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ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE COUNSELING

 

 

 

 

By: Michele Qunitin, LCSW

COVID-19 has changed all of our lives. Social distancing and staying home have become our new norm for now, and with that said, options are available to us virtually to still speak to a qualified therapist. You’ve heard about online counseling (sometimes called ​teletherapy​) and you’re curious if it might work for you. Here are just a few of the advantages of online counseling and how it may actually work better for you at this time of being in your home.

  •  Improved Anonymity/Avoiding Dual Relationships – ​In counseling, a “dual relationship” refers to having any other relationship (personal, business, etc.) with your therapist outside of your therapeutic relationship, or your therapist having close relationships with your immediate family members. Naturally, this is problematic and to be avoided if possible. Teletherapy can eliminate these concerns.
  • Ability to Participate in Couples/Family Counseling across Distances; Trying to schedule couples or family counseling can be so challenging, especially if one or more people in the group travel. Online counseling is a great option to bridge distances and help maintain regular therapeutic sessions.
  • Other Factors to Consider: ​While online counseling can be a wonderful option, for all the reasons listed above, there are some necessary elements in order for teletherapy to work well. Here is a list of some prerequisites.
  • A quiet place to talk, free from distractions. ​You still want confidentiality and dedicated time and space to meet, so trying to chase after a toddler or connecting in a public space isn’t going to work, especially now with the social distancing policies. Consider using headphones to improve both confidentiality and sound quality.
  • Hi Speed Internet connection on a computer. ​Many of us are used to using Skype or FaceTime for video chat, but online counseling requires using a secure platform. These platforms are free for you as the client, but you will need to install/connect to them from your computer. Your potential therapist should be able to give you more information on the platform they use.
  • Alternative Plan in Case of Technical Difficulties- ​Even the most reliable internet service may fail occasionally, and it’s never convenient when it does. Discuss the alternative plan ahead of time with your therapist so you’re not left stranded.

Conclusion

Under the right circumstances, online counseling can be just as effective as the traditional in person therapy model, or sometimes even better. Knowing what factors to be aware of from the beginning can help you find the best online therapist for you.

For More information about online counseling with Dr. April Brown, please contact directly:

239-565-6921 or email info@draprilbrown.com

 

 

Emotional Intimacy – 5 Tips to Grow Intimacy in Your Relationship

 

 

Emotional Intimacy seems  simple and straight forward, but can be  surprisingly elusive.  Emotional intimacy can vary greatly from couple to couple, person to person and from one time to another. Emotional intimacy is the perception of closeness.  Emotionally intimate couples have a shared expectation of understanding, affirmation and sharing of personal feelings and bonding.

Emotional intimacy can set the tone for all other types of intimacy in a relationship, making it a heavily discussed topic among relationship therapists and family therapists.

Here are 5 basic ways you can cultivate more intimacy every day:

  1. Quality Time –  Text, email and social media are very efficient ways to communicate throughout the day and get things done.  When you want to spend intentional quality time with your spouse, most couples find it useful to silence the electronics and put them in a drawer  or basket while time is spent focused on the people around them.  If its family game night, dinner or conversation over tea couples report feeling like they get more value out of time spent without the distraction of electronics.  In this scenario quality is of greater value than quantity.
  2. Be an open door – Acceptance is the biggest component of emotional intimacy.  If someone feels accepted exactly the way they are, they are more likely to open up and also accept you.  What is acceptance exactly?  Acceptance is loving a person without criticism, exceptions, judgement or control.  This doesn’t mean we never disagree or disapprove of their actions.  Rather, it is a “I will disagree with you and still honor you, your thoughts, feelings and independence” practice. Disagreements are normal and healthy and individuals in a relationship should have their own independent ideas and thoughts without fear of being criticized.
  3. Plan fun –  It’s 2019 and it feels like every minute of every day is scheduled.  “Honey, did you put that on the calendar?” is a daily conversation it seems.   Can we effectively schedule play and fun?  Of course we can!  Whether it’s once a week or twice per month schedule play time in advance and make sure it gets scheduled so nothing sneaks in there and takes it away.  You can schedule something specific like sports, crafts or watching silly videos on the internet together or be more flexible and leave it as open free time to spend with one another or the family.
  4. Talk bout what you want –  avoidance kills intimacy.  Assuming your partner knows what you need or avoiding the topic hoping it will ‘blow  over’ is a recipe for a broken heart.  Let your partner know you desire more quality time, more fun time, more deep discussions and lively conversation. Speak up when you need help or have big news.
  5. Practice, practice, practice.  –  The more we open up to our significant others or allow our partners to open up to us without fear of judgement or criticism the more we are likely to continue.  Don’t let the opportunity to have your spouse be your best friend and confidant slip away.  We are all searching for that deeper connection to authentic intimacy and there is no quick fix.  You deserve a strong, healthy relationship and so does your partner.

If you ever feel like the intimacy is lost, you’re feeling alone or your relationship is too damaged to recover, don’t lose hope.   Our counselors are dedicated to your success as a couple and in life.  It’s never too late to try again.

 

 

 

If you or someone you love is  wanting a vacation in paradise, one that will re-kindle the passion that has been lost? A vacation without kids. A vacation where you learn how to communicate. A vacation where your partner actually hears you and gains insight – Vacation Counseling is Your Next Vacation.