Online Couples Counseling at Keystone Counseling
Our mission at Keystone Counseling is to provide couples with a route to a healthier relationship and a more fulfilling life together.
One of the ways we fulfill that mission is by providing online therapy, especially in this new reality of a global pandemic.
What Is Online Counseling and How is it Different From In-Person Therapy?
Online counseling is simply a counseling session conducted by using a video communication platform. You may also see it referenced as virtual therapy, online therapy, or teletherapy.
Online therapy offers an easy, convenient method to conduct a therapy session no matter where you’re located.
Our therapists have the same level of expertise whether they’re offering sessions online or in person. They are just as invested in helping you regardless of the method of communication.
Your needs are our main concern, and online counseling is just another way we can help you take steps to get those needs met.
How We Conduct Couples Counseling Online
Keystone Counseling uses Google’s G Suite for our digital client interactions. The platform offers excellent encryption technology and is fully HIPAA compliant.
We use Google Meet for the virtual therapy sessions. For computer users, there is no software to install. Just click the link we send you, and you’re good to go. If you use a smartphone, you will need to download the app.
All of our new client forms are digital, hosted with Google Forms.
We have provided a separate online counseling setup page to help you get ready for your first session.
The Benefits of Online Counseling
There are many benefits to online counseling, but the most important benefit at the moment is that it allows you to still engage in counseling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though the world around us has come to a full stop, your life and your relationship have not. In fact, most people are feeling more stress than ever before. Many couples find teletherapy extremely beneficial to processing the momentous and sudden changes.
A few of the other primary benefits include convenience, privacy, and accessibility.
One of the largest benefits of virtual therapy is that it offers you the convenience of participating in therapy around a schedule that works for you.
While most people aren’t leaving their homes right now, there’s still a lot going on. Video calls for work, e-learning with the kids, fixing meals, taking care of pets…the busy schedule remains.
Attending counseling sessions virtually allows you the flexibility to work around these commitments by dedicating only the length of time of your session. And while we do recommend you do a short bit of prep and debriefing, when you’re done, you’re already home and able to immediately move on to whatever’s next.
Online counseling offers you a level of privacy not possible with in-person sessions. Therapist offices are oftentimes located in office suites with other businesses that have their own guests coming and going.
Plus, most therapists will schedule clients back-to-back, so it’s common in non-pandemic times to see the same faces each week before and after your session.
And while those situations rarely cause privacy issues, attending sessions online lets you participate in therapy in the full privacy of your own space.
Some of our clients live in areas with few therapists to choose from. Others live in an are with more access to therapists, but are unable to find one they like.
No therapist is a perfect match for everyone, so it’s beneficial to find a therapist whose style fits with how you operate. Online counseling removes the physical limitation and gives you a wide range of options for who you choose to work with.
Additionally, you may have a condition that makes it difficult to get to a physical location. Virtual therapy removes that roadblock and enables you to attend therapy without trying to figure out the logistics.
Online Counseling May Feel Weird. Try It Anyway.
Some people feel completely comfortable attending a virtual therapy session. However, if you’re not used to the format, it can feel very awkward at first.
Our best piece of advice is to acknowledge the weird feeling and just keep going. The further into your session you get, the more natural it will feel. And if you decide to continue after your first session, your subsequent sessions will feel more natural still. As with most change, it gets easier over time.
Follow the advice in the How to Have a Successful Online Counseling Session section of the online counseling setup page. Those steps will also help the experience feel more normal.
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