Skype Counseling Therapy: What It Entails and the Benefits

Therapy has now been revolutionized, thanks to technology. Skype counseling therapy allows patients to undertake their counseling sessions from home.

Many people currently struggle with mental health problems, stress, emotional issues, and they need counseling. However, traditional therapy is not always an available option for individuals because of time, location, and other obstacles. So, the introduction of counseling via Skype makes it possible for more persons to acquire the help they need.

This text takes an in-depth look at skype therapy and highlights the main features, perks, and service limitations.

Who Needs Therapy via Skype?

Many people experience different struggles in their lives, and it affects them mentally and emotionally. Such individuals need assistance from counseling professionals to cope with their issues. Some of these issues include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Grief
  • Marital issues
  • Relationship problems

Professional counseling helps these people through advice and encouragement. However, regular therapy sessions are not for everyone. Some individuals don’t have flexible schedules to add traditional therapy sessions, which are usually fixed.

Then, other people aren’t usually in a position to travel to acquire psychology services. An example includes housebound individuals, the elderly, and those who live in remote areas. Many individuals don’t have immediate access to traditional therapy in their states or countries. So, skype counseling provides a platform for persons to acquire mental health assistance regardless of their location.

People confined in prison will also find online counseling a reliable option for the facilities that allow it. Skype therapy is also useful for social anxiety individuals and those more comfortable speaking to a psychologist via video chat.

How Does Online Skype Counseling Work?

Skype counseling involves synchronous communication between the client and the specialist. The video chat software is made possible through Skype, whereby both parties can see and hear each other while communicating.

As a patient, all you need is a device connected to the internet and one with a reliable camera. It can be your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Both parties need to have the Skype app or software installed and then exchange their account names. From there, communication is a lot like traditional therapy.

What is done during the counseling session? Both the client and counseling expert take turns in talking and addressing the issues that have been brought forth. The counseling specialist will get real-time reactions and monitor behavior such as facial expressions and body language because of video.

These are essential visual cues in therapy that counseling professionals can use during the diagnosis stage. With online counseling, the client needs to pick a time when they are available for a session. They make the payments depending on the website and then log in to Skype and await the counseling.

It is always advisable to have a strong internet connection when acquiring psychotherapy via Skype. Furthermore, the client should also select a good location for their counseling. A client should be comfortable in their selected location for the skype session, and it should at least be private.

Skype Live Chat Therapy: Frequently Asked Questions

When deciding whether to start therapy, it’s common to have some questions about skype therapy. Here are the most commonly asked ones for anyone on the fence about acquiring such a service.

What Is Online Skype Therapy?

There are two major types of online counseling: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous involves the parties having a two-way conversation where they are connected online at the same time. With asynchronous, the exchanges don’t have to happen at the same time.

Online skype counselling is a form of synchronous therapy whereby clients and their therapists use video chat to communicate. The patients get the chance to discuss their issues with the counseling specialist as they would in a traditional therapy session. Clients only require a smartphone, tablet or computer and an internet connection to access this type of assistance.

Skype psychotherapy mostly applies to individuals whose schedules are not flexible enough for traditional therapy sessions. The fact that individuals don’t have to travel for this type of therapy makes it quite convenient.

Is Skype Secure for Therapy?

Skype, like any other technological advancement, seeks to make life easier. Making it possible for people to acquire mental health assistance without traveling serves a great purpose. However, is it safe?

In truth, the technology has not fully embraced the legal and ethical demands that therapy entails. For example, Skype and other similar platforms possibly retain the records of every conversation or chat with a psychologist. This is information that’s meant to be private and could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Skype counseling experts have little control over what’s happening to the information, which is a significant risk.

Can Skype Be Used for Telemedicine?

Skype has made significant strides in making its platform usable by many different professionals, including medics. More physicians are becoming comfortable with using technology. However, Skype was not build to comply with HIPAA guidelines, meaning it might make patients vulnerable.

Patient health information is at the risk of being exposed, and patient confidentiality is always a top priority for medicine. Skype has, however, tried to meet some of the HIPAA mandates, such as the level of encryption. HIPAA mandates a 128-bit minimum in terms of encryption, while Skype has its encryption levels at 256 bit.

