The recent inception of online counseling allows many individuals to receive the therapy and the care they need from the comfort of their own home. Whether they don’t have the time to commute or simply live too far away, teletherapy is now available for everyone to receive counseling’s benefits.
Unsurprisingly, many individuals are still hesitant to participate in teletherapy, wondering if online counseling is worth it. The added distance between client and counselor, and the uncertainty of using new technology to receive vital care are common concerns clients possess.
We understand that these are only a few of the hesitations you might be experiencing when it comes to online counseling. That’s why we’ve taken the time to answer a few of those concerns below. While in no way does online counseling totally replace in-person therapy, it does provide a suitable outlet to receive the same treatment, and to work toward healthier, happier lives.
1. Concerns with security
This is a primary concern among many individuals considering online counseling – will my connection and my private information remain private?
With an increase in used technology comes an increased threat that the technology could be manipulated or compromised. Understandably, that’s enough to keep many individuals from seeking the counseling care they need.
These same security concerns are the reason why we use a different method to keep your data and your files safe. Pyramid Online Counseling doesn’t rely on public video conferencing platforms to get the job done. Instead, we’ve adopted a private, secure system for all of our online counseling sessions. Not only does this platform keep information encrypted and secure, it is HIPAA-compliant, meaning that it meets all the privacy standards necessary for a secure counseling session.
2. Varying reliability of technology
Somehow, technology never seems to work when you need it most. No matter the issue—wireless connection, audio or video quality, even scheduling—it often feels like technology fulfills Murphy’s law: whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
As with any service that incorporates technology, online counseling is not without its shortcomings. However, dismissing online counseling as a treatment method altogether is a bit extreme. In fact, refusing to use online counseling just because it relies on technology is a bit like refusing to bike because the ride might get bumpy.
Despite all of the challenges that technology can bring to the table, reliance on technology is what makes online counseling possible. And where there are difficulties, Pyramid Online Counseling is dedicated to helping you work through them.
3. Online counselors cannot accurately read body language
Body language is one of the key indicators that therapists and counselors study during therapy. Since a majority of human communication is non-verbal, body language is an immensely important tool for all certified medical professionals.
That said, the online counseling model, though convenient, does present a new set of challenges for counselors and therapists who rely heavily on body language for client insight. After all, most video communication sessions only capture the upper portion of the body.
We can openly admit that a counselor’s ability to read and translate body language is not helped through the online counseling format. However, we’ve seen our own counselors combat this difficulty in a variety of unique ways, including asking clients to adjust their cameras so that a fuller portion of the body is on the screen at one time.
And of course, our online counselors are also experienced in dealing with our secure platform; even though body language limitations may prove difficult to overcome, Pyramid Online Counseling therapists have made successful changes to their sessions in order to provide the same level of care. Whether that’s through more comprehensive follow-up questions or by asking clients to see and explain their own body language, our staff is confident that online counseling can provide the same sustained benefits to traditionally in-office clients.
4. Insurance won’t cover online counseling
It’s true that some forms of insurance may not cover or reimburse clients who partake in online counseling. However, Pyramid Online Counseling does offer services that are still covered by a wide range of insurance providers, under the scope of services that is only expanding given the pandemic’s effects on insurance coverage of virtual therapy. We encourage you to reach out to your specific insurance provider before seeking out our online counseling services, however, to determine the coverage that applies in your situation.
5. Online counselors can’t prescribe medication
This is a common misconception about online counseling services. The reality is that psychiatrists are fully-licensed health professionals who can prescribe FDA-approved medication to clients who connect remotely. In-office interaction is not required in order to prescribe medications.
However, therapists must still follow the same course of action when determining medication and dosage, despite the distance. If and when therapists determine that an individual client can benefit from medication, they will prescribe and monitor appropriate prescriptions.
Happiness, health and healing through online counseling
Pyramid Online Counseling is committed to helping you become the best version of yourself. And despite the difference between online and in-person counseling, many of the same benefits remain. If you’re ready to take back control of your life, our licensed online counselors and therapists are standing by to help. Contact us to schedule your appointment today or call our offices anytime at 833-525-3077.