Relationship Dilemma Remedies

A Blog About Solving Common Relationship Dilemmas

Online Counseling: An Online Counselor’s Perspective

Do you ever wonder if online counseling can be helpful for you?

Are you curious about whether or not you might benefit from email, skype or phone counseling with a therapist hundreds of miles away?

Reading comments and stories about some people who have been helped through online counseling might help you to figure out if it might help you.  Here are a few examples for you.

Jim:  “Online counseling was helpful for me.  I was a little skeptical at first, but the process gave me the support and some new ideas that helped me to take positive steps towards solving my problem.”

Ann:  “I really liked being able to put my thoughts and questions down in an email and send them to a therapist.  

Just writing the emails helped me organize my own thinking and make decisions, even before I heard back from him.  His suggestions were really good ones and helped me to take steps in the right direction.  I would say that I definitely benefited from my experience with online counseling.”

Click here to read the rest of this article about online counseling and how it has helped others.

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May 6, 2011 Posted by | Online Counseling, Relationship Dilemmas | Leave a comment

Can Online Counseling Help Me With My Problems?

Online counseling is a relatively new development in the helping profession.  Most people need some form of help at different points in their lives, and yet, sharing personal problems with a professional therapist over the internet or phone is new.

  • Do health or distance issues make it hard to get to someone who can help you solve a personal dilemma?
  • Are you a dawn to dusk professional who has no time to think, let alone visit, with a therapist to talk about a troubling personal or relationship issue?
  • Are you one of those busy moms who has trouble finding a babysitter?

If so, online counseling may be worth exploring to find out if it can provide you with the help that you need.  You can receive help from the privacy of your own home and, if it is email therapy, you can start right away.

A lot of research shows that online counseling has success with many problems that clients face.  It can be as effective as visiting a therapist’s office and yet is often less costly and may be available around the clock.

My husband and I began conducting online counseling 2 years ago.  We have found it a wonderful way to share some of our many years of experience and knowledge with others around the country.

In this blog entry, I am going to answer some of the common questions that people have about online counseling.  Later I will share a some possible scenarios of online counseling experiences.

Who might benefit from online counseling?

People who have specific dilemmas that they are facing and want some direction and suggestions might find online counseling helpful in figuring out a plan to deal with their problems.

Click here to read the rest of the article about online counseling.

April 13, 2011 Posted by | email counseling, marriage counseling, Online Counseling, phone counseling | Leave a comment

Online Marriage Counseling, How Does It Work?

There are several ways that we work with couples online.  We  provide relationship help through email, chat or by phone (with or without a video camera).

With email marriage counseling, a therapist will want to work with both people at the same time, while possibly asking for one or two private individual emails.

Partners each take turns emailing one of us. We will then respond openly in an email to both partners addressing the concerns. Once we have a handle on your particular problem and what you would like to achieve, then the we can begin to offer ideas to help you move out of a “stuck spot” and back to a healthier place.

Email exchanges continue in this manner until you feel that you are at a better spot or have resolved the problem that you began with.

The benefits of email therapy are that it can be as short or enduring as you would like. As we address issues, you may decide you want to “go deeper” and we can easily do that by continuing with email or even adding chat sessions to the mix.

The point is, you are in the driver’s seat. If one email gives you the information you need to resolve the presenting problem, that is great! If you think that you want several emails, you may choose to purchase a package.

Chat therapy
involves email but with the added advantage of instant replies and ongoing conversation.   If you are interested in this form if therapy, we will invite you to log on to a secure chat room where we can exchange emails about your questions and concerns.

Through phone counseling, with or without a video camera, we have the opportunity to talk in real time about your concerns.  With a phone session, you can be in the privacy and comfort of your own home or private space and consult with a professional therapist who can help you determine a direction to take to begin solving your problems.  Together, we will arrange for a protected and encrypted phone line.


Counseling Relationships Online

Couples Counseling of Louisville

November 30, 2009 Posted by | marriage counseling, Online Counseling | | Leave a comment

Online Marriage Counseling: Who Might Benefit?

  • Jim and Jenny have trouble finding someone to watch their children.  They have a lot of trouble communicating but child care, finding a therapist with flexible hours and coming up with the money for everything is very expensive.
  • Ann and John live in a rural community and have few qualified marriage counselors around.
  • Steve is a police officer on third shift and Lucy works first shift.  This is the easiest way to care for the children but leaves little time to talk about some of their concerns.
  • Tony is stationed in Iraq and Sandy is stateside with their children.  They have some tough things to talk about that really should not wait until Tony gets home 6 months from now.

All four of these couples want to get some help for their marriage but lots of things stand in the way of getting the help that they want.  For each of them, online marriage counseling may be a good place to receive help for their marriage.

Chatting online with a marriage counselor can be an invaluable way for some couples.  A competent, licensed, professional marriage counselor can share practical suggestions that might include homework of reading, tests or exercises, conversations to have with each other, suggested downloads or audios, watching videos or movies.

While working online through email, chat or phone might seem awkward or uncomfortable for some, it seems very natural for others.  For couples who might not have the ability to get to a good and experienced therapist, it offers the opportunity to develop a better understanding of themselves and their relationship and learn new ways of working together that can help them solve difficult problems.

Counseling Relationships Online

Couples Counseling of Louisville

November 23, 2009 Posted by | marriage counseling, Online Counseling | Leave a comment

Online Counseling: The Benefits and The Drawbacks

So … a few more of our thoughts about online counseling.  While it is not the option of choice for everyone, it is a great opportunity for many.  We have outlined some of the benefits and drawbacks for online counseling.

