USING THE POWER OF ONLINE COUNSELING TO DISCOVER UNCONVENTIONAL INSIGHT AND CHANGE
Author: Imei Hsu
Imei Hsu is a mental health counselor, active retired RN, writer, triathlete and arts promoter in the Seattle area and through online services. With 25+ years in healthcare (17+ years in mental health), Imei has a commitment to helping people discover insight into their health, relationships, and connecting. She is the owner of Seattle Direct Counseling and the blog, a presenter and speaker on a variety of psychological topics, and a positive force on the Internet. Her first book, "Designing Your Practice: An Artist's Approach to Building Your Small Business" is due for publication (2017); she is also launching her personal project, My Allergy Advocate, in late fall 2017. Imei is an Ironman Finisher Mont-Tremblant August 2016; she finished her first ultramarathon on April 23 2017. You can find her running everywhere and eating all the things.
This is not a forum for politics. It is a webblog for services provided through Seattle Direct Counseling, which include compassionate therapy for people from all walks of life, culture, ethnicity, economic status, appearance, and sexual orientation. However, the following post intersects with the current political scene because of a plea by Fort Worth city councilman Joel Burns, who revealed personal elements of his own painful history with anti-gay bullying in the effort to send a message to young gay teens, “Life gets better.”
The majority of recent teen suicides in America due to bullying have been either directly related to the teens being identified or perceived as being gay. In one case, the victim explained how bullies told him he should hang himself for being gay, and after enduring what seemed like an endless amount of emotional and physical brutality, he did just that.
Seattle Direct Counseling will always be a safe harbor for anyone who wishes to create their best life, despite the presence of bullying, pain, persecution, or loneliness that accompanies that path. No matter what your orientation, you are home – and safe – here.
Technology is changing the way I “do” therapy at Seattle Direct Counseling It allows me multiple ways to help my clients, especially when face-to-face (F2F) meetings are not possible. Such situations arise when clients live far away, are on travel or vacation, or when family members that need to be included in a session do not live nearby. I can also see this being helpful in a teleconferencing situation when a client needs hospital treatment in another city, yet wishes to connect with his or her therapist/coach, such as when a client is present at the death of a loved one, or is undergoing surgery.
The advancements in technology are so striking, health conferences have dedicated entire tracks to its impact. Health 2.0 October 7-8, 2010 kicked off with a health hackathon on October 2, 2010, rewarding innovators to come up with new applications, programs, and means to give patients more control over their healthcare, or to assist helping professionals to provide better care through things like mobile tracking, resources such as better access to prescription drug databases, and innovations in healthcare delivery.
See how I’m making connections with more people through the use of new technologies such as FaceTime:
FaceTime is a Wi-Fi platform that allows iPhone 4 users (and soon, Android users!) to conduct a coaching or counseling session as if you are in the same room. It functions much like Tiny Talk or Skype, and it works on your mobile device. Rather than bringing your laptop somewhere, your phone allows you to create a virtual office with a Wi-Fi connection.
I understand FaceTime will be added to other mobile devices with front-facing cameras, such as a tablet or the new iPad to be released sometime in 2011. But until then, it’s available on the iPhone 4OS, and if you mention that you read this here on my website, I will give you a free 15 minute coaching session, or a free 30 minute counseling consultation.
Look who else is taking advantage of FaceTime:
Already, some of my current clients have converted F2F sessions to FaceTime sessions out of sheer convenience or because of travel. Before conducting any session, I will explain to you the limitations and the risks of using electronic transmissions of any kind in the counseling/coaching session, and you’ll sign an informed consent document absolving me from all liability regarding confidentiality, as confidentiality via electronic transmission cannot be fully guaranteed.
In my private practice, I do everything within my responsibility to provide confidential space. The Internet cannot ensure absolute privacy; therefore, we will take precautions, including my insistence that no recording be made of sessions.
Every year at the end of August, you can hear the patter of little feet trudging back to school. There’s the groan of pocketbooks as parents shell out money for new clothes and school supplies. Kids and parents discuss school menus, and everyone tries to figure out how to keep butts in chairs when there just aren’t enough hours in the day to let active kids stretch their legs long enough and still finish all the homework left on their memory sticks. Parents brace themselves against the inevitable school viruses that come back with their kids to the house, and parents wonder how they will keep those illnesses from spreading to their co-workers like wildfire. This is back-to-school season.