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by Katie Bailey, MA, LPC

Even before we all knew the word “coronavirus” online counseling services were growing. Our world is becoming increasingly mobile. These days you can do almost anything online: see your doctor, attend a work meeting, shop for nearly anything, and the list goes on, to include mental wellness services.

Some people are resistant to online counseling services, and I really do get it. The number one factor that indicates success in psychotherapy is the client-counselor relationship. While it might feel slightly awkward at first, that working relationship absolutely can develop just as well online as in the office. Here are some tips to make online therapy successful for you.

  • Choose the right therapist. Regardless if you are looking for online or in person counseling, you absolutely should be looking for the right counselor. You want to find a professional who specializes in the area in which you need help. You can ask for a phone consult first, to chat with the counselor and see if he or she is a good fit for you. A quality professional will welcome all your questions, and you definitely should ask them.
  • Avoid subscription-based counseling services. Not all online counseling is the same. There are some companies out there that offer subscription-based services, that are mostly text based, and sometimes video. This sort of “on demand” model of counseling short circuits how counseling works best and is not the most helpful to achieve your goals. You need to meet regularly with an expert who can help you be proactive in working towards change; not just send you a nice text when you are having a bad day.
  • Find the right location. When doing sessions online, it’s up to you to find a confidential place to have your session. For some people that might be sitting in your car in the driveway to avoid your family. Sometimes college students find empty classrooms. You need to choose the right space where you won’t be interrupted or overheard.
  • Commit to the process. Either online or in person, counseling requires you to commit to the process to see results. You have to prioritize your sessions, and not let other things get in the way. This can be more challenging with online sessions. Just because you aren’t driving into an office doesn’t mean you can just cancel at the last minute. Your therapist has reserved that time for you, and a cancellation policy will still exist. You sell yourself short to not fully commit to being at your sessions and making the most of the time with your counselor.

I know that starting counseling, whether online or in person, can be stressful. We therapists understand that, I promise. The small risk is worth it for you to overcome your obstacles and live life as you were made to live. There is no shame in asking for help. Professional counselors have specific training to help you heal, grow and learn new skills to have the life you want. If you are struggling, please reach out to a professional therapist today and start living life differently.

The mental health laws in our country today require therapists to only offer services in states where they are licensed. So, you will want to find a professional who specializes in your area of need, and also is licensed in your state.

Start Online Counseling in Pennsylvania

Our team at Lime Tree Counseling has always offered online therapy. We offer all our services via our secure, HIPAA compliant telehealth platform. Our expert therapists specialize in anxiety counseling, PTSD & Trauma therapy, marriage counseling & Christian counseling. Katie Bailey is able to offer EMDR, a specialized trauma therapy, online as well. Please contact our office today to get started. We want to see you live life as you were made to live!