ONLINE COUNSELLING &
Online counselling takes everything you’d expect from an in-person session and moves it to an online platform, in our case phone or video-chat.
Here, at Life in Harmony Counselling at VCC we have been providing video chat and phone counselling for many years locally and all across Canada. In this page, we would like to provide you with some information so you can make a decision to see if it’s the right fit for you at this particular time.
What kinds of virtual therapies do we offer?
-Phone and Video chat. Please note we do not provide therapy through texting.
What is virtual or online therapy?
Online counseling takes everything you’d expect from an in-person session and moves it to an online platform, in our case phone or video-chat. It’s one of the fastest growing trends in mental health support. This form of counselling is secure and confidential and is fully supported by Canadian regulatory bodies. In fact since the COVID 19 outbreak in Canadian provinces, all the regulatory bodies are urging counsellors to provide their services online.
In a virtual counselling session, you can address and process the exact same concerns as you would in an in person session, including intimate relationships, depression, anxiety, eating disorder, trauma, interpersonal relationships, relational boundary setting, parenting, and family counselling. Our counsellors work with couples, individuals, LGBTQ community, parents, youth, children, seniors, and others. Basically if you see yourself as someone who can benefit from traditional in-person therapy sessions, you can benefit the same way from virtual counselling.
What should I expect in a video chat session?
If you have been seeing your therapist for a while, the virtual experience may feel a little different right at the beginning. However after the first couple of minutes of the initial greeting, you will likely get into the groove of your regular routine with your therapist and will not notice much of a change. You will continue your treatment from where you left off last session. You will still follow your treatment plan and whatever form of counselling you were using as if you are still sitting in the counselling room.
If you are connecting with a new therapist over video-chat, you will likely feel a little apprehension just as you might have when you were meeting your new therapist in person. However, if you are with the right therapist, the anxiety should soon dissipate as it would have in a face-to-face session.
In a video session, your therapist will be able to track your body language, facial expression, breathing, and the emotional energy that you putting out just as well. The therapeutic process can still be completely present in a virtual session. Again if you have been matched with the right therapist there should really be no change to the overall experience.
Is Virtual Therapy effective?
There is much research and empirical evidence showing that therapy from a distance can be just as effective as in-person therapy. There are circumstances where online therapy may even be the best option. In fact, many of our existing clients prefer online therapy over in person sessions for various reasons (even before the COVID 19 pandemic). These clients do not want to devote the time to commute, much less disruption to their busy lives, and they can speak to a therapist in the comfort their own home, on their lunch break, their car, or while taking a stroll through the park. This allows for more choice and mobility and many prefer that. Some of our therapists provide services to people across Canada because of certain expertise in certain areas, such as trauma, parenting, family counselling and clients are more than happy to have virtual sessions without ever having met the therapist in person and it works just as well and has been working for many years.
How should I prepare for my online session?
There is not a whole lot you need to do other than make sure you have access to a phone or device that has a video chat technology installed. If anything goes wrong, phone is also an option and some clients actually prefer it.
Also, try to get as much privacy as you can. This may pose a challenge in the time of COVID 19 outbreak where many families are in one space together with children and other family members at home. In this case, we have seen people get creative and find a space such as their car, a walk in closet, or a private room with a white noise playing on the outside. Whatever works for you will work for us. Times like this call on us to work together, get creative, and find solutions.
Don’t stress about the appearance of your house and how you look for the video sessions. This will be absolutely irrelevant to the success and outcome of therapy. Basically, we don’t want you to experience more stress than you are already do with everything else that is going on.