Frequently Asked Questions about Online Therapy
Please Contact Me Today to ask your questions about this Online Counseling Service
There are 3 things you can do to change things for the better:
1) Learn more about Mindfulness Therapy by reading the pages on this site
2) Contact me with your questions about how Online Therapy can help you
3) Schedule a Skype session and let me help you
Here is a list of commonly asked questions about Online Therapy. If you have any questions you would like to ask me, please feel free to contact me through the contact form.
What is Online Counseling?
Counseling describes a process through which you can gain new perspectives on emotional problems and learn different ways of processing experience that is more functional, more positive, and leads to better actions and better outcomes.
A counselor is a person who has gained considerable experience in working with emotional problems; usually through a combination of training and study as well as conscious life experience.
Mindfulness-based counseling is a little different than traditional "talking therapy" in that the counselor is less inclined to offer advice and more interested in helping you create the right conditions in your mind so that you can discover for yourself the best course of action to take in any given moment. This is like the analogy of teaching a person how to be a fisherman rather than just giving that person fish for supper!
What is Online Therapy?
The psychotherapy process is different than counseling in that we focus on helping you change the underlying cognitive processes that create anxiety, depression, stress, sadness, anger, fear and all the other forms of emotional suffering that we may encounter in our life.
It is extremely important to understand that your emotional suffering is not directly caused by adverse conditions, but that suffering is created internally through the blind conditioned emotional reactions that we become blindly identified with and which become habitual. This is what we need to change through psychotherapy.
What is Mindfulness Therapy?
Mindfulness is simply a form of awareness that allows you to see your mental reactions as they arise rather than have them operate automatically our of habit, which is the usual state of mind. As we say, "It's what you don't see that has greatest control over you," so it makes sense to turn this around through mindfulness training.
But this is just the beginning. Mindfulness also teaches us how to form a stable, non-reactive and conscious relationship with our inner emotions. This is absolutely essential for effective transformation. The Mindfulness-based Relationship, or Primary Relationship, is based on openness of mind and openness of heart and is characterized by a natural quality of friendliness and compassion. Healing results when we establish and sustain this quality of awareness that I call Engaged Presence.
How many sessions does it take?
Of course, this varies from person to person and depends on the severity of the emotional problems being addressed. However, because Mindfulness Therapy is so focused on changing the underlying cause of our anxiety or depression, change can be very fast indeed. This approach is so much more direct than "talking therapy" or traditional counseling. Rule of thumb: You should expect to see significant changes after 3-6 sessions.
There are no "quick fixes" but it is amazing how quickly people can change once they start to change the way they relate to their emotions. Again, my focus is not to "treat" you, but to give you tools that allow you to treat yourself. My job is as facilitator for your own healing process by showing you very directly what needs to be done and how to do it.
What happens during a session?
My approach is very focused on results and in helping you change the underlying process that creates your anxiety, depression or other emotional problems. We don't spend a lot of time talking about your emotional problems or personal history; instead the focus is on helping you totally change the way you relate to your emotions. This is the first stage of mindfulness therapy as I teach it.
Sessions are a combination of teaching and practical work where you learn how to use mindfulness to heal unresolved emotions directly with my guidance. The focus is always on you and what you need to do.
Is Online Therapy Better that In-Person Therapy Sessions?
In my experience from with working with clients in my office or online through Skype, there is no significant difference in the effectiveness of the therapeutic process. In fact, I believe that online clients do better. There is something very empowering about being able to work with a therapist from the comfort of your own home, and the online format overcomes the reluctance to seek help that could be so beneficial for you. There are several published studies showing the effectiveness of online therapy, which can be found by doing a Google search for 'effectiveness of online psychotherapy.'
Will the sessions be individual sessions with Dr. Peter Strong?
Yes. I do not use a pool of therapists as is the case with some other services. My expertise is in Mindfulness Therapy, a very specific way of working with emotional problems that I developed through many years of self-discovery and practice.
Do you work with couples as well as individuals?
Yes. Relationships are difficult at the best of times and if there are any unresolved emotional patterns in you then a close personal relationship will certainly activate them. But, this is a great opportunity for you to face those unresolved emotions and bring about their healing. This will greatly improve the quality of your marriage or relationship.
How do I set up Skype on my computer?
To do online therapy with me you will need an up-to-date version of Skype. It is very easy to install and Skype is a free service that let's you make video calls anywhere in the world for free; great for family and friends.
Just go to Skype.com and download the application. Most laptops have a mic/webcam already installed; if not a webcam is quite inexpensive to purchase.
Is Skype secure?
Yes. It is generally considered more secure than a telephone conversation and Skype encrypts Skype calls.
Are sessions confidential?
Yes. This is a professional service that comes along with all the usual professional standards. None of your details or email will be disclosed unless you give written permission. All good client-therapist relationships depend on trust and you have the right to ask whatever questions you have to ensure that trust is in place. You have a right to privacy unless you are at risk of committing self-harm or harm to another in which case I am obliged to call the police.
Do you offer free therapy online?
Unfortunately not. My rates are about average for the industry, and you usually get what you pay for, as the saying goes. However, there is no charge if you decide after the first 30mins that you do not want to continue the first therapy session.
How do I make a payment?
Payments are made immediately after a session and only if you are happy with the results. Payments are made through PayPal, which is a very secure method for making online payments used worldwide. Of course, you will need to set up a PayPal account, but that is very easy to do. You simply link it to a credit card or bank account.
Do you accept insurance?
No. Although online counseling has been gaining a great deal of acceptance in the psychotherapy community over the last few years, and there is certainly plenty of evidence supporting the efficacy of this approach, it will still take a few more years before insurance companies have caught up.
Many people actually prefer not to make insurance claims, because this would require a clinical diagnosis which will go into your medical records. In my experience, most people who seek help are not medically ill; they simply want to learn better ways of managing their emotions - and that does not require a medical diagnosis.
Can I do Online Therapy and continue with my current therapist?
Yes. Mindfulness therapy teaches you practical tools that will compliment whatever you are doing with your other therapist. Most therapists focus more on the content of your emotional life - helping you to understand what is happening and how you might change your behaviors; Mindfulness Therapy teaches you how to break free from the underlying compulsions that cause you to act unskillfully so that you don't feel compelled to become afraid, depressed or angry.
Does it matter if I am taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds?
As long as you are able to focus awareness on your emotions then this is not a problem. Most people who come to me for help have tried other therapists and medications and want something more to help them change things at a deeper level.
Medications treat the symptoms but not the underlying cause, so most people will benefit from some form of psychotherapy in addition to meds. Of course, the goal is that you no longer need medications, and I believe that medications are over-prescribed for anxiety and depression.
Do you offer medical treatment, diagnoses and prescriptions?
No. I am not a medical doctor and I do not treat medical conditions, I treat the human condition! The vast majority of my clients do not suffer from clinical conditions, but from a difficulty in adjusting to painful unresolved emotions that arise from childhood trauma or from the challenges of personal relationships and life experiences. I help people heal themselves by giving them the tools to heal themselves, such as those used within mindfulness therapy.
Do you offer Crisis Intervention Counseling?
No. If you are experiencing an emotional crisis and may be at risk of self-harm, suicide or doing harm to another then you should immediately contact a local authority for help or call the police at 911 or contact your doctor.
If you have further questions about Online Therapy that you would like answering, please contact me today.
CONTACT ME NOW
Online Therapy via Skype is an excellent choice for most people and I invite you to contact me to learn more about how Online Counseling works.