Telepsychology & Phone or Video Counselling Calgary
Phone and online video counselling services Calgary
Quarantined, lonely, cut off from those you love and struggling with fear, anxiety or even grief and loss due to COVID-19 or the Coronavirus?
Worried you won't be able to figure out the technology and unsure if your therapist has the experience to walk you through getting everything connected?
Are you concerned by psychologists using insecure platforms that could leak your private information to provide video counselling in Calgary?
Then read on to understand why and how we have offered online therapy to Calgary and all of Alberta for over fifteen years, or reach out to set up your first online video therapy session today!
How we got started doing Telepsychology:
We did our first online counselling session in 2004 - on a then brand-new platform called Skype, over internet speeds barely faster than dialup. One of my long-standing clients, a highly placed executive, had just undergone major surgery and was unable to leave his house. Realizing how long his recovery would be, he sent me an email requesting that I connect with him online.
From my point of view, that first session was a terrible experience with multiple disconnections and poor audio quality - one for which I apologized at the end of the session. He, on the other hand, had a completely different view of that first session: "Even once I'm healed up, can we continue doing sessions like this?"
Once I got over my shock, we not only continued doing sessions that way, but he very quickly began referring other executives in his company to us, because we were the only provider in Calgary willing to offer what is now termed telepsychology or tele-mental healthcare. We also began an almost frenetic path of technology upgrades such that we soon had transitioned many clients to video counselling sessions.
It was from that rather inauspicious beginning that what is now over a third of our practice began to grow. We began to discover that there was a vastly underserved segment of our society who often can not make it to counselling sessions.
Why our clients choose telepsychology or tele-mental health counselling:There are so many reasons:
- People who lack transportation to get to Calgary counselling sessions.
- Senior executives working long hours in high powered careers.
- Parents trapped at home without access to child care.
- Families who live in rural areas without access to psychological counselling.
- Employees of resource extraction firms who live in camps much of the year.
- Individuals struggling with agoraphobia who need to work through issues before transitioning to in-office sessions.
- People who have been sexually abused or otherwise assaulted by therapists or pastors and are too afraid to come for in-person therapy.
- Politicians, business leaders and celebrities who do not want to be seen entering a psychologist's office.
- People self-quarantining.
- Persons struggling with immunodeficiency.
How Calgary Video Counselling can work for you:
Talk therapy, otherwise known as counselling or psychotherapy, has been repeatedly proven to be the most effective means of addressing mood disorders, relationship issues and a host of other personal, relational and mental health issues. And all of us can benefit from the deep understanding and unbiased observations of a trained professional.
Historically, our options were limited by how close a psychologist was to us. Still, sometimes those providers are not the best fit in terms of language, specializations, spirituality or specific counselling methodologies. And, sometimes, people just don't feel like there is a fit between them and their counsellor for reasons no one can identify. You shouldn't have to work with a Christian Counsellor or Psychologist that doesn't feel right.
Many of us are unable to make it to counselling in Calgary due to long commute times. For some, merely having to sit in a waiting room can be panic-inducing. You already know where your safe place is. Perhaps you think best on a lawn-chair in your backyard? Maybe you can only find time at work between meetings? Whether you attend counselling from your living room or even from under the covers in your bed after a truly terrible day, we work with what feels safest for you.
Speed of access and shorter wait times to access Christian Psychological Counselling are also a critical element. In many cases, it takes a long time to book a counselling session, find child care, arrange transportation and manage to get to an in-person appointment. But, with Video Counselling, all that gets stripped away. Most of our Calgary Counsellors get at least some cancelations every week and, often, can get people in for emergency psychological counselling sessions within hours.
Access to your insurance coverage for psychological counselling is also an essential element for most people. Today, nearly every private and public insurance provider permits video counselling sessions, as long as the provider resides within the same province. Some insurance companies will even cover any Canadian psychologist.
You can feel better your way! You're comfortable on your computer, phone or tablet/iPad. Using Skype to discuss with your boss or hopping onto Face Time to talk with your sister happens every day. Enjoying a massive Zoom Chat with your entire friend group is perfectly normal for you. Why shouldn't it be just as easy to talk with your Christian Psychologist or Counsellor?
Because, yes, it's possible to not only feel better, but actually be better -- without ever going to some office!
Limitations of Calgary Online Counselling Sessions:
Telepsychology is not always appropriate for all mental health issues or counselling situations. Even when it is appropriate, it does require some level of skill with technology to accomplish it and secure your device.
However, when those conditions are met, telepsychology can often be just as effective as in-office sessions, sometimes even more so.
Safe, easy and truly private online counselling sessions:
Our technology has evolved over the years as internet speeds have improved, and once secure platforms have been back-doored at the behest of various government entities. Today, we would never recommend insecure platforms such as Skype, Zoom or WhatsApp. We stream our video counselling sessions with enterprise-class cryptographic protection, and our email contact forms are now all secured with unbreakable encryption. We also offer PGP encrypted email for those who choose such, thus ensuring absolute privacy all the way to your computer or mobile device.
We conduct the majority of our telepsychology sessions through two end-to-end encrypted video conferencing softwares called Wire and (for multi-party, multi-device sessions) Signal. Wire is one of the two most secure platforms in existence today, and definitely the most user-friendly one. Through these platforms, our clients enjoy absolute privacy in Video, Chat and File Transfer services for up to four other participants, sometimes scattered all over the province.
How to get started with Phone or Video Counselling Sessions in your own home:
Remote session counselling by phone or video typically begins with the completion of consent forms and a credit card authorization form (MC, VISA, AMEX, DISCOVER.) These forms, which are available here, are then faxed back to our offices once completed.
We then send out detailed instructions to walk you through installing the applications on your laptop or mobile device and then completing the setup and testing process so that everything will work at the booked session time.
Let's do counselling your way!
Even if quarantined or self-isolating, there's no need to delay starting therapy. Both individual and couples telepsychology via phone or video counselling sessions are available in the privacy of your own home at a variety of day and evening times to suit your schedule.
Don't struggle alone for one more day in the stress, pressure, fear and anxiety times like these can create. Get started on your journey of healing today!