By: Michelle Forgey, MA, LMHC, LPC
The term online counseling can bring a lot of different thoughts to mind such as, “You mean talking to someone through a video screen can be effective? Is it recorded? Is it safe?” Text counseling brings up another array of thoughts, “How could this work? Is it just like a message I send to my friend? Are emojis used? Short hand?” All of these questions point to whether online counseling is effective; the resounding answer is YES! Research shows that it is a very effective model and has helped millions of people across the world in the last decade.
What are Online and Text Counseling?
First, let’s take a look at what online counseling and text counseling look like.
- At Crosswinds, online counseling is very much the same as in-person counseling except you are not in the same room as your therapist.
- The session is conducted in a secure, HIPAA-compliant software program.
- The session takes place virtually, on your computer or your phone.
- You can do it in any location as long as you have a strong internet connection.
Text Counseling is a little different.
- Text Counseling is almost like having a counselor in your back pocket throughout the day.
- You can send your therapist as many messages as you would like through a secure app or website.
- He or she will typically check in twice a day, Monday through Friday.
- Each weekday is equivalent to 10 minutes of therapy in person and one week is equivalent to an hour.
Who is a good fit for online or text counseling?
Now that you have a better understanding of what online and text counseling are, let’s identify who is a good fit for these methods.
Online counseling works well for:
- People who have a hectic schedule.
- Those who have a hard time finding the time to drive to an office.
- People who travel a lot for work.
- Families with members located in different areas (college, traveling, etc.).
Sometimes people are concerned that online counseling will not be nearly as personal, but that is simply not the case. You will find that your therapist is as warm, caring, and understanding online as they are in person.
Text counseling is a wonderful fit for:
- People who are also extremely busy and don’t want to have to wait for weeks to hear from their therapist. If you have a question or a thought you can send it immediately knowing that you will receive a thoughtful, caring response.
- Some people who have a hard time vocalizing their feelings have found a written form can be really helpful. It can be less intimidating sharing some of our darkest moments in a format where we do not have to see the other person’s face.
If you have thought about online or text counseling, I encourage you to give it a try. You may just find exactly what you have been looking for. Crosswinds is here to help and we would be honored to embark on this journey with you in whichever format fits you best. If you’re interested in giving online or text counseling a try, contact us today and let’s get going!