Counseling online: Is it worth it?
By Joshua Beavers, MA, LPC, BCN
Online healthcare services have surged in popularity due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and social distancing have forced many people to connect to their physicians, pharmacists and counselors through the internet. Thankfully, technology has revolutionized communication between clients and medical professionals. Gone are the days of driving hundreds of miles to speak with a specialist. Simply tap a button on your smartphone, tablet, or computer and you’re instantly connected to your provider through a safe and secure video conference. This online service has been a lifesaver for people struggling with mental health concerns. Anxiety, fear, and depression have wreaked havoc around the world as people learn to cope with the unprecedented changes to the economy and culture during the COVID-19 pandemic. Connecting online with a counselor can help reduce stress and maintain focus during this difficult time. RenuYou Neurofeedback Brain Fitness is excited to offer this online service to anyone seeking help!
This service, known as telebehavioral health, is defined as “the use of a digital platform that provides secure, encrypted, real-time audio-video conferencing to communicate with a client,” according to the American Counseling Association (ACA). This service has many names. Perhaps you’ve seen advertisements for teletherapy, telemental health, or telehealth counseling. Most of these services are referring to the same thing – online mental health counseling. In this article I will discuss the benefits of telebehavioral health and how to setup a session at RenuYou.
Some of the benefits of telebehavioral health include convenience, safety, and privacy. Consider for a moment the convenience online sessions could provide for you. No more driving through rush hour traffic to make it on time for that 5 PM session! No worries about social distancing since you’re connecting online from the comfort of your home! Not sure if bad weather is about to hit? That’s ok! Save time by meeting with your counselor online so you don’t have to drive in the rain. Want to ensure your sessions are private? Privacy is of utmost importance to us and a major benefit with telebehavioral health sessions. This service allows clients to remain anonymous so friends, family, and neighbors are unaware you may be seeking treatment.
Setting up a telebehavioral health session at RenuYou is simple. Please call the office at 918-747-7400. The staff member will be happy to answer any questions. If you would like to proceed, all you need to do is provide your name, email address, and phone number. The counselor will then send you an email with a link to the video conference. We use the secure HIPAA-compliant website doxy.me for all video conferences.
Telebehavioral health sessions may feel awkward at first, but over time becomes easier and more comfortable. I’ve been working with clients online for the past two years, and I’m amazed how positive the experience has been! Honestly, when I started conducting online sessions (two years ago), I wasn’t convinced it would be as effective as sessions in person, but, I’m thrilled to see clients make breakthroughs and achieve long-term progress through utilizing this modern technology, just as if I were visiting with them in person! I’m excited to offer this service at RenuYou. If you are feeling the need to talk to a therapist and would like to give telebehavioral health a try, please give us a call. We are here to help and look forward to hearing from you!