Over the pandemic, The Vaughan Relationship Centre made changes to how we help our clients and provide therapy online. Although, as a society, we have returned back to normal, 75% of our clients continue to utilize online therapy.
Despite initial requests for in-person counselling, a considerable number of clients ultimately transition to online therapy.
Online counselling has benefited many of our clients struggling with relationship concerns, intimacy issues, anxiety, depression, stress-related concerns, and family dynamics. Our clients have reported it is very convenient and easier for them to access counselling.
Below is some information about online counselling.
What is online counselling or online therapy?
Online therapy and counselling is the same as face to face counselling. Instead of seeing you in person, we speak to you using a secure online platform, but the sessions are conducted the same by our registered social workers.
We can provide several therapy options, such as working with you individually, as a couple, or as a family.
How do you ensure security for online counselling sessions?
We are committed to ensuring your safety and confidentiality when doing video therapy sessions. Healthcare practitioners are required to use platforms that are PHIPA compliant (Personal Health Information Protection Act), which differs from using platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime, and WhatsApp.
For additional security, when you log on to speak with your online therapist, you will be required to log in with your username and password, adding another layer to your security. We also advise that you ensure that your WiFi connection is password protected and you have discussions with your online therapist in a confidential space where no one else can hear your conversation.
What are the benefits of online counselling?
Many of our clients have reported the convenience of not having to drive to the office; they can just turn on their computer or device and get support. It is so much easier for our clients to fit appointments into their schedules.
Additionally, many couples and individuals struggle with finding childcare to attend sessions face to face sessions. With online counselling, clients have been able to “plug children in” to a device, have them watch their favourite movie, or put them to bed while they attend their session in another room. There is less stress in finding childcare and finding excuses for grandparents as to why you need them to babysit.
Is online therapy and counselling the same as face to face?
Our Registered Social Workers use evidence-based practices whether you are meeting with us in person or online. We utilized therapy techniques, such as narrative therapy, brief solution-focused. cognitive behaviour therapy, emotionally focused therapy, and the Gottman method. The therapy is the same as if you are seeing us in our office.
I am not able to find a confidential space at work or at home; what should I do?
Many of our clients leave their office and speak to us in their cars. Sometimes they drive to the nearest Starbucks or Tim Horton’s, grab a coffee and sit in their cars during their lunch hour. Some of our clients do not want their family members to hear their conversation, so they will go for a drive up the street and park the car to have their session or go to a friend’s house.
I want to do online therapy with a family member who lives in a different city; can we have sessions from multiple locations?
Absolutely! Sometimes one partner is on a work trip, and the other is home. This is not an issue; you can log in from different locations and have your session. We also work with families where adult children are living in their own homes and don’t want the burden of driving to one location to have the session. Everyone can log in from their own location using their unique login username and password. This is provided to you when you book your initial session.
Who do we serve?
Our online therapists can provide online therapy in Toronto, the GTA, and all regions of Ontario to individuals, couples, and families.
Online Therapy in Toronto
Most Vaughan Relationship Centre clients are located in Toronto or the GTA. There is a great benefit to seeing a therapist online who is also physically located close to home. This gives you the option to pop into the office and do a face to face in-person session when you desire. Many of our clients enjoy the benefits of having both options.
Surrounding Areas in Ontario
Some of our online therapy clients are from remote areas of Ontario. They struggled to find a therapist with the expertise to support them. For some, they prefer to speak to someone outside of their community to ensure anonymity and confidentiality.
Do you provide support to other parts of Canada?
No. Our online counsellors follow guidelines set out by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers; therefore, we cannot speak to clients who reside outside of Ontario.
What if I don’t want video counselling and want phone counselling instead?
We understand that some people will prefer not to use video. We find a lot of benefits in doing video counselling because we can see your facial expressions and know when you are sad or struggling with your words. However, we want to do what is comfortable for you. When you inquire about services, please let us know that you prefer phone counselling sessions. We can match you with a therapist who is skilled in providing phone counselling.
How much does online therapy cost?
The sessions are the same price as offered in our office. We recommend you check with your employee benefits plan to see if you have coverage for online therapy to help absorb some of the costs. Please contact our office to find the right therapist for you and to inquire about fees. At the Vaughan Relationship Centre, our online therapists have been effective in helping couples, families, and individuals through online therapy. Give us a phone call today for further information.