On Line Counseling

 

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Already there are numerous studies out supporting the benefits of online counseling. Online counseling refers to counseling services through the internet and can include emails, chat rooms and web cameras. This type of counselling goes by so many names such as cyberspace counselling, e-therapy, e-counselling and tele-counselling.  Online counseling isn’t for everyone though.  There are a few exceptions to who and what issues will be beneficial or harmful for someone.  

Online therapy is growing rapidly. The Internet is not just for chatting with friends and relatives anymore.

The benefits of online counseling:

  • It’s often time more convenient.  Many people who would love to have the time to sit and talk to someone qualified about their problems simply don’t have the time to wait in an office, then sit for an hour.  Or they can’t seem to get an appointment at their own available time and is at the mercy of the counselor to work around their busy schedules.  Two people with busy schedules trying to make an appointment to meet is sometimes a chore.
  • It can help those who might not otherwise receive counseling due to their locations.  There may not be enough or qualified and available counselors in their area.    building
  • More economical.  If you are lucky to find a counselor who accepts insurance and this is what you like, then you are a lucky one.  Of course using your insurance comes with it’s own set of issues (click here for why many counselors are no longer accepting insurance).  Normally online counseling is much more affordable than face to face counseling.
  • For those who still feel that counseling has a social stigma attached, it’s more private.  Those who wouldn’t normally go to a counselors office due to feeling that someone they know might see them it is would be a real benefit.  In today’s every changing electrical  world, where many people live there lives through electronic media, this way of counseling also offers them more ways to express themselves.    Expressing oneself through texting, messaging, and video chats is how many of this generation express themselves.

A little about the disadvantages:  

  • Reading tones and body language is gone.  Non verbal and verbal cues can be misread or are non existent. Traditional counseling relies often times on verbal and nonverbal cues as another form of communication as well as to help the counseling gain insight into thoughts and feelings that a client is often unable to express.
  • Like anything else online, confidentiality can not be guaranteed.  Though everything is done to assure complete confidentiality, being online opens oneself up to the possibility of being hacked or security breached.  This too is an unfortunate reality of today’s wired world.
  • Technical difficulties can happen.  Internet can go down, computers do crash, phones stop working.  
  • Not in “real time”.  Many online modes of counseling such as message counseling are not in “real time”.  That means that you may send a message to your counselor and not hear back for several hours and vs versa.
  • Ethical considerations.  Let’s face it, online counseling is new.  Like everything new, there will be problems, and these problems are what lead to change in laws and regulations.  Right now, very few states have laws governing online counseling.  This is changing though.  Is your counseling who they say they are?  Do they have the qualifications to counseling online?  Are they licensed?

 

If you are considering online counseling please do your research about the counselor. Are they knowledgeable and skilled in the area of your problems? Remember that online counseling is not for everyone.  If you are suicidal please contact crisis text line  or 1-800-273-(talk)8255

If you are over the age of 18 and wish to try online counseling with me please click the Better Help link below.  I am currently taking new online clients through this site as I have found it to be secure as reasonably possible and a good way of using online counseling.  They are currently  offering the first week free though this could change at any time.

Work with me on Better Help

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You do make a difference

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Bullying does not just apply to children

drama (1024x793)  It’s my own personal opinion that a counselor should remain unbiased, open minded and tolerant to everyone’s opinions, thoughts, and feelings.  It’s what we do.  It’s one of the reasons why we can help people as we have to be able to meet a client where they are in their own lives,  NOT where the counselor is in life.  For this reason I refrain from talking politics with anyone other than my close personal friends and family.  If a client asks me my opinion I will always defer back to the fact that counseling is not about me but about them and how would knowing my thoughts on something change or affect them.

Are there times I would like to tell the world my own opinions?  You bet I would.  But then that would get me on another sticky topic of social media and let’s not right now.  Because these days, if one takes things personally, much of what is taking place now could be seen as bullying one person/culture/group or another.  (That might be one of my next posts)

Most recently, especially over the past 12 months, there has been so much negativity in our world regarding politics, feelings, equal rights, and just our society in general. Is this new?  No.  Every election brings out some group(s) who feel slighted or angry.   But something over the past few days really struck a nerve with me.  So this post is not about politics.  It’s about bullying and how it appears that we, as adults, sometimes teach our children one thing, but often do something totally different. colors1

The definition of bullying is:  (according to Webster)  a :  a blustering, browbeating person; especially :  one who is habitually cruel, insulting, or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller, or in some way vulnerable <tormented by the neighborhood bully>   Merriam-Webster

My primary mission in life is to help children grow to be happy, healthy people who follow their hearts and their own personal goals.  To help them be the people that I know they can become, the people they want to be.  Among all the issues children and young people have to contend with in our world, bullying continues to be a real issue for many.  Is it the most threatening to them?  No. But it is a problem.   Sure, most of us would agree that it’s wrong, it needs to stop, and society needs to change its views of it.  Do I feel that at times it can go a bit over board too?  Sure.  Everything can.

