04 Oct 2020

BY: Online Therapy

Online Counsellor / Online Therapy / Online Therapy Safety / Post Traumatic Stress Disorder / Trauma

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Article by Marvis Bih,

Choosing an online trauma therapist

Last week, we talked about PTSD and its causes. This week, we are looking at what makes a good online trauma therapist, and patients who choose to make use of online therapy.

What makes a good online trauma therapist is their ability to abide by ethical considerations in the same way as with face to face therapy. These considerations include confidentiality, privacy and knowing when it is unsafe to work with trauma patients online.

Who seeks online trauma therapy?

People who need online trauma therapy are diverse and have different reasons for choosing this option. Sometimes, online therapy can be the first step to recovery for people who suffer from agoraphobia (fear of being in places you can’t escape) that could develop after a traumatic event.
Hence, online therapy can be the first step to get assistance for people who are unable to leave home, which include challenges or fears of using public transport (Maples & Han, 2008). Furthermore, during 2020, people were forced to stay indoors, and those who tested positive for Covid-19 had to self-isolate. This increased the need for online therapy. Also, people who do not feel comfortable going out due to trauma, the fear of contacting the Covid-19 virus or any other phobias may choose the online option.

Is online therapy for you?

Online therapy can be the best option because it is generally cheaper than face to face counselling due to savings on travel and time. This convenient option can be accessed from the comfort of your home, car or office. Besides, the flexibility of online therapy can be the best option for clients who work 9-5 jobs and are unable to see a therapist during working hours (Speyer & Zack, 2003).

Online counselling will not be suitable for all clients in all circumstances, for example, when a client requires a rehabilitation service or psychiatric care. The best a mental health practitioner can do in these situations is to offer referral services.

Confidentiality and privacy

It is important to ensure that you are in a secure setting so that your online conversations cannot be overheard. When working through trauma, make sure you have a support person that can provide extra support after your counselling session. The software used for online therapy is encrypted, and counsellors will inform clients when sessions are recorded. Make sure that you have updated your own software and that your virus software is up to date. Stay tuned for more on online cognitive behaviour therapy next week.

Want to learn more? Feel free to complete the form below and an online therapist will get back to you.

References

Australian Counseling Association. (nd) Guidelines for online counselling and psychotherapy. Available at: https://www.theaca.net.au/documents/Guidelines%20for%20online%20counselling%20and%20psychotherapy.pdf. Accessed 01/09/2020.

Maples, M.F., & Han, S. (2008). Cybercounseling in the United States and South Korea: Implications for counseling college students of the millennial generation and the networked generation. Journal of Counseling & Development, 86, 178-183. 44.

Speyer, C. & Zack, J. (2003). Online Counselling: Beyond the pros and cons. Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265565618_Online_counselling_Beyond_the_pros_and_cons. Accessed 01/09/2020.

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