What is online counseling?

A convenient, secure and flexible way to speak to a therapist through video calls using your laptop or computer in the comfort of your home.

What do I need to do online counseling?              

A computer or laptop with a camera, microphone and speakers or headset.

How can online therapy help me?              

 Therapy can help with a variety of concerns such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship issues and stress management.  It can help to 1) improve problem solving skills, 2) enhance coping strategies 3) increase support, self-awareness and insight 4) improve interpersonal relationships and family concerns 5) change unhealthy behavior patterns and develop new ones.  Meeting with a therapist can promote acceptance and better understanding of concerns. Online therapy can have the same benefits. It will all depend on your needs and whether this is the right modality for you.

Online counseling might not be appropriate for:  If you have active thoughts or plans of killing yourself or others, online counseling will not be appropriate for you as you will benefit more from traditional face to face counseling.  If you need support or have these thoughts make sure you write the following number the National Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 in the United States. You can also call 911 in case of a life threatening situation. For resources available in your country go to the following link https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres.

Do I really need therapy?  Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, but sometimes you might need support for certain situations. 

Why do people go to therapy? People have many different reasons for seeking therapy such as major life transitions, adjustment concerns, difficulty handling stressful situations, the aging process, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems or parenting issues. Some people may be at a point where they don’t know what to do with their lives.  If you are having difficulty in some area of your life and want somebody to talk to then it is a good idea to reach out for help.

Why do people develop a mental health and/or substance use disorder? There are different contributing factors that increase the likelihood of a person developing a mental or substance use disorder such as genetics— biological traits passed down through families; a person’s environment, trauma exposure, lack of support, and stress level. 

Is counseling confidential? Confidentiality is one of the most important things between a client and therapist. You can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone, unless you give your written permission. However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:

    •    Report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of children, vulnerable adults, and elders to the authorities, including Texas Abuse Hotline or Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.

    •    If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is in danger of harm to self or others.  The therapist will try to first work with client to enforce safety, but if client is not able to do this on their own then, family or friends might need to be contacted with client’s written permission.  If safety cannot be guaranteed then medical and law enforcement personnel might need to get involved.