As a recipient and a provider of telephone counseling I find it to be a very effective way to work. For me it began when my best friend suggested I try her therapist. The problem-her therapist worked in Baltimore and I lived in Charlotte. That’s how my experience with telephone counseling began. I followed Linda, my new therapist as she moved from Baltimore to Vermont and finally to Florida. My best friend was right, Linda was the right therapist for me.
Research shows that telephone counseling is beneficial and participants report specific improvements on the issue that led them to telephone counseling and a global improvement in their emotional state. I wonder why?
Telephone counseling is convenient: We are all busy people.Telephone counseling allows us the freedom to schedule appointments at times that work in our schedules. You don’t have to get in the car and drive across town, losing valuable time. You can just pick up the phone. You can even have your session in your pajamas!
Telephone counseling assures your privacy: Of course your confidentiality is a given in any counseling relationship, but telephone counseling assures an even greater level of anonymity. You don’t have to be concerned about who you might run into in the waiting room!
Telephone counseling provides a unique relationship: Many clients prefer not to work in the traditional face to face format. The privacy of a voice on the phone provides more comfort and allows for a more trusting relationship. Many clients seek out the very best therapist to deal with their specific issues. For example, I specialize in working with individuals and families dealing with chronic illness, more specifically autoimmune and neurological conditions. If a family is not geographically convenient to my office, they can still benefit from working with a specialist. Just like looking for the best doctor to treat your problem, you can work with the best therapist to treat your problem. This sets the relationship up for success.
Telephone Counseling is well suited for a variety of issues: Depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, eating and food issues are just some is the problems that are effectively treated. Distance therapy is not appropriate for people who are homicidal, suicidal, self injuring, or those requiring more intensive intervention.
In summary, telephone counseling is convenient and the anonymity of the service may provide clients with a greater sense of control. For clients who do not have access to mental health services it is a viable option. Without an office, clothes and physical appearance distractions, clients being counseled via phone may be inclined to better focus on what the therapist is offering.