What is Online Therapy?
Online counseling offers the same level of support and confidentiality as face-to-face sessions with our qualified counselors. Online therapy refers to counseling services that are taking place over a device using the internet.
Whether you’re looking to continue therapy or start therapy for the first time, we have HIPAA-compliant video software and are able to work with you from the comfort and safety of your home.
In these times, tending to your mental health is more important than ever and we can help you do that no matter what issues arise, such as difficulties with transportation or a busy work schedule.
An online therapy session is just like in-office therapy! Online sessions will generally last 45-minutes to an hour. You will meet with your therapist on a regular basis based on a time and day you two have agreed on. Together, we’ll explore the reasons that brought you to us, help develop a plan and establish goals to work towards, promote insight and a deeper understanding of yourself and the struggles you face, practice concrete skills and work toward solutions to help you live the fullest life possible.
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How does online therapy work?
It’s super easy! You simply reach out to us by text, phone, or email and we can conduct a consultation to help you get lined up with the best-fitting therapist. Some factors we consider when matching you to a therapist is based on clinical and relational fit and logistical fit (your preferred day, time, etc.).
As soon as we book your first session, in addition to all your intake paperwork, you’ll receive instructions about how to access our secure, HIPAA-compliant video counseling platform we use and what to do before your first video session in order to meet with your therapist.
Types of online therapy
Therapy conducted online can provide the same support that is thought to be in-person. The different types of therapy approaches we provide can be done in person, but can also be just as effective virtually. Our therapists treat the “virtual therapy space” the same they would if they were meeting you in person. Rapport building is a crucial part of our treatment to ensure both you and the therapist feel like the fit is optimal. It’s important for you to feel comfortable with your therapist, and know that you have a quiet and private space when having your online therapy sessions. The forms of therapy that be conducted during your online sessions include but are not limited to:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavior therapy
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy
- Psychodynamic/Analytic Therapy
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy
- Solution Focused Brief Therapy
- Emotion Focused Therapy
- Attachment Based Psychotherapy
- Internal Family Systems Therapy
What are the pros and cons of online therapy?
While the benefits and drawbacks of online counseling can vary between individuals, there are many points worth considering if you are looking to find a counselor or try digital therapy.
Reasons why people choose online therapy may include:
- Accessibility – For those who may struggle with mobility issues and / or disabilities that make it challenging to get to their therapists’ office, online counseling can help overcome some of these barriers. Those experiencing social phobias, anxiety disorders, or agoraphobia may also find online counseling to be more accessible. If you have a job that makes it incredibly difficult to physically come to an office, but you know you still would like to reap the benefits of therapy, online therapy is a wonderful option. Your sessions are tailored to you, during a time that works best for you. Your experience with us and with any therapist should be as stress free to schedule a possible. That’s why we provide flexible days and times so you can meet with your therapist in the morning, afternoon, or evening depending on what’s best for your schedule.
- Convenience – Therapy can take place in the comfort of your own home, without the inconvenience of having to physically travel to our office. This can potentially save time and money. We can also work with clients who reside outside of the San Jose area. We can work with individuals throughout the state of California! Your location no longer has to limit who you work with. You can finally choose the therapist you want to work with who will best meet your clinical needs without having to worry about living in the same city. Online therapy may also be more convenient for parents who would normally need to pick up their children from school and bring them into the office. No longer do parents have to wait in the waiting room or in their car until their child is done with their session. You can have your child or teen attend a virtual session in your own home!
- Openness – Online therapy can make some people feel more comfortable and able to open up more about sensitive issues because of the buffer created through video screens. Online therapy can provide support for those who may feel nervous and or anxious during in-person sessions. It may even be easier to develop rapport with a therapist through online therapy given that you don’t need to become accustomed to a new physical location.
- Privacy – Online therapy can fit seamlessly into your schedule without the need to block out more time for travel and parking. Also the fear of being judged if someone sees you traveling to the therapist’s office or sitting in a waiting room. Online therapy may provide a feeling of anonymity that they may feel by communicating through screens.
Reasons why people might be hesitant on online therapy may include:
- A lack of non-verbal feedback – Online therapy can be limited on how much is physically shown. This may cause a slowness in building rapport. Because your therapist can’t see your whole body, it may be easier for the therapist to see you fidgeting with something in your hands or tapping your foot when talking about something difficult. Online therapy can be limiting in areas of body language and facial expressions.
- Confidentiality and security – While a therapist can create a safe and HIPPA compliant video to use for therapy, the space where a client sits is not controlled by the therapist. This means the clients’ wifi, and or physical space can have concerns. These are factors you would need to consider before committing to online therapy.
- Technology trouble – Technology can always have the chance of trouble on both the counselor and clients sides. These problems could occur with internet connection trouble, service outage, computer errors, server crashes, and network connectivity, which can all disrupt the flow of your session or create feelings of frustration. Our therapists work to mitigate disruptions by having optimal wifi. Our therapists also ensure that if the wifi goes out, we have your phone numbers so we can continue the session via phone if necessary.
What if you’re unsure if online therapy is right for you?
Online therapy has been proven to be as effective as in-person therapy! If there are any particular barriers that may make face-to-face counseling more challenging, daunting, or hard to access, considering alternative options of online therapy can be a great fit!
It’s important to find your own comfort zone. There is no right or wrong way to participate in therapy. Remember: it’s okay to start with online therapy and then switch to an alternative if you don’t feel comfortable or feel as though things are not working out for you. It’s about making sure that you find a method of communication that works best for you. Before we schedule your first session, we invite you to contact us for a free 15-minute consultation, where we can better understand your needs and determine together if online therapy is right for you.
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Our psychologists and therapists are trained in various issues and are happy to talk more about this during your phone consultation. Our online video counseling services are available to California residents only.