Can’t Meet Your Therapist? Try Telehealth Online Counseling

Telehealth services can be a great tool for patients seeking care, especially when they are unable to (or would prefer not to) see a mental health professional in person. 

In this day and age, technology has created a lot of strife regarding its effect on mental health, but there is an upside. Telehealth delivers virtual counseling and mental healthcare services for those who need it most, when they need it most, and most importantly — where they need it most. 

There are a wide variety of innovative technologies that have made this possible, including: 

  • Videoconferencing 
  • Online resources 
  • Store-and-forward imaging 
  • Streaming media 
  • Terrestrial communications
  • Wireless communications 

One in every five adults in the United States is diagnosed with a mental health disorder every single year. This number continues to rise, not because mental health disorders are becoming increasingly common, but because more and more people are discovering the benefits of mental health services. It’s through this discovery that individuals are breaking from the stigmas of yesterday and exploring the treatments of today. 

Unfortunately, even with the great strides that the mental health field has made, over half of Americans that are diagnosed with a mental health condition do not receive proper treatment. One of the many ways we’ve seen this issue tackled is with telehealth and teletherapy services. 

What Makes Telehealth a Sound Option? 

There are many benefits associated with telehealth and teletherapy services, especially for individuals that have difficulty leaving the house or who live in more rural areas. 

Accessibility is huge, especially for mental healthcare — and telehealth services open up new doors for individuals struggling with mental health to receive adequate care when they need it most. 

Perhaps you’ve gotten up in the morning on the day of your appointment, and you decided it was too much to make the trip. Maybe in-person communication puts too much pressure on you during your session. Or, a 9-5 schedule may make mental health appointments nearly impossible for you. Whatever the reason, telehealth provides convenience and accessibility for all who need it. 

Flexibility 

It’s no surprise that telehealth technology and accessibility provide incredible flexibility. What’s best is that this flexibility goes both ways, in which the patient and the mental health professional are no longer confined to work hours in order to reach their goals.  

Alternative to In-Person

While most mental health sessions can help alleviate some stress and anxiety-related issues, for some, the idea of an in-person session can be daunting at times. Telehealth relieves that environment by allowing and individuals to get the care they need on their own terms — and where they feel most comfortable. Whether it’s at home, in the car — you name it. As long as there is an internet (or phone) connection, depending on the type of telehealth technology that is being used, it’s the patient’s world. 

Same Success, Different Method 

There has been a wide range of studies conducted on the effectiveness of telehealth services — and the results are promising. One such study found that by comparing in-person consultations and teletherapy, there was a 96% satisfaction rate among the online session participants. John Hopkins conducted yet another study that discovered individuals who were enrolled in the telehealth program were less likely to be hospitalized due to their mental health conditions. 

These are promising results and should give peace of mind to individuals who need mental health services but are unsure about the possible outcomes. 

What Types of Mental Health Services are a Part of Telehealth? 

The answer to this is — mostly all of them. Depending on the counseling provider you’re working with, there will likely be a wide range of online mental health counseling and psychiatry services available through telehealth technologies. 

Some services may include:

  • Counseling and therapy 
  • Psychiatry 
  • Medication management 
  • Targeted case management 

By utilizing the innovations at hand, mental healthcare professionals can be resourceful and aid those in need in a convenient way. You can 

Tips for Your First Telehealth Appointment 

Change is always tricky, and making the switch from in-person sessions to a telehealth appointment may make some individuals uneasy. Or perhaps, it’s your very first mental health appointment, and you’re interested in figuring out what to expect. We’re going to break down some helpful tips and expectations regarding your very first telehealth appointment. 

Setting the Scene 

Telehealth appointments thrive on communication, and to get the most out of your experience, you’ll want to be in an environment that fosters a successful online session. 

Choose a fairly well-lit area so that you’re able to be seen. Try your best not to have any light sources directly behind you because it will make your picture hard to be seen. 

If possible, try not to be somewhere too noisy. Obviously, not everyone has a completely silent space they can take advantage of, but try to pick the one that feels most comfortable. The better your mental health professional can hear you — the better your session will be. 

Last but not least is privacy, again, not something we’re all blessed to have. However, if possible, try to use the bedroom or even your bathroom if that’s the only house with privacy. This is perhaps the most important tip we can give. Your confidentiality and comfort while speaking openly and honestly is important. 

Some Tech Talk 

On top of this list is an internet connection, and it’s essential. However, there are a few browsers, internet connectivity, and additional tips that can help make for a successful session. 

  • Install or update to the latest version of Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox before your first session 
  • Test your internet connection speed by searching “Internet Speed Test” into your browser (minimum download speed of 512Kbps and a minimum upload speed of 128 Kbps) 
  • Close any additional windows or background applications to get the most out of your internet connection 

These tips should help create the best environment possible for your online therapy session. 

Get the Help You Need

No matter what, your mental health is important. Whether you’re unable to get out of bed or your current circumstances prevent you from seeing a mental health professional face-to-face — you have options with telehealth and teletherapy. 

Get the care you deserve through your desktop or mobile device so that you can move forward.

