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Virtual Counseling in the time of COVID

By June 2, 2020No Comments

We know (and hear) from a lot of you that the idea of Virtual Counseling or Therapy sounds a bit odd. If you’re interested in finding help through therapy during this stressful time for either yourself or your family, you may be asking:

What does Virtual Counseling ‘look like’?
How does it work?
Can we move to face-to-face?
Is it effective?
Should I use my computer or smart phone?
Is it confidential?
What if I feel self-conscious with face-timing or being in front of a camera?

Rest assured, we have heard these questions from many members of our community and we are working hard to answer them for you clearly so that your process with us can be a successful one!

First, let’s start by telling it like it is: face-to-face counseling with a great therapist is life-changing!  If you’ve found your way to our site then you most likely agree.  With that said, the transition for all of us to virtual face-timing has been a bit odd but we are all pivoting, right?  Since our new “normal” is here to stay for awhile, let’s jump in and get comfortable.  Seeking guidance or help, especially now more than ever, is so important in maintaining your mental health and the mental health of those that you love.  With schools closing early, graduations being far different than expected, and summer plans up in the air (not to mention remote working), there can be a lot to process around how our world has changed and we want to be here for you to help.

Virginia Family Therapy is dedicated to finding the right counselor for you.  Feel free to visit our Counselors Page to learn more about our team of specialized professionals.  And as far as those answers to your burning questions go, get in touch with us!  If you’d like some answers now, below you’ll find answers to the top questions we receive.


Q: “What does Virtual Counseling ‘look like’?

A: We offer Zoom-like calls for each session using a HIPAA compliant platform that is easy to use.  If that doesn’t quite work for you, we may also provide a socially distant meeting in a private area if either of us feels like a virtual call just isn’t getting us the progress we’re looking for.

Q: “How does it work?

A: Once you find a therapist and schedule an appointment, we’ll send you a link to connect with your counselor on our platform.  This is confidential and completely private.

Q: “Can we eventually move to face-to-face?

A: Each therapist and client has the opportunity to move to face-to-face sessions as both parties feel comfortable. Just as we are all navigating face-to-face encounters, it is important that we examine the risks and benefits on both sides. Some clients have really enjoyed the flexibility of teletherapy, while others are itching to get back to the office. We suspect that VFT will take a hybrid approach– face-to-face sessions mixed with virtual counseling as appropriate. For instance, we may use face-to-face sessions for the intake or family meetings, with virtual counseling available in the weeks beyond.

Q: “Is it effective?

A: During these chaotic times, if you’ve found yourself or a loved one struggling with how to cope, or even if you’re processing something that is completely non-COVID related, getting help & guidance from a good counselor can lead you on the path of healing and better mental health.  Therapy is a process and we want to help you along the way.

Q: “Should I use my computer or smart phone?

A: You can use either, just make sure your internet connection is solid and that you’re in a quiet & private spot.

Q: “Is it confidential?

A: Our sessions are private, and your link is individual to you.  We don’t share any information concerning our meeting links and use the most up-to-date security preferences to make sure you are protected.

Q: “What if I feel self-conscious with face-timing or being in front of a camera?

A: We get it!  For some people this part of the Virtual Counseling process is strange.  Just remember that after a few minutes you’ll most likely start to feel more comfortable and if not, we can always move to a socially distant session. We also enjoy a good phone call and encourage taking a walk while we talk!