As our interactions online increase every day, so too does the need for qualified online counseling services and providers. Recently, one of our counselors, Michelle Inauen, was invited to speak about her work and experiences as a distance counselor by Raymond Barrett, the CEO of the Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC.
Here you’ll find an overview of the interview, as well as more information about Texas Online Counseling PLLC and Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC.
An Interview with a Distance Counselor in Texas
As a completely online practice, Michelle decided to pursue online counseling as a result of genuine interest, as well as a unique set of circumstances. Michelle’s husband was transferred to a position in Utah. Her licensure didn’t transfer to Utah, but undeterred by this issue, Michelle decided to offer online counseling services so she could continue to help others. Michelle found that by offering counseling services online, she could connect with a greater variety of clients, and can reach those who might not otherwise have access to counseling.
Ultimately, Michelle found that getting started in online counseling wasn’t as challenging as many might assume. After the initial time invested in getting certified in telehealth, and thanks to her familiarity with technology, Michelle was able to offer her services very quickly.
Online counseling is also advantageous for her two main counseling focuses. As a couples and family counselor, Michelle recognizes that modern living may require some couples and families to live or work far apart from each other. Rather than overcoming the logistical challenges of getting different parties to meet in one space, online counseling allows everyone to be present at each session, regardless of their location. Michelle’s clients also find an online setting to be more convenient, and in many cases, more comfortable because it better fits into their lifestyle.
Both Raymond and Michelle agreed online counseling can be a boon for couples seeking counseling. Rather than just relying on a phone, the visual connection of an online session allows individuals to see how others are reacting to their statements. At the same time, studies have found that people react less intensely to challenging ideas and topics when they are in an online counseling session.
To round out the interview, Raymond asked if Michelle had any advice or insights for those looking to get started in the online counseling field. A strong background in technology is advantageous to those looking to enter this field. Michelle has also found that setting a few boundaries for her clients helps to create a more productive, and sometimes safer, counseling experience. For instance, letting clients have their sessions in their cars, but only if they’re parked, as well as encouraging her clients to find quiet and distraction-free spaces in which to meet.
You can watch the full interview below: