What Is the Best Online Counseling? It’s Not Just for “Techies”
This needs to be said early: You don’t have to be a technology expert (a techy) to give or receive online counseling. Sure, you might need to know some basics, but by no means, do you have to be a pro. Let’s be more specific. If you are thinking about giving or receiving counseling, you’ll have to know how to…
1. Connect to the internet.
Most people know how to connect their laptop or computer to the internet. While I couldn’t explain exactly how a modem works, I do know how to set it up (and how to call reinforcements when this doesn’t go as planned). If you have trouble with connecting to the internet, just call on a professional. Once it’s set up, you typically won’t have to mess with it much and you’ll have access to your online therapy session.
2. Make or answer a phone call.
You might not know how to send funny memes or use the latest app, but surely you know how to make or answer a phone call! For some online counseling dynamics, that’s as far as technology requirements go. You don’t have to rely or utilize your computer.
3. Turn on your computer.
For videoconference counseling, you’ll probably want to utilize your computer (although some people attend their videoconference sessions on their smartphones). If this is the case, you’ll need to ensure your computer works properly!
4. Click a link.
Furthermore, if you’re attending counseling via videoconference, you’ll probably have to click on a link to join the session—which is also a piece of cake!
5. Send a text or email.
Finally, if you’re giving or receiving online counseling via text, online chat, or email, you’ll simply need to know how to write and send these messages (which, by now, many of us do; and if you’ve chosen this online counseling route, I’m assuming that you know how to send a text or email!)
Now, do you see our point? Though there is some necessary due diligence a counselor or client must fulfill in regard to being technologically savvy, one does not have to be a technology expert to provide or receive online counseling.
Choosing Online Counseling: Videoconference, Telephone, or Email?
Don’t waste your time and energy worrying about whether or not you’re “tech-savvy” enough for online counseling. Instead, focus on the counseling journey and ask yourself questions like, “What is the best online counseling for me?” If you’re a client, which approach would best help you? Consider:
- Videoconference counseling: If you still like the idea of meeting with your counselor face to face (even if it is via a virtual medium) videoconference is probably the best online counseling for you.
- Telephone counseling: If you still want to work directly with your counselor and have a conversation that flows, but you would rather not meet face to face, telephone counseling is likely the best online counseling for you.
- Text/email counseling: If you want a great degree of anonymity and you don’t mind texting or emailing your provider back and forth, text or email counseling is probably a good option—in fact, it might even be the best online counseling for you.
If you’re a provider, you can find value in offering all of these online counseling options (even if you have your own preferences) to best help your clients. You’ll likely even find yourself enjoying each approach to online counseling! Just focus on building strong relationships with your clients and getting them the help they need.