As a clinician I have been using chatting and texting with my clients for several years. These days I see them as a necessity and a wonderful tool to connect with my clients immediately when they are in distress, or just need to talk.
I also believe it is not only important, but an ethical responsibility to inform our clients of the difference between chatting, texting and therapy. Chatting and texting have become vehicles that allow us to respond quickly to clients, but we need to make one thing clear and that is chatting and texting are not psychotherapy. As a matter of fact in most states chatting and texting are not to be referred to as therapy or psychotherapy. As someone that has worked in this field for many years, I believe some of the work that we engage in with some of our clients will at times surround the issue of self integrity. I also believe that counselors in any field, or licensure status must walk the way we talk. In keeping with this, it is important that clients understand the different ways we can support them in order to make an informed decision about what services they will be signing up for.
In short, while chatting and texting can be therapeutic in nature, (actually very therapeutic)we must not confuse them with psychotherapy. The psychological process takes place over a period of time within a relation of a trained therapist and client. There are many forms of psychotherapy practiced in different ways. Styles of therapy can range from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialetical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Psychodynamic Therapy, Somatic Therapies, Trauma Focused therapies and Experiential Therapies such as Psychodrama.
The goals in psychotherapy can vary from symptom relief to long term changes in one’s thinking behavior and beliefs. At Sopsyced we will carefully evaluate your needs and goals to help determine what services will be most effective for you.
As mentioned above chatting and texting are extremely therapeutic. I have found these wonderful technological advancements useful on many occasions, in working with people with a variety of issues. As an example, someone having a difficult time at work and needing some immediate support might benefit from being able to text or chat. I have found both chatting and texting to be extremely useful and easy to use in situations like this.
Additionally, when clients are experiencing difficulty with symptoms of anxiety or are upset due to relationship issues, whether at work, at school or basically anywhere, chatting and texting can offer support in only a few minutes or as long as need be. Sometimes just being able to advise or remind clients of tools they can use in that moment can be extremely helpful. Simply being able to reach out and connect with their counselor can instill a sense of safety and well-being. Another area where texting and chatting is proving to be very effective is parent coaching. Yes often with parents wanting advice or to connect in Real Time has become invaluable. It can help them to take a moment to get their thoughts together and bring down their anxiety level so that they may better deal with issues more effectively. I’ve been able to come up with strategies to use when dealing with their youngster, whether it be a teen or young adult, or even a partner by being able to respond quickly through texts or chats. Often people need to connect due to problems that arise with their children or in their relationships, that pop up for all of us from time to time. Instead of having to wait perhaps for an entire week to pass before they see they’re psychotherapist face to face they can receive support in real time. And of course there are your youngsters that need to connect with their counselor because of struggles they may be having with a parent or peer or just navigating life in general. Obviously life can be extremely difficult for our young people in this era.
So although chatting and texting may not be psychotherapy, as I mentioned earlier, it can be extremely therapeutic and a great way to connect in Real Time.
These are some of the benefits of Sopsyched being a wrap around online program. We offer the best of both worlds, the connection that needs to happen in a moment’s notice and the ongoing psychological process of psychotherapy, and or higher levels of cares mentioned on the front page.