With the growing use of technology in our lives, telephone counseling has become a growing part of my practice of psychology. Rather than being limited to helping clients who are within driving distance of my Boca Raton office, I can, in many cases reach out to assist people anywhere.
More and more with business travel ever increasing, rather than waiting for weeks at a time to meet; with telephone counseling, I can maintain contact and provide counseling and therapy while they are away. This provides greater consistency and frankly, effectiveness of treatment.
For individuals who are elderly or ill and have problems getting to an office, the telephone provides easy and convenient access to help.
For some conditions like agoraphobia, where an individual is literally homebound, telephone counseling therapy provides an opportunity and starting point for overcoming their problems.
With my elite athletes, telephone counseling provides the opportunity to help prepare them for competition and process their performance afterwards while things are fresh in their minds rather than having to wait weeks later.
With the increasing use of SKYPE, there is now a visual connection, making the counseling experience by phone ever closer to the office experience.
Of course, certain experiential therapies like EMDR and bio feedback can only take place in the therapy office, but with technological advances more and more people can receive the help they need through telephone counseling.
Telephone counseling provides my clients the ability to maintain our work when they are traveling, not feeling well enough to come in to the office or crunched for time due to scheduling conflicts.
Of course, as a psychologist, I value the important non-verbal cues I get when I work with clients face to face. The relationship is not as strong over the phone and it is easier for both the client and therapist to lose focus if either is not working at paying attention. But overall, telephone counseling has a growing place in providing mental health services to clients.