How to Start Online Counseling
Choosing a therapist could be a challenge. It could be really hard to decide by reading something online that this person will able to understand what you are going through, your particular struggle. Especially when it relates to such personal service as therapy. Online therapy in particular.
Online counseling is a relatively new service, so I understand people who have reservations about it. However, at the same time, I love working online and I want to give you enough information about the process of online therapy so that you could make an informed decision.
Step One - Complimentary Consultation
So, if you decide right now that you want to work with me and do online counseling, you schedule your free consultation with me through the video platform we will be using for our online therapy sessions. The purpose of that session is to get your questions answered and for me to assure that I can be of service for you.
When you pick the time for the consultation, you will have to fill out a short consultation questionnaire that will help me provide you with the best help in your decision making process I can.
At the scheduled time, we meet at the online platform I currently use - Doxy.me.
If during the consultation, we decide to start working together, I will send you an invitation to the Client Portal that will be our work space for everything. On the portal, you will be able to schedule and cancel appointments, fill out and sign electronically all paperwork, see and pay bills, send me secure messages and more.
Disclaimer: I hate paperwork! I hate this clutter that gets created by all sorts of forms and papers. This is why everything I do is electronic. If you like to have paper documents, you are welcome to print them, and they will be always available to you within your portal.
Step Two - Client Portal
As soon as you log into the Client Portal, you will immediately have access to accepting my practice policies and reading and filling out the necessary forms. If you prefer to fill out and sign forms before our first session, you are welcome to do so. If not, we can go through them together during the first session. Even though I don't like forms and paperwork myself, I consider those forms important for you to have all necessary information about both your and my rights and responsibilities.
It goes without saying that I welcome any questions or conversations about paperwork, rules and policies because they become a contract between us in our counseling relationship. I value open and honest communication, trust and mutual understanding in our therapeutic relationship. If you have doubts about anything, let's discuss it!
Step Three - First Session
In our first online counseling session, we go through the rules and policies in our therapeutic relationship, and also start deciding on the treatment plan. I would just listen to what you have to say about the problem you want to resolve in therapy.
At the end of the first session, we would come to a tentative treatment plan that we will clarify and solidify in the following sessions. As soon as we decide on the treatment plan, I will fill it up and it will show up for you to sign on your client portal. Again, I will welcome any discussion of your needs and goals before and after deciding on a treatment plan.
After the first session, you can schedule your appointments yourself or if we decide that you need a regular appointment time every week, I would schedule it for you.
Either way, we work together to reach your therapeutic goals until we (or you) decide that you don't need therapy anymore.
If you have more questions, you are welcome to check my answers to FAQs.