About the Process

(Much of the material below is taken from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia)

Counseling Teleconferencing in General

Online counseling is a form of professional mental health counseling that is generally performed via the internet. Computer aided technologies are used by trained professional counselors and individuals seeking counseling services to communicate rather than conventional face-to-face interactions. Online counseling is also referred to as teletherapy, e-therapy, cyber therapy, or web counseling. Services are typically offered via email, real-time chat, or video conferencing. An increasing number of counselors and their clients are using online counseling as a replacement for office visits. Quarantines and other pandemic restrictions have increased the benefits of online counseling. Because online counseling has become so prominent during this time, the overall use of online counseling has increased, despite a decrease in social distancing requirements.

Ronnie McClure is proud to serve the State of Texas with beneficial online therapeutic counseling

There are numerous advantages to online counseling including:

Increased accessibility: Online counseling fills an unmet need for clients located in areas traditionally under-served by traditional counselors. Rural residents, people with disabilities and expatriates, along with under-served minorities, often have an easier time finding a suitable therapist online than in their local communities. It also makes counseling accessible to clients who face difficulties in keeping appointments during normal business hours, while decreasing the number of missed appointments for in-person therapy.

Along with accessibility of therapists, online counseling also enables accessibility of information to the clients. In face-to-face counseling, information is stored only with the therapists. In online counseling, the transcripts of communications between the therapist and clients may be available to clients as well as therapists. This allows people seeking therapy to monitor changes in their own conditions.

Increased comfort and convenience: Online counseling can offer higher comfort and convenience for clients and therapists alike. Therapists or clients do not need to travel for their sessions. In addition to the convenience, many people also enjoy the perceived confidentiality that comes with online counseling. They tend to feel more comfortable sharing information with their mental health professional and may feel less ashamed and powerless due to the removed environment.

Less expensive: Although most therapists (as do I) charge the same fees for teleconsultations as they would for direct counseling, teletherapy can be relatively less expensive as it does not involve travel costs if both parties have internet access from where they are located.

Some of the disadvantages of online counseling include:

 Anonymity and privacy: Online counseling uses technology-aided devices and internet as the main medium for communication between the therapist and the client. All the personal and sensitive information of patients is stored on internet sites or devices. This increases the risk of data theft. While online counseling can feel more private than face-to-face interactions, there is potential for breaches of privacy in online counseling. For example, non-encrypted electronic Internet communications might be intercepted, and records could be accessed by family members or hackers. It is important to establish the safety of the site and verification of therapist or client before beginning an online counseling session.

Finding the right match for therapeutic needs of clients: Online counseling does not guarantee the right match for the therapeutic needs of the clients. Emotional contact can be absent during online counseling sessions. This absence may prevent therapists from sensing negative feelings like anger, terseness, or irritation in clients. It can also cause the sessions to be  more directly to the point and less emotionally gradual, which can be beneficial or not depending on the client’s needs.

Establishing authenticity of therapists or counselors: Counselors and therapists are professional health care providers and hence require licenses to undertake clients for counseling as a part of their mandatory professional requirements. Psychologists and professional health care providers also require licensing in the state or other governmental subdivision where they practice in order to take clients. As the internet allows clients to choose therapists all across the world, establishing legitimacy and authenticity of the therapists or counselors may be difficult.

(Much of the material above is taken from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia)