Online Psychotherapy and Counseling through Skype is becoming more popular than ever for busy people. As a professional online psychotherapist, I have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of clients who prefer to have therapy sessions in the comfort of their own homes rather than driving to a therapist’s office. All say that they find online sessions using Skype or other videocam formats to be less intimidating than face-to-face sessions and that they feel generally more relaxed and in charge of the process. This is good, because the purpose of any form of therapy, teaching or coaching is to give you the tools you need to better manage emotional suffering so that you can live a happier life.
It is surprising how effective Skype therapy sessions are. Although client and therapist may be thousands of miles apart, it feels like you are in the same room. This format is becoming very popular for people in remote areas or people who are unable to leave home for one reason or another. It is a lifeline for those with agoraphobia, who are trying to learn how to cope with venturing out. In Australia, for example, internet therapy is very common, because so many people live in isolated communities where there are few, if any, counselors. Interestingly, many of my clients live in New York and LA. In their case, there are plenty of therapists available, but the competition is so high that they cannot afford their rates.
I have compiled a checklist and guide to help you if you are considering Online Therapy using Skype. As always, if you are experiencing any kind of medical emergency, you should contact your doctor first. Online Therapy is not a substitute for the medical treatment of mental disorders.
- Make sure the online therapist offers free email consultation so that you can ask questions about the process. You should be given the opportunity to describe the emotional issues you are struggling with and feel satisfied with the reply from the prospective therapist. This will allow you to get a feel for his or her approach and whether it resonates with what you feel you need.
- Read any books or articles written by the therapist. This is a good way to determine the credibility and therapeutic approach of the therapist. Having a list of credentials is one thing, but does not necessarily mean that their approach will be appropriate for you, personally. You should get a good feeling sense about the prospective online therapist before you start. Of course the same applies to selecting a traditional therapist.
- I think it is a good sign if the therapist requests payment AFTER a session, rather than before. That way you only pay if you are satisfied with the session and feel that you gained something.
- Ensure that online payment is made through a secure site, such as PayPal. This can be set up very easily. Just go to PayPal.com.
- Approach Online Therapy as a teaching medium from which you hope to gain certain tools and insights to help you better manage your emotional problems. You should feel that you come away with something of value from every session.
You can download the software that allows you to make Skype video calls from Skype.com. It is easy to set up and most importantly the service from Skype is free. Most laptops have a built in videocam and mic, which makes it very easy. If your computer does not have this, you can buy a very inexpensive videocam that connects via the USB port. Your prospective online therapist should be able to help you with setup.
Skype Therapy sessions can be conducted from anywhere in the world. All you need is access to the internet. This is a wonderful feature, because it allows you to talk with quality professionals and teachers that may not be available in your region or country. For example, someone from Germany or Australia can have a session with a quality therapist from California or Boulder, Colorado – the “hot bed” of progressive schools of psychotherapy, alternative therapists and spiritual teachers. The world has become much more connected through this wonderful technology and the possibilities are limitless for promoting well-being and happiness.
Peter Strong, PhD is an author, spiritual teacher and Mindfulness Psychotherapist, based in Boulder, Colorado, who specializes in the study of mindfulness and its application in Online Psychotherapy for healing the root causes of anxiety, depression and traumatic stress.
Besides face-to-face therapy sessions, Dr Strong offers Online Counseling Therapy through Skype.
Visit http://www.counselingtherapyonline.com to schedule an online counseling session.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ONLINE THERAPY WITH AN ONLINE THERAPIST VIA SKYPE
You might also like to watch this introductory video about Online Therapy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGVQ8u5_aAE
Go to my YouTube Channel to watch more videos about Online Mindfulness Therapy: https://www.youtube.com/user/pdmstrong