Online Counseling During Uncertain Times

By Galina Olivera-Celdran, PhD., LCMHCS, Executive Director

Finding help for your emotional and spiritual health during this time of change, anxiety and uncertainty might be one of the best things you can do for you and your family. Unfortunately, with social distancing and stay-at-home orders, connecting with others and talking things over to receive support and encouragement can be harder than usual. You might be afraid of being a burden to others when they are the ones looking to you to be their source of strength in the midst of chaos. Your job might be in jeopardy or you might be overwhelmed with having to homeschool your children on top of other responsibilities, and feel there is no one with whom you can share your concerns.

Having an online counseling session with someone who can be there for you to listen, empathize, offer guidance and solutions is still possible using phone or video. Even though we all prefer to do counseling in person, the therapists at Agapé have found that most of our clients have adapted and benefited from connecting with us online. Clients have also realized how easy it is to set up their online counseling sessions. Some have employed the help of their more tech-savvy family members to help them with the set up. While we do miss seeing one another in person, even if it’s not perfect, we can still connect in a new way. Of course, there will be the occasional glitches with the sound or video, but those can be overcome. These are extraordinary times and they require creative thinking and using available technology to maintain our connection with others. Online counseling can enhance your sense of stability, and improve your emotional health.Photo of lady at computer

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to online counseling. First, the quality of counseling services does not depend on those services being delivered in the counseling office with both counselor and client physically present. Rather, the outcome of therapy is determined by the counseling skills of the therapist and the openness of the client to receive guidance and help. Both of those factors are still present in the video and phone counseling sessions. Secondly, continuity and consistency are important to maintaining the gains you have already made in the counseling process. Keeping up with your appointments prevents you from losing momentum and helps you to continue practicing skills and developing new ones for your spiritual growth and emotional stability. Thirdly, confidentiality is important to us and we are able to preserve it by using telehealth platforms that are designed to protect our clients’ confidentiality and adhere to HIPAA regulations. Fourthly, you may reach us by phone, email or text. Our administrative staff is also available to answer your questions about counseling and to schedule appointments.

Finally, we would like to remind you that as a non-profit counseling center, we are able to offer scholarships for those who are in need of counseling but are not able to afford the full fee. If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, or marital issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us regardless of your ability to pay. We will work with you to make counseling possible for you and your family.