When they asked if I would be able to work with them as a therapist via phone or Skype however, my answer had to be "No. The profession of clinical psychology had concerns about whether electronic connections could allow therapy to be as effective as in-person treatment. In addition, my psychology license entitled me to practice only within the state of Colorado. The times, however, are a'changing. For individuals and couples who live in rural areas with few if any therapists, these new rules can seriously enlarge ability to get help.
NPR radio ran a story about the merits of therapy via telephone or the internet. Their report discusses the pros and cons of Skype therapy for folks who want counseling help without having to leave their home or office.
Their overall assessment was definitely pro. Consumers do need to beware. Online services sometimes are offered by minimally trained and unlicensed therapists, as these counselors do not need to abide by the rules of more conservative mental health professional organizations such as the professional associations of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and marriage and family therapists. Do check your online therapist's credentials. Also, if you are working with someone that does not feel helpful, say goodbye and find another.
Still, online therapy of almost any sort can prove helpful to the many individuals who for whatever reason cannot go to a therapist's office. Even if therapists do offer services within reasonable geographic proximity, many individuals benefit when their therapy can be available without travel time—during an extended coffee break, a lunch hour, immediately after work or in the evenings. What about online help for couples? Is there online marriage counseling? This news report stressed that marriage therapy online may be iffy, but marriage education online works very well.
The TV program mentions poweroftwomarriage. Couples therapy poses challenges for telephone or skype treatment. It is difficult, for instance, for a couple to talk with each other when they have to keep their eyes on the computer screen.
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Because online therapy can be iffy, the CBS TV program concluded that marriage education programs online so far appear to be a better option than couples counseling online. That is, it does not help couples to explore deeper issues, discover the role of childhood experiences in current difficulties, or even guide couples through to resolution of specific current issues that have been breeding tensions.
What Power of Two Marriage does do offer is skill-training. When couples learn to talk collaboratively, they can cease having arguments. Instead of fighting, they learn to resolve their differences by cooperatively creating win-win solutions.. The price is right also. So while marriage counseling over the internet is still in its infancy, marriage ed can enable motivated spouses to make the leap from a marriage that's an endurance test to a truly gratifying love relationship. Marriage ed online also is an attractive option for singles who want to learn what they needed to know but didn't in their last relationship—and to prepare to be able to build a solid relationship and even a long-lasting and gratifying marriage ahead.
A research study of the outcomes of an early prototype of poweroftwomarriage.
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Studies on the impacts of other marriage ed programs such as the ones described in the CBS TV report have obtained similarly impressive results. For online therapy via skype and telephone to become more broadly available, laws limiting therapy practice over state lines need to be modified. In the meantime however, online individual therapy with less highly trained counselors already is proving helpful for many people. Online treatment with in-state mental health professionals is becoming increasingly available. And for a couple, or even just one spouse, who is frustrated by marriage tensions and bumps, programs that offer coaching in the skills for marriage success can make an immediate difference.
If you are a self-helper, my website called PrescriptionsWithoutPills, gives you lots of guidance for techniques you can use on your own to counter depression , anger, anxiety and more. For depression also you might check out my TEDx talk. To check out the web-based program with a free trial plus a free marriage assessment, click here.
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It's a bit concerning for me that less trained individuals are offering such online services rather than directing folks to better trained professionals. I certainly hope that some laws are considered and incorporated to help professionals reach out to individuals who would otherwise not be within their locality of practice.
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Do you think this issue of under trained therapists poses a potential concern enough that we should be raising awareness? Or is it a problem that there does not seem to be a consistent standard of what qualified training is? You raise a very real issue Nina. I'm not sure who gets to hang their shingle up on the web. On the one hand, the same licensing rules should apply there as apply to in-person treatment. On the other hand, I have no idea how well the web gets policed. The other related issue is the spread of "coaching. On the web these boundaries get all the more fuzzy.
Very interesting blog. It is really difficult to get this kind of with useful information. Thank you so much it is very useful and informative for me. Skype is beyond not confidential Why would we encourage people to use these platforms or to see therapists who think it is appropriate to use these platforms even knowing the huge risk to client confidentiality when there are a variety of HIPPA compliant, more secure platforms available? I would definitely question my therapist's knowledge, training, and commitment to my privacy if we were using something so easily accessible to others.
What other steps might my therapist not be taking? No matter how through your informed consent is, is it even possible to communicate to clients how many safeguards professionals are supposed to have in place or the fact that assurance of confidentiality helps clients confide some of their deepest issues which may be what needs to be explored in therapy?
I agree very much with Liz's comment above.
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Most therapists, me included, are not tech savvy with regard to finding HIPPA compliant platforms, so confidentiality could be compromised for someone who is getting therapy via skype. Another downside of skype help is that it does not give the sense of personal connection that only in-person contributes. A third downside is that followup is more difficult if it turns out that a client needs major help such as a hospitalization.
These risks need to be balanced with concern about how urgently a person needs the particular services that a therapist offers. For people who live in locations where no face to face options for treatment exist, for instance, skype can be far better than no treatment. There is a much better solution than Skype to deliver therapy and consultancy online. Fellow therapists are increasingly irritated with Skype, since it is becoming unstable, complicated and with terrible user experience An excellent alternative is accessible through "Talkini billable video-conferencing" and it allows you to connect with clients and to charge the fees for your sessions in the same, very simple and user-friendly process.
All patients even some elderly people accessed the session and paid with ease through Talkini billable videoconferencing as they call it. What I found very useful is that you don't go through ID exchange and connecting. Our state licensure board directory allows you to find applicable contact information, available licenses, and required examinations in the state where you are seeking licensure.
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Apply Board certification shows colleagues and the public that you have voluntarily met high national standards for counseling. Counselor Find With Counselor Find , search for a counselor who is board certified in your state. Government Affairs NBCC supports the counseling profession through many initiatives at the local, state, and federal levels.
Inclusion of counselors in the Medicare program. Increased counselor inclusion and recognition by the Military Health Systems. The creation of a Federal Occupational Series for Counselors.