Most recently I saw where an adult, a member of the entertainment community posted a tweet about a 10 year old boy.  Let me write that out again in case you did not catch it.  An Adult, posted something mean, and hurtful about a 10 year old boy (who, through no fault of his own is a celebrity) and it went viral.  Is this not the very thing that we try to teach our children NOT to do?  To not use social media or any other way, to down grade, humiliate, or pick on anyone?     budha

That just really makes me sad for everyone involved.  The woman who tweeted the insult for feeling that she could use something hurtful about a child to make entertainment for other adults, the company who hired her, the people who continued to agree with her and add to her hurtful comment, the parents of the child, of course the very child, but also our entire society which appeared for a few days condoned such behavior.  These same adults (I hope) are trying to teach their own children, and grandchildren not to bully other’s condoned this one women’s ignorant tweet.  Yes, it was ignorant.

Yes, the child is a celebrity.  But did that make this comment any less hurtful or OK to make?  This is a 10 year old boy and it would not matter who the child’s parents are, this child has friends, goes to school, attends events.  The remark will be repeated and he will have to deal with it until it all dies down.  Hopefully it will and he will be able to look at it in the future and know that he did nothing to deserve it other than to be the brunt of someone’s foolish attempt at making a name for herself.  She did.

At first I wanted to boycott the show who hired her.  That appears to be the going thing these days isn’t it?  Let’s get really, really mad at a company and just boycott their product.  It’s going to hurt them, right?  If I did that every time a company produced something I didn’t like or agree with I might not have many products in my home, or be able to watch very much on TV.  So,  I reminded myself that we are all humans and do stupid things from time to time.  We basically screw up sometimes.  Most actions are normally forgotten or forgiven over time in order to move forward with life.  I read where the company has done its own form of reprimand and she has issued an apology. SNL-apology

So parents, and all of you adults….practice what you preach! p9035823

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When your concerned about your child’s mental health.

p1280281b1-800x694 Sometimes as parents, we don’t always know when our child needs help that as a parent, they may not can give them.  Are you a parent who is concerned that it might be time to seek counseling for a child?

Is your child suddenly declining in the school work?

Do you feel your child may be worrying more than other children (anxiety among children is on a steady incline)

Has your child suddenly started refusing to go to school or join in normal activities they once enjoyed?   backtoschool

Have they started having nightmares?

Has your once well behaved child begun to be more aggressive or disobedient?

Does your child seem sad or depressed?

Does it seem like your teen has suddenly “shut down” or started spending more and more time alone, in their room, avoiding the family?  rustlock1b

Has there been any major changes in your household such as a divorce, separation, major illness of a loved one or even a death in the family?

Children’s mental health problems can occur just as easily as they can in adults and like adults they are treatable.  Some studies have shown that one child in five may have a diagnosable mental health problem which can be helped but nearly two thirds of these children get little to no help and are left to deal with it on their own.

A mental health issue a child is dealing with can disrupt their home and school and often times there is a possible increased risk of school failure, problems with the law, and sometime suicide.  It has been reported that children as young as 5 have attempted suicide.  Some have succeeded.

While many childhood problems go away in time, if you are concerned about your child and feel that there may be something going on more than “normal childhood” problems, then seek out the advice of your local pediatrician or family doctor or a local mental health professional.

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If your in the Andalusia, Alabama area call for a free and confidential consult 334-222-7094

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Where are you now?

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Never stop dreaming

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Stay Present

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“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” ― C.G. Jung

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Don’t let your fears get in your way of the life you want to have.

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Developing an Emotional Toolbox: How to help you and your child manage high emotions — Life’s Recipe Book

From an early age, children understand the concept of a ‘toolbox’ and that it contains a variety of tools that are there to repair a machine or help fix a household problem. The idea of an ‘Emotional Toolbox’ (developed by Tony Attwood, PhD) is to develop different types of ‘tools’ that will help with the struggles associated with negative emotions […]

via Developing an Emotional Toolbox: How to help you and your child manage high emotions — Life’s Recipe Book

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