The Benefits Of Online Counseling

Flexibility. You can send an email in the middle of the night, when your concerns are circling in your head, you don’t need to wait until the next available mutual time.
Immediacy.  While your response may not be right away, it is frequently much quicker than waiting for an appointment with a therapist.  Most promise a response time within 2 business days and are often much quicker than that.  Therapists are able to respond in “slow” times and you do not have to wait until you both have availability.

Cut to the chase.  You can ask specific questions and get specific answers.  While, with in- person therapy, you develop a relationship and can often find answers as you talk things out, with online email therapy, you can get practical ideas.


Anonymity
.  While most therapists will want some identifying information, you can be pretty sure that you will not run into this person in the grocery store or find when you meet them that they once went to school with your brother or mother.  It has been determined that this opportunity for anonymity helps people reveal their concerns more quickly and directly and often receive the help that they need more quickly.

Cost efficient.  This can be a less costly way to receive help, particularly with email therapy.


Accessibility.
Online counseling can reach people who live in rural areas, work erratic hours, have health problems, are homebound (pre-school children), have difficulty getting out because of mental health issues or have limited access to mental health professionals.


Professional Competence
.  With online therapy, clients have access to some of the most qualified professionals, even if they do not live nearby.

What are some of the drawbacks?
Those who are not “technologically inclined” may find this form of therapy frustrating.  There is also always the possibility that there may be an interruption in service because of computer or internet and phone problems.
You don’t have that personal connection that often is one of the most important parts of the therapy process.

Who will not benefit from online counseling?
People who have attempted or are considering suicide need more immediate help.  Check out our Crisis Page for some places to call or visit for immediate help.
Children and teens under 18 need to have parental consent in most states so therapists will want to have some involvement with their parents.

Final thoughts
Online counseling is not right for everyone but it is a good solution for many.  We would love to talk more with you about you and your situation.  Check out our website.  Read some of our articles.  We have a lot of experience with helping people resolve problems and would enjoy the opportunity to work with you.  Call or email us and we can talk about you and how we can best meet your needs.

Counseling Relationships Online
Couples Counseling of Louisville

July 22, 2009 Posted by | email counseling, Online Counseling, phone counseling | Leave a comment

Online Counseling: Can It Help Me Solve My Problems?

We want to answer some more questions about online counseling for you this week.  This may be something that you have been considering to help you with the problems that you are facing.  While the idea of “talking” with a therapist over the internet or over the phone about personal problems may seem strange, in today’s world, it is often the most efficient and practical way for many people to get the help that they need.

dirty200How does online counseling work?
Email therapy involves exchanging emails with a therapist about problems.  The therapist will let you know how soon you may expect a response which is usually within 1-2 business days.  A good therapist will be able to respond to your suggestion with some clear and direct suggestions to use to begin to address your problem.   Some online therapists, like Counseling Relationships Online also offer a way to provide couples counseling online.

Chat therapy is text-based and real time communication between a client and a therapist.  You schedule a certain time with the therapist and the two of you “chat” over the internet using a secure chat room.

Video therapy allows the client and therapist to see each other as they talk.

Phone therapy involves conversation over the phone without seeing each other.

What can I expect about privacy and confidentiality?
We offer encryption on our site, Counseling Relationships Online and you will find that it is not any more difficult than other email.  The question that you have to consider is whether or not your privacy is respected at home.

The biggest risk that people complain about is that family or friends have seen emails and learned things that were intended to be confidential.  Be sure, from your end, that you handle your correspondence with us in a way that ensures that your privacy is respected.  If you share a computer with others, be cautious about your email.

In our next entry, we will wrap-up our discussion of online therapy.  We would be delighted to hear from you about your experiences, questions and concerns.

Counseling Relationships Online

Couples Counseling of Louisville

July 14, 2009 Posted by | email counseling, Online Counseling, phone counseling, Relationship Dilemmas | Leave a comment

Online Counseling: Part 2

We hope that you are giving some thought to online counseling.  We decided to enter the field as we recognized how many people found us through the internet.  “Googling” and searching the web seems to be a solution for many people these days … us included.  Is there any answer that you cannot find online these days?

Articles, forums, message boards and blogs give a lot of information about ways to handle many dilemmas but many want help related to their specific issue and it helps to have someone who has knowledge, experience and practical ideas.  Getting to a therapy session can also be challenging for some.  Work schedules, child care arrangements, health problems, concerns about privacy and stigma about asking for help all can get in the way of visiting a therapist’s office.  Online help is here and will stay around and only grow in the future.

Is it free?

Some people do not have a lot of money or would like to receive help for free.  There are some sites that offer free therapy; however, not many.  Of those that do, it is important to check out the credentials and experience of those who are providing the counseling.

If “free” is really important to you, visit one of the sites that have a good reputation like WebMD.com or iVillage.com.

Professional, qualified and highly trained therapists generally charge a fee but email and other forms of online therapy can certainly be less costly.   For instance, we charge $35 for an email exchange and also offer package rates.  This is significantly less costly than visiting with most therapists in their office.  Some therapists offer pay by the minute calls while others offer 15 or 30 minute calls in addition to the standard 60 minute call.

Does health insurance cover the cost?
We do not know about any healthy insurance companies that currently pay for the cost of online counseling; however, it will most likely happen in the future.  We do know that there are some Employee Assistance Programs that handle their referrals this way.

How do I pay for online counseling?
Most online counselors will accept credit cards and checks.  You should expect to pay for the session before you talk or email with your therapist.

Counseling Relationships Online

July 6, 2009 Posted by | email counseling, Online Counseling | Leave a comment