Though I’ve been keeping appointments by phone or Skype for quite some time with online counseling, the value of connecting by phone or visual medium has been a delightful surprise to many new users. COVID-19 has made us all in need of a few really good surprises. While there are many benefits to VirtualCounseling or TeleTherapy, there are also a few things that can’t replace in-person therapy sessions. Here are some things to think about if you’re looking for online counseling while coronavirus is keeping you inside.

Pro: Convenience

Eliminating the commute from an appointment is really important to a lot of my clients whose time is precious and limited. I have regulars who I’ve known for years that often book a spontaneous 15-minute or 30-minute appointment with me via Skype, FaceTime and more recently Zoom. They get what they need and move on with their day. No wasted time in the car for them.

Pro: Immediacy

If I am available, I’m going to plug into you right away. If not, I can often get a free 15 minutes within a couple hours. Some clients just need to solve a problem by hearing themselves think out loud. Oftentimes, it’s about a business decision that is time-sensitive.

Pro: Candor

Many people feel more vulnerable in person than they do when they communicate their thoughts and feelings using technology. For many, there is a sense of safety in being able to tell a person who can’t actually see you about your hurt, personal doubt, feelings of insecurity and shame. I’ve also found that to be true when clients write or text to me. There’s more opportunity for truthfulness and emotional risk-taking because clients have an easier time speaking honestly and from-the-heart when connecting through technology. 

I could be wrong here but, when it comes to teletherapy sessions, I’ve always thought the fact that a client can simply disconnect the call is a secret and comforting exit strategy that enables them to be more candid with themselves, and less worried about how they’re being perceived.

Con: No Hugs Or Handshakes

I know a lot of my colleagues have a no-touch policy but many of my clients, like you — I can feel who you are(!) — really need a big hug. I miss a good hug and a strong handshake from my clients as well. That touch connection cannot, at least so far, be duplicated through technology. 

Con: No Grace

You think I don’t know but I’m on to you. I’m well aware that you come early for your appointments with me so you can spend some time with Grace first. I get it. She is also my Mother Earth and has been for 17 years. 

When you really miss her, let me know and I’ll ask her to drop you a line. She’s working as she always does, just from her own home, and is diligently processing your insurance for you. She misses all of you too.

The Future

A lot of people, particularly New York commuters, have appreciated the convenience of online counseling and virtual therapy, long before coronavirus rudely interrupted our norm. So, I’m expecting a certain number of you will prefer connecting via technology. But I have no crystal ball.

What I do know is that I will be here for you, in any format that is smart and preferable to you. Hopefully, you’ve known that all along.


If you know of anyone, anyone at all, who could benefit from any of these tips, use the buttons below to share on Facebook and Twitter. And if you haven’t already, join my email list to receive updates on new posts.

Lisa Ryan, LPC
Lisa Ryan, LPC
Relationship Expert - Infidelity Specialist - Guest Speaker ~ Loves the big blue sea, homely dogs, the unvarnished truth, and making people feel better. As an Infidelity Specialist in CT since 2002, Lisa continues to retain fairness, an enormous empathy for all clients and a desire to forge a positive outcome, with a commitment that matches that of the clients themselves. She helps couples rebuild their relationships after the discovery of an extramarital affair, a secret relationship or a technology addiction that breaches trust. She guides her clients through a 5-pronged solution-driven plan, designed by her, which has a success rate near 95%. Clients attribute their achievement to Lisa’s non-judgmental approach and genuine understanding of the unique anguish experienced by both parties when trust has been broken.

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