Meet With A Biblical Counselor Online
Heart Talk Biblical Counseling is committed to offering online biblical counseling services for those who need it. More and more tools have been developed that make online biblical counseling more accessible that ever before. If you are unsure of how online counseling works or want to know if it's right for you, keep reading.
How Does Online Biblical Counseling Work?
Online biblical counseling is just like in-person counseling with the exception of being in person. Your biblical counselor will follow the standard process of biblical counseling. This includes developing a relationship, asking good questions and listening, providing instruction, and giving you homework to complete between sessions.
To get started, you will schedule an appointment on our appointment page. Then you will receive an email confirmation with a link to your appointment. You will use the link to sign in to your meeting. Just log into the meeting a few minutes ahead of time and you'll be allowed in the room once your counselor is ready.
We currently use Google Meets for our online counseling appointments. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your online counseling appointment:
- Use a laptop computer. Mobile devices require you to download the Google Meets app. However, you can login directly using their website if you use a laptop/desktop.
- Gather everyone in the same space. Occasionally we have some couples who each login using their own device. However, we recommend sharing the laptop and meeting in the same area.
- Test your speakers and video. Before the meeting begins, make sure your microphone and video camera are working properly.
- Have good lighting. You don't need to purchase special lights, but if you have a lamp you can sit by or a window you can open, please do. The more light the better your picture will look.
- Control distractions. If you have children, find an activity that will keep them occupied in order to minimize interruptions, such as a movie. If you have pets, put them somewhere where they won't distract you.
- Gather what you'll need. Just like an in person session, you'll need a Bible and a notepad to take notes. We'll be looking at Scripture and giving you homework assignments. So be ready to take notes.
Does Online Biblical Counseling Really Work?
Yes, it does! Studies indicate that online counseling is just as effective as in-person counseling. However, not all online counseling is created equal. There are some services that primarily rely on text messaging or email to provide counseling. However, counseling that relies primarily on written text reduces the counselors ability to observe body language, tone of voice and additional clues as to a persons emotional state.
Therefore, while we encourage online biblical counseling, we think that it's best to do it in a way that allows the counselor to see and hear each person.
Should I Seek Counseling From My Pastor?
Yes you should! We absolutely encourage you to seek counsel from your local church. God has given us the local church to encourage us in our faith. We believe God has provided local pastors to help "shepherd" their congregation. This includes the private ministry of the Word through counseling.
If you are only seeking online biblical counseling because you don't want your local church to know you are struggling with a problem, we would encourage you to pray for humility and approach your pastor for help first. Even if you still prefer to meet with a biblical counselor online, your pastor will at least be aware of the situation.
We would be happy to involve your local pastor by providing occasional progress reports and requesting his help in encouraging you throughout the process. We feel so strongly about this that we would encourage you talk to your local pastor before you meet with a biblical counselor online.
What Are The Benefits Of Online Counseling?
Meeting with a biblical counselor online is helpful for various reasons. First, online biblical counseling opens up the opportunity for people in rural or unchurched areas to receive biblical counseling. Second, it allows us to serve local churches by providing biblical counseling for pastors who don't have the time or resources to counsel. Third, online counseling is very convenient. You save time by not having to drive or sit in a waiting room. Lastly, it opens you up to more resources. You may not be able to find someone to help locally. So having an online resource provides you with an equal opportunity to receive biblical counseling.
What Are the Challenges Of Meeting With A Biblical Counselor Online?
While we certainly enjoy being able to offer biblical counseling online, we know there are challenges with this format. First, technology can create challenges when your internet isn't working or the software isn't working correctly. Second, online biblical counseling makes it very easy for people to hide their struggles from their local church. While they may think this is a good thing, God has provided the local church to help us in our time of need.
Should I Get Biblical Counseling Online?
To help you answer this question, here are a few final questions to ask yourself?
- Do I belong to a local church with people willing and able to provide biblical counseling?
- Do I have reliable transportation and time to meet with a counselor in person?
- Have I informed my pastor that I need help and plan on meeting with a counselor online?
These questions will help reveal any pride or fear that may be preventing you from seeking help from your local pastor first. If your local pastor is aware of the problem, but unable to provide personal assistance at this time, we are happy to help. To get started simply book your first appointment.