Online Counselling

At Seachange Psychology, online counselling (sometimes called telehealth counselling) enables you to access a qualified and experienced psychologist (me, Crispian Jones) using a program called “iCouch.

Unlike programs such as Skype or Zoom which are commonly used for online counselling ‘iCouch’ is HIPPA ( Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) approved, which means your information is protected by a highly developed encrypted data protection protocol.  Your counselling appointment will be conducted just like a face-to-face session – you will be able to see, hear and interact with me ‘virtually’.  Research evidence suggests that the online platform is just as effective in terms of therapy outcomes as meeting face-to-face with your psychologist/counsellor.

 

 

Who Is Best Suited For Online Therapy?

Basically, almost anyone, and for a number of reasons. Online counselling offers a really easy and very convenient way of reaching out for help. For example; you may have difficulty travelling to appointments either because of distance/remoteness or mobility problems. You may have childcare commitments, work conflicts and even anxiety issues which prevent you from leaving your home. You may not want to go through the usual referral pathway for any number of reasons. So the online space is likely the best pathway for you.

What Are The Advantages Of  Online Therapy?

  • It is easily accessible and you can get help from wherever you are in the world. All you need is a computer, tablet or mobile phone.
  • It saves you time and money as you don’t need to drive to my office even if we are located in the same area
  • It is private and anonymous – there is no risk of “being seen” in the waiting room
  • It is secure & confidential – no notes are kept online and even if they were, iCouch is, as above, a secure and safe platform, and conforms to the HIPPA standard.

What ‘Issues’ Can Be Treated Via Online Therapy?

Well pretty much anything that can worked with in the ‘face to face’ context. Common psychological issues such as depression, worry, anxiety (including agoraphobia), stress, grief, life direction, relationship issues, pain management and anger management are all suitable for the online counselling platform.  Relationship/marriage issues are also suitable for online counselling.

Research over a number of years now, has shown that the online platform helps some people feel less inhibited and more confident during their counselling sessions and that often means they are more easily able to open up to discuss issues that are perhaps awkward, embarrassing or that involve feelings of shame or guilt.

Some, issues around sexual difficulties, such as sexual orientation, sex addiction (e.g. porn addiction) or sexual dysfunction, can be particularly well suited to online counselling as the ‘distance’ between you and the counsellor often makes it easier to talk about.

Which ‘Presentations’ Are Not Appropriate For An Online Counselling Platform?

As a general rule, online counselling is not appropriate where your life may be in danger through self-harming behaviour, or where threats to harm others are involved.

There are some severe and ongoing psychiatric presentations that benefit from a multidisciplinary approach, such as psychosis or perhaps severe depression. Where those patients are closely supported by other health services such as psychiatry and evidence can be produced of such support, then online counselling may be considered as an option.

Please note that at this stage online counselling is not currently covered by Medicare (in Australia) and you will not be eligible for a refund with Medicare if you have a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). The good part about that is you don’t have to see a doctor to get the MHCP.  If you have private health insurance (and you live in Australia) then you will most likely be able to claim, but please do check with your provider if you will be seeking a rebate. If you live in the USA you will NOT be able to claim on your insurance as I am not licenced in any state in the USA. For US clients:  I am considered an out of network provider for all US based insurance companies and am only able to accept out of pocket payment. I accept credit/debit cards Paypal and Direct Deposits.

What You Need To Start With An Online Counselling Service.

Of course, you will need a computer with a good camera, and a reliable internet connection.  If you have a set of headphones/earbuds that will make the session even better especially if we do some hypnosis as part of your treatment. When you first make contact with me you will be sent an information message advising the time and the date of your online appointment. Please be aware of the time zone as I work with people all over the world. My current zone is GMT + 10). Simply follow the instructions on the email, and we will be set to go.

You will need to establish a space in your home that is free of distractions (pets, children, other people, phones, TV, etc) where you can focus without interruption for your 55 minute session.

Does Online Counselling Actually Work?

Yes: It’s just the same as if you are doing counselling in a face-to-face context. The actual protocols and techniques that are used in a normal counselling arrangement apply equally well in the online context. You are able to interact at pretty much the exact same level as you can in a face-to-face situation and as mentioned above, and sometimes it is even more beneficial to you.

My counselling framework is known as Brief Solution Focused Therapy (BSFT). My aim is to work with you to find solutions to your problems,  that are long lasting and robust.  I am known to get very good outcomes for most of my clients in a relatively short time frame due to my ability to establish rapport with you and the skills sets that I use (see elsewhere on this site for how I work).  This applies in the both the counselling rooms and the online context.

So, if you think online counselling might be right for you, or you have some questions, then please give me call or send an email and I will be pleased to answer any questions you might have, that can clear the way for us to work together,  if we decide we are a good fit. No matter how skilled I might be, if you are not comfortable with me you will not get the outcomes you desire, so being a “good fit” is imperative.

There you have it. I can be contacted by phone on +61 402289577 (remember my time zone is GMT + 10 hrs (https://bit.ly/2GMJNrz) for a 15 minute complementary strategy call or shoot me an email and I will be happy to answer your questions.  Wishing you all the best in your quest for health – Cris

Online Counselling

Online Counselling At Seachange Psychology, online counselling (sometimes called telehealth counselling) enables you to access a qualified and experienced psychologist (me, Crispian Jones) using a program called “iCouch. View our iCouch site