Change, Inc. Offers St. Louis Online Therapy!!!
Over the past several years, there has been a shift towards online therapy in its various forms (e.g., Skype, IM chatting, voice threads, etc.). As a client, this may mean at the outset that you now have access to a broader range of therapists that fit your needs. For example, here at Change, Inc., our Master Addictions Counselor (what’s that?), Mr. Steve Baker, is based out of Vancouver, WA, but helps clients here in St. Louis through our HIPAA-compliant video counseling service.
In that sense, online counseling reduces the risk of people settling for a therapist because of a lack of options in their particular area. By increasing the number of therapists clients could potentially see, online counseling increases the likelihood that the client will find a counselor that they feel at ease with, paving the way for the kind of safe, open relationship which makes them more likely to end up happy and achieving their goals.
Is Online Therapy the Same as In-Person Counseling?
Often clients wonder whether in-person and online counseling are the same. The answer is no, they are not. Though not necessarily commonly understood, at Change, Inc., we refer to counseling as primarily an encounter with an integrated person. That is to say, while academicians and researchers may want to carve away at the joints of the science of psychotherapy, trying to understand which techniques and interventions are most successful for particular “disorders,” we believe that the most important factor in determining success in therapy is what is known as the therapeutic alliance (Lynch, 2012), defined by Teyber & Teyber (2011) as a partnership where both counselor and client agree on shared goals, work together on tasks designed to bring a positive outcome, and establish a relationship built on trust, acceptance, and empathy. (Ironically, research actually indicates that this is the most critical thing in therapy too!) So, in other words, we believe there really is something to sitting in a room with a person you can trust, and feeling what it is like to be with them in that space.
However, we’ve also discovered that the question of whether or not in-person and online therapy are the same isn’t really the question — what’s important is this related follow-up:
Is Online Counseling Effective?
So, online therapy isn’t the same as the in-person kind, but it is very, very effective! This means that the critical therapeutic alliance can still be built and grown over the internet. This is great news!
Some Things to Consider about Online Counseling
At Change, Inc. online counseling is a way for us to provide more help from more professionals, so that everyone in Saint Louis (and surrounding areas) can experience true therapeutic change. There are certain things we’d like you to consider as you evaluate whether online counseling is right for you:
- There’s no place like home. One of the many perks of online counseling is that you don’t have to leave your house to receive quality mental health care. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental for those struggling with feelings of depression and isolation. So, if you tend to isolate from others because of depression or anxiety, please know that online counseling may still eventually involve challenges to get you out and about in your own community!
- What’s eating ya? Deciding where online counseling is right for you may depend on what you are coping with presently. Sometimes clients who are facing a life transition (i.e., new job, heading off to college, new baby) find the online counseling is best suited for their needs. In particular, it can be adapted to fit with a hectic schedule, and it may reduce the extra stress associated with actually driving to a session. Furthermore, online counseling is beneficial for individuals who are in and out of the hospital because of a physical illness, as well as for those facing life stressors that require long work hours and/or difficult travel arrangements. On the other hand, some might argue that taking time out of your week for yourself (including travel to a therapist’s office), or rearranging your own busy schedule are precisely the things that may be contributing to your unhappiness, and in that sense, a therapist may eventually ask you to take a look!
- Sometimes, you may need a sanctuary outside the home. On a more practical side, take time to consider if having therapy within your home is a good idea. For example, can you create a space relatively free from disturbance? It won’t impact therapy if a dog barks or a child talks occasionally! But if you’ll be relatively constantly pulled away from your therapeutic conversation, you might not get the benefits you really want. Remember that online counseling is similar to traditional therapy in the sense that the degree to which it is helpful is contingent upon your own ability to engage it effectively. Therefore, if you can’t do it at home, you might want to see if someone can help you create a quite space in different environment, or consider still coming in to one of our actual offices (which takes care of that problem for you!).
- ANON. Confidentiality can be a deciding factor for those who choose online counseling. Some individuals may not seek counseling because they are afraid that they will be seen walking into a therapy office. Many people want to keep a boundary between their mental health journey and their friendships, and some even fear that others may perceive them differently. If you are worried that others will find out you are seeking mental health services, Change, Inc. online counseling could be a fantastic way to see a therapist without worrying about anyone else’s reactions. That sense of anonymity may help you feel more comfortable to talk about some topics that you may never have shared with anyone else. On the other hand, remember that counseling is for things most normal people struggle with like feeling sad, overwhelmed, or having problems with your relationships. Stigma is bullshit.
Overall, choosing between online and traditional therapy is up to you. It’s important to recognize that if you start online counseling and it isn’t suited for you, traditional therapy is never off the table, and in fact, if we believe that’s what you need, we’ll be sure to help you find one.
Need some guidance with all of these? We can help!
Our Online Counselors have years of experience working with people both in-person and over the interet, and they won’t judge you or shame you! They can help you achieve lasting happiness and peaceful living.
Looking for help with Online Therapy?
Get your life back today! Start by making this simple call.
We can schedule you immediately!
Nervous about calling? Email us at email@example.com!