How to set up an e-counselling practice?
E-Counseling is a type of psychological counselling that utilises distance communication technologies to provide various mental health services, including therapy or consultation services. A certified specialist offers video consultation or teleconsulting.
This type of counselling is mainly concerned with the development of people. The counsellor seeks to assist patients in coping with daily problems, like work and life transitions. The objective is to empower the individuals by identifying areas they can effectively manage. The focus is on the patient’s strengths instead of behavioral shortcomings.
Rules and Ethics of E-Counselling
There are several software and systems for mental healthcare professionals. Hence, counsellors must have an understanding of technology, including the use of tools needed to deliver psychotherapy online and ensure client data confidentiality.
Scope of Practice
Therapists must offer the services they are trained for. If a patient reveals a problem to the therapist that he or she is not equipped to handle, the therapist must refer it to another specialist.
An online counsellor must stay up-to-date with the most recent research trends and best practices. This can include university courses and workshops and conferences.
The therapist must abide by the relevant laws and regulations. Some conditions that can be treated by a therapist include addiction, anger management, depression, anxiety issues, eating disorders, and interpersonal conflicts, among others.
Benefits of E-Counsellors
E-counselling removes the overhead costs related to an office location, which enables e-counsellors to offer cost-effective treatment options. Also, there is no travelling cost involved.
E-counselling eliminates the physical barriers to receiving therapy. The technology ensures you benefit from therapy irrespective of mobility issues.
E-counselling ensures you schedule sessions that fit your lifestyle. Also, with e-counselling, you can enjoy privacy and schedule appointments from your home.
E-counselling is becoming popular vis-à-vis in-person consultation
E-counselling is as efficient as normal face-to-face therapy. If it is combined with clinical care, E-counsellors can positively treat depression/anxiety, and illness-pertaining emotional anguish. E-therapy probably offers all the advantages of normal face-to-face counselling at a lesser cost.
Don’t have to wait for your appointment
Talking to a counsellor amidst a busy schedule is itself a personal crisis. E-counselling ensures you get help when required instead of waiting for days. E-counselling provides the independence of taking help for severe issues just when you require it.
You don’t have to fear judgment
Individuals find it tough to talk about something that can be embarrassing or sensitive. While communicating online, the patient is anonymous and does not have to fear judgment. Again, you have the option of switching off the video and will not be in a position to view the counsellor’s reactions.
You have a safe and comfortable environment
E-counselling allows you to be in a safe and comfortable environment, ensuring you feel safe while going through therapy.
You need not worry about commuting
In-person therapy requires you to commute to and from the clinic. Add to this the annoyance of childcare and leave from office. To overcome these challenges and allocate time for your mental health management, you must access remote therapy sessions.
It is reasonably priced
E-counselling is not very expensive. Stress, depression, and anxiety can potentially damage an individual’s mental and physical health. For most people, the cost of therapy can be high. E-counselling is very different from normal counselling, since it fits into everyone’s budget. Hence, millions can access therapy and need not suffer silently.
It is highly effective
The increasing popularity of e-counselling is a reflection of its effectiveness. The progress of the internet has led to it being accredited and accepted. Individuals benefiting from e-counselling will seek further counselling which is a good practice for sound mental health.
You don’t have to lose contact once you move out
You may lose contact with your counsellor if you move to another area. E-counselling takes place remotely and you can maintain the relationship with the counsellor. Online counselling helps to overcome the obstacles related to location limitations.
How to set e-counselling practice
Identify the requirements for doing e-counselling and a degree or diploma in counselling/psychology that offers an adequate background. In addition, any training on technology-supported services will be beneficial.
Develop a website and promote your services. A website is your online address and it provides an opportunity to inform potential clients about your overall experience and competence. It will reassure clients to feel comfortable before they get in touch. Informing others through your business card about the online sessions will be helpful in establishing your practice.
Practice doing online sessions and request friends/colleagues to role-play an online session and work on the feedback for efficient performance in a virtual environment. Start your practice by offering e-counselling to a specific set of clients. You can gradually expand your online practice.
Participate in networking events. Every individual you meet is a probable referral source who may support you in nurturing your business. Hence, maintain relations with each individual.
A website is the best way to launch yourself to potential clients and they will prefer to familiarise themselves with your services before scheduling an appointment. Also, your social media account can help people know about your online practice. You must optimise your website for search engines to ensure clients identify your practice
Get involved in the community
Make yourself visible in the community through social work and charity events. This will help to get more clients for your e-counselling practice.
Individuals are constantly searching for information on mental health and illness. As an expert, you can create content and deliver the information that the audience wants.
- Find a calm and quiet location for your e-counselling practice.
- Create a positive environment
- Manage your schedule and appointments effectively
- Ensure you have a reliable medium of communication
- Prepare for the e-counselling sessions in advance
- Don’t tell the clients what they must do and ask them thought-provoking queries
- Don’t self-disclose too much
- Don’t offer therapy on a problem that will be external to your scope of practice
Marketing e-counselling services
- Identify your niche
- Determine your target audience
- Develop a robust website
- Utilise social media
- Invest in a good technology setup
Several factors influence the selection of software for counsellors. E-counsellors will like to view their clients to identify any nonverbal cues. Video and audio sessions provide more nonverbal information than interaction through email or text. There is software with multiple options for communication in line with the requirements of the counsellor or clients.
For a compassionate e-counsellor with a focus on service delivery, please get in touch with us through our website – Genamet to get started.