Carey Counseling & Consulting, Virtual Alternatives
Brenda Carey

Executive Director,  Clinician, Consultant, Crisis Responder, Credentialed Supervisor

Virtual and Telephonic Therapy 
(910) 520-4393 (24/7)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this type of therapy for everyone?
No, in our initial meeting or discussion, we will make this determination. Many people either want or need a face to face office meeting.

What types of virtual options are there?
Thus far, I have worked with people on the phone (noted as telephonic), on FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, and VSee. You choose.The first meeting will require MC, Visa or PayPal. Once we get to know one another better, mailed checks, money orders, cash... as they are required at time of service.

What payment types are acceptable?
See above.

With doctors and therapists following Hipaa Compliance, do these rules apply?
Most, if not all therapists are very discreet and follow all confidentiality rules no matter the format. However, Skype do not meet all of the rules without significant cost to you. When you pay for your meetings, you are choosing who to talk to and how. If you are concerned that someone might have access to your conversations or video, you may want to choose FaceTime, VSee, Google Hangouts or GoToMeeting, all Hipaa Compliant. All of our clinicians are licensed and credentialed. They will never breach your confidentiality, but we cannot make any guarantee re: Skype. 
Beware, there are many "counselors" without any training at all. It is not illegal to call yourself a counselor, put up a sign, website... because you technically don't need to go to school or get licensed to do so. Everyone at CC&C will be fully licensed and credentialed..

If you are dealing with issues that require a counselor to breach confidentiality (if you are going to hurt yourself or another), this is not the format for you and will be indicated in the initial consult. You will be referred out to another clinician or have a plan to utilize until you are connected to someone locally. Please call with any questions. Rest assured, the years of experience behind this company, will get you where you need to be - if only to learn and become more informed about the items discussed above or to determine the best format for you?

Meeting Length?
The meetings are approximately 50 mins. However, if there are technical issues, it will begin once the issues are cleared up. We urge you to make sure you have all items checked/tested/set up prior, but there are always going to be unforseeable items we have not considered despite how much we prepare. Life happens. We adapt.

How much does it cost?
Despite the fact most agencies charge a fair amount more for the initial meeting, every meeting will be the same amount or $150.00.
There shouldn't be any reason another client emergency would take away from your time. Again, I refer back to your first meeting and if a client is in any difficult, safety or emergency situation, he/she would have been referred out with a plan for help - until connected to someone in the traditional setting. These things should not happen in the formats we use.

My motto is "never say never" but I feel confident in saying there is a very small chance of an issue that might interfere with your meeting unless something comes up between you and your therapist. For example, some of us do critical incident work at local corporations, manufacturers... If they have a crisis in their facility, we need to go that day or the next to assist within hours. If that happens, scheduling or rescheduling may be requested of you. Please respond to your clinician and discuss when you are able to shift the appt. time for that day or the next.
What if you have to cancel? As with most of your treaters or doctors, a 24-hour cancelation policy prevails. And a $50 fee will be charged.

If you cancel 2 times, the therapist has the choice to retain you as a client (outside of the 24 hour policy).

How do we begin?
You may us the buttons to call, email, use the site form, text and after a few questions to determine the fit for virtual or telephonic options, you will choose your format and make sure you are set on your end prior to appt if possible. We will do the same on this end. If a link if required, we will send it to you and you may need to follow prompts depending on format chosen. If it's a less formal call or Face Time, you and your therapist need only exchange numbers and allow the therapist to reach out to you. Skype: unsername and invite.... Be sure to indicate your time zone. With these options, we can meet with English speaking clients from anywhere in the world. If the need increases for a particular language, we will seek out bilingual therapists to work with you. The more people we meet and have the opportunity to listen to or help, the better.

Do you think face to face is better than a phone call or online meeting?
In some cases, the answer is a resounding YES and as noted in earlier questions, we will use our best skills to discern who would fit into this category. Let's look at two other options, telephonic and video, discuss them and note the best parts of these formats. Telephonic, it's true, you get a voice. You miss out on facial and body cues we use to put your story together in full. However, when you are missing out on one aspect of communication, your other senses are heightened - just like one who loses his/her hearing. This person will tell you that his/her sight and tactile senses (feeling who is around you) become heightened. I believe this is true for our new and trending formats. For myself, I've worked online as a professor since 2001. I had the opportunity to review one's writing - emails, assignments... There was a rare phone call but mainly I had written work to base important decisions on. My insight into one's written work became so heightened, I used myself as a case study. I tested myself. I projected or guessed one's final grade after the first few assignments. Then again after another assignment of introducing oneself in a discussion area on the course, was able to predict one's final grade with 85% simply based on a writing sample. I began to pick up on written cues that had not occurred to me before. I saw more in a student's writing than ever before.
My point is - there are people who won't take to even to make a phone call if stressed or struggling. We are giving them a way. If on Bluetooth while commuting to work or running errands is the only way to carve out that time, I trust the meetings will be purposeful and beneficial. Also, one will feel more comfortable being genuinely honest than face to face. It's been proven. Video? Very much like a face to face meeting with the added benefit of the comfort of your time, place - maybe on your couch, at lunch, in your pajamas, on the treadmill,  the list is endless.

