What happens when you are in the middle of an online therapy session and your computer crashes? There are a few ways to answer this question, but one of the most sensible ways would be that you could reboot your computer and get back into your session.
Some critics of online therapy, or distance counseling, use this potential obstacle one might face during an online therapy session as something that makes the entire experience a negative one.
Well, what happens when the lights go out during a face-to-face session? Do you continue the session without any lights on? Or do you reschedule the session for when you can work in a lighted setting? In my own practice, I tend to do a few things.
If a client has already paid for an online counseling session, say they want online marriage counseling or couples counseling via the telephone and they do not make it to their appointment for instance, I will make sure that session is rescheduled.
If I have a chat session scheduled for Skype and the client’s internet is down and I find out afterwards, again, I reschedule the session for a later date. The same is done with face-to-face sessions. If for some reason, a client cannot make it to their session or is unusually late, the session is scheduled for another date. Fees, in both situations are assessed accordingly.
As a therapist, when I worked in the prison system, the lights often went out, the fire alarms were frequently tested, or the entire compound would be locked down at a moment’s notice. In these situations, both the inmates and I had sessions scheduled and were expecting to get these sessions completed. Due to unseen circumstances, the sessions were rescheduled. Yes, these are unusual circumstances, but the end result is the same – treatment to the client is priority!
My point here is, always be sure to educate yourself before you made the decision to get therapy in any type of medium, be it face-to-face, online, through email, or by phone. Each situation poses its own benefits and risks to both you as the client and to your therapist as well.