Online counselling is providing mental health counselling services through the internet. Typically, the services offered are via real-time chat, video conferencing and email. Some clients have preferred online counselling in replacement for office visits. Clients can receive initial treatment and therapy in a safe and discreet manner.
There are a growing number of online services offering all kinds of counselling and therapy. It does provide people with the support and help they need in the comfort of their own home. One advantage of online therapy is where people feel more comfortable opening up and discussing problems when they are online and this is called the disinhibition effect.
Positive Mind Works is one the best in this field that offers online services such as anxiety therapy, couples therapy, positive psychology and more. They provide a secure, professional and confidential online counselling. They have practitioners that have been carefully screened and selected in order to offer only experienced psychologists with a wide variety of special skill sets and from diverse backgrounds.
Sam is the Director and Principal Psychologist of Positive Mind Works. Having grown up in the outback, Sam was all too aware that adequate health services are not always easy to access. The website provides stacks of resources, a support forum and tips for enhancing mental wellbeing. They also provide one to one support for individuals, couples and young people via a secure online platform. Our team of expert psychologists provides professional, confidential and effective advice via webcam, phone and typing.
- Can you tell us a little about how and why Positive Mind Works started?
I was living and working in quite a remote location and this meant I was the ONLY registered psychologist within a radius of 150 km. Changes within my family meant that I had some overseas travel planned and I didn’t want to leave my clients without any support. I did some research about online psychology and was quite impressed with the amount of existing research and knowledge demonstrating the effectiveness of online psychology. It took me a year to fully implement an online service because a lot of work went into ensuring we provided secure, professional and confidential online counselling.
- What is the biggest stigma that you would like to voice out about people seeking Psychological help online?
Seeing an online psychologist can go a long way in overcoming the social stigma that is present in attending traditional face to face services. However, it is important to acknowledge the online format does introduce some additional concerns that people should be aware of.
For starters, I believe that you should be able to verify the person you are speaking to is qualified and registered to provide the service they are offering. For this reason, Positive Mind Works only offers counselling via registered psychologists with a minimum of three years experience. All of our psychologists are intensively vetted before we allow them to see clients, we are a tight-knit team, small but effective.
Secondly, you should consider which online platform the service is using. Any provider offering services via skype or facetime should be approached with serious caution because the security of these platforms is highly questionable. We use a healthcare version of Zoom which is encrypted end to end communication, meeting industry security standards (HIPAA COMPLIANCE) and allowing an excellent stable video connection between client and practitioner.
- So far, what has been your biggest challenge on a patient seeking Psychological help?
Our clients come from the four corners of the globe and often a component of our work includes encouraging access to local community events and services. The biggest challenge by far is educating ourselves as to what is available in the client’s area!
- What can the Kiddi-Community expect for you?
We were very excited to partner up with Kiddipedia because our services align with their values and commitment to providing information and resources for parents and families. We have psychologists that specialise in working with families, parents and young people so we look forward to being able to share some wisdom and tips that will hopefully reach a large audience and encourage good mental wellbeing!
- If there is a genie in front of you and could grant you three wishes, what would you wish for? (and why?…)
- Medicare currently provides a rebate for rural and remote Australians to access Online Psychology. My first wish would be that this is extended and available to all Australians.
- The introduction of tighter gun control in the US … it’s a really hard issue to ignore right now as we hear the sad and shocking news about the school shootings.
- Hmmm, somehow I could slow time down and have enough time for all the things I want to do in a day!