Counseling for your convenience and your budget.
By Sharon Valentino, California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
LMF #51746 – for select California residents only.
Online therapy is effective, convenient and affordable.
- Receive personal therapy via your phone, mobile device or computer by an experienced, caring therapist for $40 week.
- The first week is free if you are a new client to me and we've never exchanged email about your concerns, for assessements and for us both to see if we are a good fit – OR – if you come to my office you can schedule a free in-office visit instead.
- Online therapy is convenient – on your time, no driving, no set appointment, no high priced, impersonal conglomerate practices.
- You can address self-esteem, relationship(s) or parenting concerns, anxiety, depression, addiction, employment plans, weight loss and caring for yourself, work related issues, grief and loss, aging, goals for your life and working to increase happiness and more.
- Get help to develop a weekly plan to achieve your goals.
- Most people recognize the many documented benefits of writing, which is a powerful form of therapeutic self-care where you can clarify your thoughts, concerns and feelings unhampered by the clock indicating your session is about to end.
- The art of writing, ideally including rereading and rewriting a bit before sending (on the part of the client and the therapist), increases objectivity in a natural way by externalizing and re-framing the feelings and issues. For this reason, e-mail, rather than text, is most effective.
- This encourages deeper understanding of situations without being overtaken by them, as they can seem to encompass, or at least affect, your life in so many areas.
- Even before the therapist responds, you often see the situation a bit differently and start the process of helping to heal, or center, yourself.
Privacy and HIPPA: A portal is used provided by a third party provider to meet privacy concerns for us both. There is no charge to you for this service.
While the advantages are clear, there are also disadvantages:
- Simply put, online therapy is not for everyone. It does not take the place of an office visit where face-to-face reactions, non-verbal messages and body language can be assessed in conjunction with dialogue.
- Clients must be able to express their thoughts and feelings clearly and in detail, and to interpret messages carefully, with a willingness to ‘give the benefit of the doubt’ when humor or the intended meanings miss the mark. Humor is often lost or misinterpreted via e-mail exchanges.
- Online therapy is not for emergencies, not for people having suicidal thoughts, domestic or other violence, serious-severe substance abuse or a variety of other difficult diagnoses and issues. There are many situations and problems that are not suitable for my e-practice, among them: schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, some types of depression, crisis interventions for substance abuse, those who cut or are suicidal, persons who like to rant not progress, people in crisis, and many other conditions that need to be considered on a case by case as there are clinical limitations. Each person’s situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if it is suitable for this milieu and this clinician.
- Not everyone likes the process of writing. Some people are more verbally inclined, so online therapy is not for those who are “talkers” and need to verbalize their thoughts and experiences in order to work them out. If you fit this category you should consider telephone or in office therapy.
- Major studies and research claim online counseling is as effective as in-office, but it is doubtful that is true for everyone.
- Diagnosis and help is only as good as the complete, honest information shared by the client – although this is an issue in face-to-face therapy also.
- You will receive at least 50 minutes of the therapist’s time each week to read and respond thoughtfully to your messages. Often you are given more time, but 50 minutes is guaranteed.
E-mail me today at: email@example.com for more information.