Online counseling may not be new to the world, but it may be new to you. Starting counseling itself can be a huge hurdle, full of its own fears and anxieties. Adding the virtual layer to therapy, especially if you’re not tech-savvy, can seem daunting. Voicing those fears and addressing concerns is the first step to becoming comfortable with the online counseling process, and receiving the help you’re seeking.
Circumstances such as the coronavirus pandemic require that accommodations be made to protect our mental and physical health. Additionally, some lifestyles and careers are not compatible with traditional counseling. Online counseling can serve as a viable, even preferred therapy option, offering clients both flexibility and comfort not typical of in-person counseling.
During this time, online counseling is truly a blessing and an incredible service that providers are able to offer. Advances in technology have made it possible at perhaps the most opportune time to take advantage of this more accessible service. Your therapist can address any questions or concerns that might be raised during the process.
You’re likely to come across a wide variety of opinions and information on the internet regarding online counseling. We’ve taken the time to address some of the most popular online counseling myths below:
Myth 1: Online counseling never takes my insurance
While this might be true of some companies, many do make it a priority to accept a wide variety of insurance providers. For example, as we outline on our website, our online counseling program accepts over a dozen different types of insurance, as well as Medical Assistance. Also, Pyramid Online Counseling will work with your union or Employee Assistance Program to get you the counseling you need. Any questions about insurance can also be discussed over the phone.
Myth 2: Online counselors aren’t licensed
There is a caveat to this myth: some online counselors are not licensed. This is why it’s crucial to research the accreditation of the online counseling program before beginning. You should also research the team, making sure the staff is made up of board-certified and board-eligible professionals, psychologists and therapists.
If you have hesitations or questions about any program, keep asking. You have the ability to enquire about your counselor’s credentials even before you begin regular sessions. If you’d rather wait until a session to raise the question, don’t be shy to ask your counselor about her education, licensing, endorsements, training or specialties. Whatever you need to know about the care you’re receiving to give you peace of mind, it’s your right as the client to ask.
Myth 3: Online counseling isn’t confidential
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, more commonly known as HIPAA, is a federal act that mandates all healthcare providers abide by standards of privacy and protection on behalf of client information. Pyramid Online Counseling is HIPAA-compliant, meaning that all of the services offered are created and sustained in a way that prioritizes patient privacy and confidentiality. Everything you share in counseling is private information, ensuring online therapy is upheld to the same standards as traditional in-person counseling.
Myth 4: Online counseling isn’t secure because it happens online
In the same way that confidentiality is prioritized by Pyramid Online Counseling, you can expect that your security while engaging in online therapy services is something that has already been considered and protected to the fullest extent. Pyramid Online Counseling utilizes an encrypted software platform call BlueJeans to ensure that sessions with your therapist are guarded. Your personal demographic and health information, as well as the content of your sessions, will never be shared outside of the organization without your permission.
Myth 5: Online counseling isn’t as effective as in-person services
Rest assured, the quality and integrity of your counseling will not be diminished because of the remote platform. So long as you put full effort into the session, you are guaranteed to receive much from the conversations.
There are changes, surely, and adaptations are required for teletherapy. For example, instead of finding parking, you’ll be double-checking your wifi. Rather than the commute to your practitioner’s office, you’ll be charging your device before your session. Although you won’t be going into an office for a session, remember that body language and non-verbal communication will help your counselor to address your concerns, so keep your camera on so your counselor can pick up on those cues.
Pursue recovery today through online counseling
Though online counseling comes with its own benefits and challenges, the structure and content of your sessions are likely to remain the same. The conversations you have with your therapist come with all of the same expertise and professionalism that is available in the office but delivered to you in the comfort of your own home. Once you become accustomed to the new system of logging on instead of meeting in an office, you may even find that you prefer online counseling.
If you’re ready to take steps toward a better you, Pyramid Online Counseling is ready to help. Call 866-203-0262 or reach out today to put remote healthcare to work for you.