The argument of whether telephone counseling was effective was a tough one many years back. Though many therapists were in support of it, many other professionals seriously doubted its efficacy. The situation remained that way for decades before its usefulness was carefully reviewed and found to have saved many people from various harmful vices. With that argument out of the way, what intending patients like to know is how they can connect with a reliable counseling unit. How can they know if they will be getting the right telephone counseling from the appropriate sources? Well, if you belong to that group, then you are fortunate to be reading this. Here are ten tips that can help you choose an effective telephony therapy service.
The number one reason why people seek counseling is for them to get better. But that does not mean you will need to burn a hole in your pocket for you to get such services. A phone therapy service usually costs less than a face-to-face therapy session. You can find information about telephone therapy here, which is an affordable way to get treatment. Many services are offered on a sliding scale, which makes it easier to afford than paying full price out of pocket.
One reason some people prefer telephony counseling over face-to-face therapy is that they would love to keep it away from others. With workplace discrimination bound to be their lot, nobody would want to blame them for keeping things that way. Confidentiality is usually one of the codes of conduct of all therapists. Although that can be easier to achieve in person to person therapies, telephone therapies may need to do a bit extra to keep clients’ privileged information away from the public domain. To this end, you would want to know if your potential counselor would be executing their therapy sessions over state-licensed telephone lines. If that is what they do, then there might be a need for you to look elsewhere.
3 Client assessment
Counseling is just like every other profession. People go into it because they want to make a living from it. However, that shouldn’t be an excuse for ignoring the ethics of the profession. As one of the regular assessments, therapists evaluate their potential clients to determine if they will make a good fit. Such analysis will help them conclude whether they can help you or not. So it is not just about the money; it is also about doing the right thing. If the counselor finds out you aren’t the right client for them because of the assessment, they will open up and tell you the truth.
4 Crisis amidst a counseling session
Since telephone therapy service is held between remote locations (the counselor is calling in from somewhere different from where the client is), certain things are bound to happen. Some things are beyond the control of such therapists. For instance, someone might be seeking help to help them get through their domestic abuse life. If that individual chooses to get help through a telephone counseling service, there might be an incident one day during the session. In such instances, what policies do they have in place? You have to establish that before moving ahead.
This is probably one of the first things you should do. Not sure how you intend to go about this, but you must verify that your potential counselor is worth the time and resources. That is because if the State Board doesn’t approve of them, the exercise may be a waste of time. I’m sure you wouldn’t want all your sacrifices to amount to nothing.
6 Dos and don’ts
Are you expecting an-everything-goes scenario? Sorry, that doesn’t work with a telephone counseling session. There are things you are permitted to do within the said time, and there are also things you cannot do during that time. Try to find out a list of what is permitted and what is not. That is also going to help both parties understand if you guys are the right fit for each other. Some counselors have rules like no surfing the internet, no smoking or drinking, etc. within the said time.
7 Appointment scheduling
The time of the counseling session is as important as anything you want to think of. The experienced therapists don’t fix counseling sessions anyhow because it is done by phone. They are very calculative about this since it can impact the process significantly. According to a psychology expert in an American university, it is wrong to return to work immediately after a therapy session. Doing that will not only ruin the efficacy of the counseling, but it will also affect the individual’s productivity no matter how smart the person is. The right counseling service will make sure you have ample time to meditate on what you have learned, make notes, and every other thing that will aid the process. So their appointments do not clash with your schedule.
8 The cases they can handle
The truth is that telephone therapy is not for everyone. As much as everyone would love to leverage it due to its advantages, it has not been effective in some cases, particularly in severe mental cases. The adventurous counselors like to extend their tentacles by providing therapy for as many as possible, but they are also wise to exempt certain instances. If you ever run into a telephone therapist who tells you, they can handle everything, you better run because they are only interested in your hard-earned cash. It will help if they specialize in your case.
9 Had any previous therapies?
Authentic and experienced counselors don’t just begin a therapy session with a client all because they have agreed to it. A lot of sensitive questions will have to precede the actual thing. One such question would be to know if you’ve been to any therapists in the past. Did that counseling help you in any way? They would love to get all this information, so they don’t end up like blind men who are groping in the dark.
10 Find out their success record
The last thing you want to do is to end up with a telephone therapist that is always fond of having issues with their clients. This is very important, as that could also play out in your own case. Confirm their competence before seeking their help. If they aren’t competent, move on and get someone else.
There are competent and capable telephone counselors out there. If you are yet to meet one, you have been looking in the wrong direction. Observe all the tips that have been mentioned in this post, and that should point you in the right direction. Most of all, always remember that phone therapy is not for everyone. It is meant to handle less severe mental cases. Otherwise, there are other discrete ways of getting counseling help that you can make use of.