This is my thinking. The helping profession is heading this way and we can't stop it. I believe we are already seeing it happen as swiftly as we watched every school in higher education promise never to have online courses - but try and find one now without distance learning. It's here.

Most importantly, people who seek out a therapist, do so for a reason. They might feel stuck. They might feel different, something's changing and it's odd, uncomfortable or scary. These are the people who really and truly want to make positive changes in their lives. They are dedicated to doing so and will not make excuses. These are the clients who will make changes in their lives no matter the format. These are the people who want to get unstuck, feel better and will find a way to do this. We are providing a way. Is everyone this dedicated and determined  to make positive changes, gain insight into bad patterns or relationships they find themselves in, deal with other struggles or life adjustments? Is everyone ready to dive into the traditional office setting? No. These are the ones this format will work for as well as the others. 
So, the answer to what format is better? It depends on the client. I know many clients who run from a therapist's office if he/she didn't hear what he/she wanted to hear - format doesn't matter. If you are still not sure, what category you fit into, trust in our skills and choose your format:
- Telephonic.
- Facetime
- Google Hangouts
- Skype
- Gotomeeting
- VSee...

Ongoing training for virtual cues/clues will take place for any/all therapists who strive to work with us in these new and exciting formats.

Lastly, I want you to picture a few of these scenarios and see if any suit you:

You had a long, hard week and really would like to talk to someone but can't get yourself up and out. You call, text, fill out the form... and next thing you know you are talking to someone, legs crossed in your favorite chair, in your jammies, eating popcorn - via phone or video format of your choice.

You tend to be a shy person, often guarded and quiet. You might even be considered aloof as others don't know you at all. You have been wanting to discuss this with someone as you have set up your life around comfortable places and it's just too hard. Now you have the option to begin on the phone and finally, you are receiving feedback and information you never knew about how you are feeling. You are beginning to take back the power to make your life different.

You are Wonder Mom. You bake, volunteer, work, take care of your family because you adore them but you are completely exhausted all the time. How in the world would you carve out 50 minutes to vent or take time for self care? Well, you are running here or there, baking the birthday cupcakes, put on speakerphone or Face Time and continue your task while talking. Imagine that? Maybe not the best case scenario for total self care but you are doing something and it's a step in a great direction.

You and your wife are building a family and a future. You just don't feel the same as you did when you were the center of your wife's universe. Now you compete for time. To make matters worse, your limited spare time is filled with baths, shopping and picking up toys so you don't trip over them constantly - and you're still getting the "evil eye" for not doing enough. Well, you can call, text... and take some time while eating lunch at your desk or commuting to work or home and is time that is all yours. No one can tell you what to do, take it. Vent as much as you want. It's an entirely safe "man cave" but nn a computer or Bluetooth.

Maybe you just want someone to listen?
Maybe you want some feedback? Perhaps you are in the garage working on your latest project and you get yourself a nice chunk of time dedicated to you and that.

The options are unlimited. You choose the format. You decide what you want to do with your time. Sometimes people simply need to decompress - there's too much air in your tire and this is decompression time. Maybe you have been thinking or feeling a certain way that has affected your life, your relationships, your work for as long as you can remember - and you want to use this discreet and "on your terms" opportunity to hash through some thoughts and see what/if any thing you may want to consider doing differently.

Maybe you are talking a walk or a run or on your incumbent bike and this is the only time you will use to talk to someone about something going on at work or home... I'll get on my treadmill, and we will sweat together. Deal?

So many people find talking to a trained, unbiased listener may do a world of good.

Together we will find the right time. It's coming. You may as well take advantage because it's not going away and it may change your life.

If you've never considered it before, here is a way to dip your toe into therapy.

Feel free to send in your questions and I'll add them here so others may benefit from something that's been overlooked.