Security breaches could also be quite a concern when it comes to online counseling. Skype has been compromised before, in 2014, when the platform was hacked. However, user data was not compromised. Then, experts have revealed that Skype is susceptible to data breaches, leading to the compromise of counseling sessions. It could also lead to client locations being revealed.

Skype is helpful as a tool, but it wasn’t designed for telemedicine. Psychologists should always try to find video conferencing sites that are HIPAA compliant. Even though Skype is free, it’s better off to use paid software that guarantees client protection.

What Are the Advantages of Online Skype Therapy?

Using Skype for therapy is becoming quite common since it fits better into the modern lifestyle. Having an online psychologist live chat via Skype carries some advantages that don’t apply to traditional counseling.

First, as the client, you don’t need to travel to see the psychologist. Typically, you would have to travel a few times a week to the specialist’s office for counseling. However, with Skype, you can hold your counseling anywhere. You won’t have to leave work or home to get into a session. It saves a lot of time and allows clients to select locations where they feel the most comfortable.

It provides easy access for people with disabilities, injuries, and the elderly. People with disabilities find it easier to talk to professionals via Skype rather than travel to their offices.

Therapy via skype is more cost-effective than regular counseling. For one, you don’t travel. Thus, you won’t spend money on gas or fare. Then, the services are usually significantly cheaper per session as compared to regular sessions. Traditional therapy charges up to $150 per session, a figure which goes up in some states.

Skype therapy is more flexible and works with an individual’s schedule. When scheduling skype counseling sessions, clients experience flexibility in session times, which are usually very pliable. Regular therapy sessions will require clients to operate according to the availability of the therapist. So, one’s counseling schedule is based on the specialist’s program.

How Much Does Online Skype Counseling Cost?

Skype counseling therapy is a little cheaper than traditional sessions. Online therapists offer more affordable consultation fees to clients to feel while determining whether they are comfortable speaking. Then, normal online therapy sessions can range from $60 to $120 per session. Standard therapy sessions range between $75 and $150 or higher, which is a significant difference in cost per session.

Considering that you are not traveling to meet your professional, your costs are reduced even further. Skype therapy websites make their price per session cheaper because the experience is not that similar to traditional sessions. The closeness factor is taken into account.

Skype Counseling Therapy: The Common Limitations

HIPAA demands that mental health specialists should be able to protect client information. With traditional therapy, confidentiality is more manageable since the therapist offices are usually quite secure and private.

However, counseling specialists can fully guarantee that the conversations are completely private or secure with Skype. Besides, clients could become compromised over Skype in various ways, and here are some examples.

Skype Records Are Maintained on a Person’s Computer

The records can accidentally be accessed by a client’s spouse, child, or employer. It would affect how work and home relationships carry on.

Unauthorized Person Can Access Your Data If There Is No Adequate Security

Skype chats, like other forms of online communication, are susceptible to hacking. Counseling sessions are under the risk of being intercepted or hacked by individuals with malicious intentions. Patients provide much personal information in an online psychologist live chat, which can be used against them.

Compliance Issues

Skype’s privacy policy is also not compliant with HIPAA. The company does not divulge how the user data they collect is used. So, there is a chance that the conversations could be sold to third party companies as marketing data.

So, while Skype offers great convenience compared to traditional counseling forms, it also offers greater risk. Clients are supposed to make attempts to reduce these risks. For example, you should be careful when providing personal information through the platform. Furthermore, always find ways to secure your devices through password protection to prevent people from snooping through your chats.

The Take-Away

Skype therapy offers many conveniences and provides more opportunities for individuals who aren’t in a position to access typical sessions. It is, however, recommended for individuals with minor issues that would not usually require regular sessions. People facing severe mental health problems are better off sticking to standard sessions.

It is because skype sessions are limited in terms of location, and thus, there would be little response time during a crisis. Individuals struggling with severe anxiety, closeness, and trust issues should prioritize regular therapeutic sessions to work with a professional in the flesh.

Online skype counseling all comes down to preference. Some people are comfortable discussing their issues via video chat while others aren’t. Furthermore, the possible security issues involved with skype therapy don’t concern some people but are not acceptable for others. So, make your decision according to what works for you.