffic, unforeseen circumstances related to transportation, and illness, which means more consistent treatment and faster healing and recovery time. Online therapy also offers solutions for individuals who live in remote areas or who live abroad with limited options for therapy.
Does Online Counseling Feel the Same as In-Person Counseling? Is It Just as Effective?
In my experience providing online therapy, the connection and relationship that is formed through online therapy is just as authentic and warm as one that is formed in person. Clients have shared with me that engaging in therapy in the comfort of their own homes sometimes feel more safe. Therefore, they feel comfortable being even more open and vulnerable in online therapy session. I find that I am able to make significant progress with my clients through online therapy as I can in person.
Studies have shown that online therapy can be just as beneficial as in-person therapy for many people. Some researchers have suggested that certain forms of therapy can be even more effective when delivered online than in person. Online therapy is recommended for clients without frequent emergency management or need intensive treatment.
Is Online Counseling Right for You?
There are several important factors to consider when you and your therapist decide together whether online counseling is a good fit for you. The first factor is whether your concerns are best treated through an online platform. For example, if you are struggling with severe symptoms, your therapist may be better able to assess how you are doing if they can see you in person and to respond to emergencies as needed. The second factor is the access to dependable technology. Technology glitches can include frozen screens, low-resolution video, dropped calls, microphone issues, etc. that can impact the experience of online therapy. Familiarity with and access to technology as well as establishing back-up plans are necessary for successful online counseling sessions. The third factor is security of your confidential information. Online therapy should be provided via HIPAA compliant videoconference programs that encrypts your information before transmitting it over the internet. However, any time information is communicated over the internet, even in an encrypted form, there is a risk to information security and client confidentiality and privacy. The fourth factor is some insurance companies will not cover online counseling. It is important to check with your insurance company ahead of time to make sure that online counseling is a covered benefit.
Begin Online Counseling in Washington State & Abroad
Participating in counseling can fit into your busy lifestyle. If you are interested in exploring online counseling, contact me today to begin with a free 15-minute phone consultation. Then, I ask that we meet initially in-person for three sessions prior to transitioning to online therapy to establish a strong therapeutic relationship with one another. At the end of the three sessions, we will determine together whether online therapy is a good fit in your unique situation. When you are ready, we will continue your healing journey with online counseling sessions.
Privacy & Location of Counseling Services
When participating in counseling services online, it's important that your privacy is protected. I use the HIPAA compliant videoconference programs SimplePractic, Google Hangout Meet, Doxy.me, and VSee to provide online therapy. Additionally, it's important to note that due to Washington State laws and the regulations that govern my licensure, I am able to provide online therapy only to individuals who live in Washington State and outside of the United States.
Other Counseling Services
If online therapy is not right for you, I also offer in-person counseling in my Seattle, WA office. I take a comprehensive whole-person, culturally sensitive approach to mental health counseling. I offer evidence-based counseling for depression, anxiety, trauma, disordered eating and negative body image, and couple and marriage counseling.