The Covid 19 pandemic is one of the factors that has contributed to the popularity of online counselling. Its popularity has also been boosted by the fact that it is easier to approach and assist patients who live kilometres away. Online counselling platforms make counselling more accessible and affordable. Unfortunately, not all online counselling platforms are beneficial to your health. Some are con artists who will defraud you. However, if you select the correct counselling platform, you will reap the numerous benefits that such platforms provide.
Online counselling is convenient because it allows you to acquire the service in a short amount of time. It enables you to obtain and get psychotherapy services even if the therapist is a long distance away. Furthermore, you do not need to prepare before receiving the services. You can complete the sessions while still in your PJs.
Online counselling is versatile. It permits the therapist to discuss information that would be difficult to share in a doctor’s office. Of course, there are certain drawbacks, such as connectivity troubles and conducting video calls. These are some of the issues that may arise if you choose to use online counselling services. Fortunately, most online counselling platforms employ a variety of methods to serve their customers. As a result, you’ll need to go over a couple of them and select one whose approach works best for you. Here are some pointers to consider while selecting an online counselling platform.
1. Verify Accreditation and License.
Because psychotherapy may not be legally protected in your state, unqualified individuals may attempt to provide the service through unregistered sites. So, if you are receiving the service for the first time, you should double-check that the platform is legitimate.
Psychologists must be registered and licenced in the state in which they practise. Different states have licencing rules in place to ensure that only educated and licenced practitioners provide counselling services. Clients are protected by the laws, and they have recourse in the event of a problem. As a result, make certain to search for accreditation and credentials. Do not evaluate them based on their marketing or posts on their websites.
Untrustworthy therapists will also add titles and letters after or before their names. Keep an eye out for such letters, as they mean nothing. Check to see if the title is regulated by the state licencing board. Inquire if they have the proper state licence. If you have any doubts, ask for the registration number so you can double-check. If the therapist becomes irritable and defensive, proceed to the next.
2. Communication Mode and Platform Security
Most platforms provide counselling via phone calls, video talks, or messaging apps. As a result, a decent platform should offer a channel that is handy for you.
Counselling sessions are private, thus the therapist should not conduct them on public platforms—the security of the site is also important. Keep in mind that you will be discussing private and confidential information. As a result, a secure platform, most likely with end-to-end encryption, maybe the best solution. If you’re going to use an app, it needs to authenticate your therapist’s identification before you get into specifics.
It may be beneficial to conduct your sessions on a HIPAA-compliant platform. Furthermore, the therapist should hold sessions in a private and discreet setting.
The therapist should also present themselves in a way that allows you to relax; you must trust them before disclosing sensitive information. Examine whether they are well-organized and conduct themselves professionally. In such circumstances, you may need to trust your instincts. If the thought of the platform being untrustworthy occurs to you, disregard it.
3. Session Length and Frequency
Counselling sessions should last approximately one to two hours. You should, however, be able to determine how much time you spend with the therapist. Platforms with set schedules may cause you problems. If you are extremely busy, you may require shorter and more frequent schedules. Determine whether the platforms will allow you to have shorter or longer sessions based on your demands.
You can also select a therapist to work with on various platforms. Decide whether you want to work with a female or male therapist. They should also provide you with the option of selecting the social site for the sessions. The most popular are Skype and Whatsapp. However, a platform that provides services across multiple websites may be the ideal option for you.
Of course, there are numerous important suggestions that can assist you in selecting the best online counselling platform. However, the platform’s security, flexibility, and length of the sessions you intend to have are important considerations. Consider the frequency of the sessions as well as whether or not the platform is recognised and licenced.