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Online Counseling Degree

Privacy and Ease of Access

For many people the ideal method of counseling is found online. Allowing a client privacy, convenience, and the low-stress environment of his or her own home, finding counseling help online provides a flexible answer for many people. However as with all uses of the internet care must be taken finding reliable professional help with sensible precautions for all involved.

A New Approach To Counseling

  • Advantages for client and counselor
  • Concerns
  • Protection

Many Positive Advantages to Online Counseling

We all know the old approach to forms of counseling: whether we imagine a patient on a couch or a coaching client sitting in a secure office, counseling of all sorts has been reliably face to face. The internet is allowing that old formula to change, offering positive benefits to both the client and the counselor.

Internet counseling allows a wide range of access approaches, from typed communication through VOIP (voice over internet protocol – essentially phone-by-computer); all the way up to video-calls. The range of methods that are common in internet allow individual and group counseling, with running recording for security and accuracy on all sides. Computer contact can provide a high level of privacy and security if carefully designed and implemented. Both client and counselor are saved the complexity of maintaining and traveling to office space. Hours can be more flexible, scheduling more sensitive to the needs of all involved. For the counselor there is the profound relief of being able to automatically document all sessions in full, providing both client and counselor with legal coverage and evidence of the entire process.

Concerns Regarding Counseling Online

However, with all the advantages, there are the usual concerns. The internet has proven a safe environment for many well-intentioned quacks, borderline mercenary services, and outright cons and fakes. With improper screening, poor security technology, and too little advance investigation it’s not hard for a client to end up spending large amounts of money on services that are unprofessional, or working with “counselors” who are unqualified or unethical.

Protecting Yourself

To free yourself from concern while still making use of the advantages conferred by the internet, you will have to plan ahead. First, you need to do your homework. Take time to determine what counseling services are available, and what they entail. Consider whether the medium of internet access improves or weakens the counselor’s ability to work with you on your specific issues.

When you’re familiar with some of the nature of the offerings, begin to research individual counselors or services. Licensed, certified counselors with appropriate degrees should be easily researched through their schools, licensing boards, and through oversight agencies ranging from the Better Business Bureau to the APA (American Psychiatric Association).

When a service or professional has proven professionally legitimate and sound, you should still proceed with caution. Keep your own record of emails, IMs, chats, and other contacts. Use a contract and keep copies. Worth through a record-keeping payment provider, such as PayPal, that clearly documents the details of payments made.

By ensuring yourself strong, well-documented paper-trail you reduce the chances of being stung to being with, and also establish strong tools for proceeding with defense should you have had the misfortune to find a criminal or incompetent online provider.

Getting Help

A final suggestion in the process of finding a secure and appropriate online counseling: make use of a professional referral agency to help with the selection process. By calling in experts with background experience in checking qualifications and professional standing, you can give yourself the head start of choosing from a cleared field of available counseling to being with.

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