In-office counseling isn’t always a viable option in today’s world. Hectic lifestyles, challenging work schedules, family commitments, geographical locations, and even emotional restrictions can inhibit one’s therapy if limited only to office hours. Now, thanks to advances in technology such as video conferencing and Skype™, therapy can still be continued virtually through online counseling (also known as web counseling, telehealth counseling, e-therapy, online therapy, internet therapy, tele-medicine, e-counseling, and tele-mental health counseling).
Advantages of Online Counseling
The advantages of online counseling are numerous. The most obvious advantages relate to convenience and increased access, but there are unique therapeutic benefits to working online as well.
Online counseling provides help to many who would not otherwise receive it: those in remote areas; those traveling and re-locating to other areas throughout the state, the physically disabled or housebound (or their caregivers); and others “too busy” to arrange yet another appointment.
Another aspect of online counseling is its perceived privacy. Some individuals still feel a stigma attached to visiting a counselor. Others may be phobic, trapped in abusive situations, or merely shy and afraid to face someone. The therapist’s physical absence diminishes the client’s initial “shame” or need to “save face” while presenting a problem. Some would say that shame is grist for the therapeutic mill, but not if the grain never gets to the barn!
How does Online Counseling work?
The platform that I use to conduct my online therapy sessions is called Vsee, a service that allows users to make free online phone and video calls. VSee is a video chat software tool being used as a HIPAA Compliant Alternative to Skype Teletherapy. VSee protects data privacy in that all audio/video communication is securely encrypted and transmitted from point-to-point such that even VSee does not have access to any identifiable health information that may be communicated.
Simply click here to download the Vsee service to your computer through the easy steps; once connected, your session will proceed in the same manner as a face-to-face official visit.
It is important to remember that while I will work to protect your confidentiality as much as possible, VSee cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Please always make sure you are in a private area where your conversation cannot be overheard. Clients who keep printed records of Internet chat and emails are creating a second medical record and may compromise the security and confidentiality of such records.
*In order to participate in online counseling services, you must be a resident of New York State.
Online counseling payments can be made with credit card via PayPal (no PayPal account required) or you may provide your credit card information when you schedule your appointment. My fees for online therapy are the same as for in-person therapy (see my FAQ page for more details). Unfortunately, health insurance coverage is not available for online consultations at this time.
To schedule an online counseling appointment, you can click here, send me an email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a call at (716) 508-7393.