Are you curious what therapists are saying about the online counseling process? With COVID, there aren’t many therapists doing in-person counseling right now. Everything is being held from a distance, online, through a video chat. You know that you want to seek out help, but maybe you are worried that video chatting is not enough. You may want that in-person connection. One where you can drive to an office and see your therapist face to face.
Lately, everything has changed to an online platform. Schools have gone online, clubs have gone online, and now counseling. You aren’t too happy about the fact that you need to start seeing a therapist from your computer, and don’t want to be staring at the computer screen for more than you need to.
However, you are curious about the efficacy of online counseling. Will my child still be able to focus during the session? Will my teen be comfortable enough to have therapy in her room? Am I able to feel a true connection to this person even if we never meet in person?
You have a lot of questions, but you know for sure that you want to get started on some much needed therapy. You are curious to know if you and your therapist can really establish a bond, and if it would even be more convenient for you this way.
The truth is, a lot of people are hesitant to start online counseling but are then pleasantly surprised once the process gets going! Many people end up finding it to be a better fit and process for them than in person sessions.
We have had quite a few phone calls expressing hesitation for online counseling. Would my child really connect with their therapist? Will my teen feel comfortable enough to open up? Am I able to do online counseling at my age?
The answer to these questions is.. Yes!
At Simi Psychological Group, our online counseling is showing to be just as effective. Many of our clients are saying that it is more convenient than in-person sessions. Here’s what our therapists want you to know about online counseling.
You can have a therapy session from anywhere – as long as it’s private.
One thing with in-person therapy is that we need to get up, get ready for the day, and drive over to the office. For some, getting ready for the day can be a challenge due to depression or anxiety. It can seem overbearing, and leave clients feeling guilty or helpless.
You can have online counseling from the comfort of your home, your family’s home, your front porch, anywhere! As long as you have a secure internet connection and you are alone. We don’t recommend holding an online counseling session from your car (unless you’re parked). We want to make sure that you are in a safe, confidential place where no one else can hear you or eavesdrop.
Online counseling can be convenient and simple. If you have morning sessions, you can wake up as usual, hold your morning routine, grab some coffee and curl up in a comfortable spot to hold your session. Maybe you go out to work in your office – and you can hold your session from there, too!
We want to ensure that you are in a comfortable, safe place while we are having an online therapy session. Your comfort matters to us and we want you to be somewhere where you feel like you can be vulnerable. If it’s for your young kids or teens, make sure to give them some space unless they specify they’d like you nearby (ex: young kids may need help navigating the computer).
You can still make strong connections and bonds with your therapist.
Dr. Donna Novak admitted that, “At first, I was really concerned about whether my clients and I would be able to connect in the same way as in person sessions. But after a short time, I realized that not only are we able to connect in the same way, that for many of my clients it is actually showing to be a better platform.”
Dr. Reena Becerra commented that she, “likes the ease of online therapy. I feel the connection is not lost and I am still able to communicate and help clients grow, despite being in different locations”. Her top priority is her client safety alongside her own safety, so holding online counseling sessions is a sure way to ensure that.
How do I know if I’m a good fit for online counseling or not?
In child therapy at Simi Psychological Group we are able to still work with children through a video chat to keep them focused, engaged, and interacting, according to Dr. John Danial. However, there are still some individuals who may not be a good fit.
To be a good fit for online counseling, according to our expert therapists, you should be able to have simple conversations. Being able to address emotional symptoms, build confidence, and learn more ways to grow in life. Dr. Donna Novak comments that most clients are proving to be a good fit for online therapy. Many teens and children are a good fit as there’s something about being in their own personal space that makes many of them feel even more secure.
You may not be a great fit for online counseling if you get overwhelmed using electronics or setting up video calls. At Simi Psychological Group, we can conduct test runs with you. We also send over information regarding our video platform and see what we can do to support you in understanding how to use our system. Dr. Reena Becerra says that clients may not be a good fit for online counseling if, “they are not open to the idea of therapy or are not familiar with connecting over the internet”, so please let us know if you do need help. We are a judgement free place!
Dr. Reena Becerra also commented that clients should be willing to come to sessions with an open mind. They should be ready to work and put effort into creating desired change within themselves. If you are coming to therapy hesitant to take action or responsibility, you may not be ready yet for online counseling.
What are the benefits for online counseling?
There are certainly benefits surrounding attending online anxiety therapy or online depression counseling with us. We offer online counseling in Los Angeles, Ventura County, and throughout California.
You don’t need to plan your whole day around commuting to and from therapy sessions. Ultimately, you can enjoy them comfortably within your desired schedule in your home. You can go into your online therapy sessions in between things, whether that be chores, errands, or work events. Maybe you simply want to plan a nap after your session, where you can just close your laptop and close your eyes!
Dr. John Danial comments that “therapy in general is supposed to be a ‘bridge’ from what’s going on in your life to what you would like to change, grow, and address in your life. There’s a benefit to being at home during therapy in that you start to experience the strategies, feelings, vision of your life in your home, which is where you want those changes to occur”.
You can only get benefits out of online counseling if you are committing to pushing yourself and creating change through actions and behaviors!
What do our therapists find they like about online counseling?
Dr. John Danial told us that, “online counseling allows us to connect while feeling safe. Just like in-person therapy, we’re able to build a connection, respond to the needs of the client, and make the desired changes”.
As he is a highly experienced child therapist, he has found ways to still effectively conduct therapy sessions with his younger clients. He can play games with them through a shared screen or play games from their separate areas using coloring, word games, and other tactics to keep the kids engaged and interacting.
Dr. Donna Novak mentions that therapy doesn’t have to be a potential burden in your day anymore with online counseling. Oftentimes, clients would need to commute to the office and spend some time in traffic or rushing to make it on time. She says, “with the comfort of our clients being in their own space, some are actually finding themselves open up even more as there is a strong sense of ease and comfort with having therapy in your own space”.
Some clients of Dr. Reena Becerra have surprised themselves by how easy and convenient online counseling has been for them, and it turned out to be a preferred method! As she was seeing clients in-person before the pandemic hit, some clients were hesitant to move to an online platform. But, they confess that they’re grateful for continuing their sessions, and are glad they continued to work on their stressors in a deep and connected way.
Don’t let your apprehension make you believe you can’t do online therapy.
You can trust that online counseling is an effective way to get therapy, especially during this pandemic. Our therapists in Simi Valley, Ca have been holding online counseling for nearly 9 months now, and continue to enjoy how much their clients are finding comfort and flexibility with it.
At our mental health therapy practice in Simi Valley, Ca we offer Child therapy and family counseling, Teen therapy, Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Neuropsychological Testing.