When you search for ‘online counseling’ or ‘psychological counseling’ you get a plethora of options. How would you know which one to pick? Here are some guidelines to help you decide on the right person to confide in – your counselor.
- The first thing you should check on an online counseling website is the ‘About’ of the psychologist/counselor. Read carefully for their educational qualifications and credentials. Practical experience is a must for an effective psychologist/counselor. A psychologist with just an academic PhD cannot be very effective without years of counseling practice.
- Make sure whether you’re approaching a single counselor or a team. If you’re uncomfortable about sharing your problem, your decision might be affected by who’s going to read your problem – one or many?
- Try and find referrals from people for the psychologist/counselor you’re checking out. Don’t just go by the testimonials on the website. Try to find real people who have benefited from the advice. For this you can even try to gather information from their Fan Pages or groups on Facebook or other social media.
- Make a careful assessment of various fee schedules on different websites. If you’re getting a bulk sessions deal for lesser money that doesn’t mean it will be better in quality than those charging per session. Look for exactly what each session would provide and how much difference it would make to your kind of problem. Also don’t ignore those who are free if they have good educational and experience credentials. There are some people in the world who genuinely want to do good and they don’t charge…that doesn’t mean they are fake!
- Always consider the flexibility of the psychologist/counselor in designing your counseling sessions. Since online counseling is a substitute for face-to-face sessions, it is important that you get the same exclusive feel for your money and time. A good counselor is always adept at creating tailor-made sessions and therapy plans for the client instead of applying the same theories to everyone.
If you keep each of these pointers in mind while making your decision about an online counselor/psychologist, you will definitely make a good choice. Remember, it’s your life that you’re going to share with the counselor – it better be worth it!