3 Ways to Manage Uncomfortable Emotions During a Quarantine

The more quarantined and isolated we become in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the more uncomfortable our feelings and thoughts, which we have been avoiding, may surface. You may begin to feel the weight of loss (or losses) in your life that you’ve been too busy to grieve. If you experience anything like this, you are normal. However, being aware that this may happen and having a plan for how to respond could really promote mental and emotional healing during this unexpected pause in our lives. The following are 3 thoughts on how you might manage uncomfortable emotions, thoughts, or grief that arise during this corona virus pandemic:

  1. Practice mindfulness. Acknowledging that some emotional discomfort may come can make it feel less shocking or overwhelming when it does. Youtube or download an app with mindfulness practices if that’s your style. Try to become an observer of yourself and your thoughts and feelings; observe with curiosity rather than judgement. Self-acceptance and self-kindness doesn’t happen overnight, but we can practice. (app ideas: insight timer, headspace)
  2. Consider that this might be the time to pursue engaging with a professional mental health counselor. Many will be available thru telehealth, or online counseling, and can meet via video call from the comfort of your own home. If you have medicaid insurance, you likely qualify for counseling free of charge. If therapy is something you’ve been considering, perhaps now is a good time to take the leap.
  3. Moving our bodies can help us release emotional tension. If moving your body sounds like something you’re up for, you might consider incorporating yoga or dance or stretching into your daily routine while you’re holed up. Mindfulness can help us become more aware of where we carry emotional tension in our bodies; we can then move our bodies in ways that release that tension. (ideas: “Work-IN with Lue” with Luella Pavey on Facebook, Youtube yoga videos, etc.)

We are in this together! Separate but together. 🙂
-Katy Larson, LPCC- Independent contractor at Kentucky Counseling Center. To become a client of Katy’s, please request her today

Individual vs. Group Counseling: Which is Right for You?

Counseling can serve a wide range of individuals looking for ways to better themselves, curb dependencies, or find the necessary support to live a productive and healthy life. 

The counseling process is a unique and relatively misunderstood practice that is oftentimes used interchangeably with therapy or psychiatric work. However, these fields are all unique and encompass their own practices and strategies. 

Counseling is most often times conducted by a trained professional who helps others with correcting very specific problems, issues, or dependencies that may be negatively impacting their lives. 

The American Counseling Association defines the practices as: 

“A professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.”

Before we dive too deep into the individual vs. group counseling discussion, let’s explore some of the core principles and approaches to counseling. 

The 3 Approaches to Counseling 

Just like with any school of thought, counseling has had its fair share of dynamics and varieties that have continued to shape its progress. As counseling became more and more common, and the practice became cemented as a productive and successful endeavor, three forms emerged. 

  1. The psychodynamic method emerged from the work of Freud. Although much of Freudian philosophy has lost its footing, there was much to be understood about his concepts. One of which is the psychodynamic understanding that past experiences may affect behavioral issues.
  2. The humanistic approach that Carl Rogers created empowered patients by encouraging them to discover their own thoughts and feelings and work out their problems with the counselor as a guide. 
  3. The behavioral understanding of counseling is Pavlonian by nature. It stems from the idea that all behavior is learned, and that unhealthy or problematic behavior can be corrected with new understandings and learnings. 

While many of these approaches have undergone drastic changes, pivots, and evolutions over the years — the guiding principles have been established. Many counselors implement a combination or an amalgam of these approaches to understand the unique situation every patient is in.

The Benefits of Counseling

Whether you’re embarking on an individual or group counseling path, there are many benefits that can assist you in various areas of your life. 

  • Develop a sense of confidence
  • Manage anxiety 
  • Learn coping strategies for depression 
  • Clarify an issue you’ve been having
  • Better decision-making skills 
  • Discover possibilities for change 
  • Cope with addictive or dependency issues

No problem is too small for counseling. Whether you’re dealing with relationship problems, adjustment issues, mental illness, sexual concerns, and even addictions — counseling is a sound solution and a great outlet for betterment. 

It should be noted that counseling isn’t a quick fix, and doesn’t work to resolve issues instantly. It’s also not an environment where a professional will tell you what to do or judge your behavior or problems. It’s a conversation, one that will hopefully uncover some potential solutions and ways in which you can approach your issues for the better. 

Here in the modern age, we’re extremely lucky to have technological tools at our disposal to help with health and wellness. Telehealth services, for example, allow counseling services to be conducted online and remotely. This can be a great service for individuals that live in more rural areas or have extremely busy schedules that don’t fit a counselor’s office hours. 

Individual Counseling 

As the name suggests, individual counseling focuses on the individual. It’s a one-on-one interaction and discussion between the counselor and the client, one that hopefully sparks a trusted relationship. Individual counseling relies on the alliance between the professional and the patient. 

There are several advantages to the individual counseling route. For one, you’re receiving the full attention of the counseling professional. Some patients find this to be the biggest benefactor to choosing individual counseling. However, others may feel isolated in their problems and therefore struggle to open up about what’s been bothering them. 

Here are some of the most common reasons why clients prefer individual counseling. 

  • Receiving focused and attentive feedback for their individual problems
  • A stronger bond with the counselor through one-on-one sessions 
  • Confidentiality 
  • Increased control over the pace of progress, which is solely directed toward the individual 
  • More freedom with meeting times 

Now, individual counseling isn’t for everyone, and there are certainly those out there that can benefit from alternative counseling environments. As mentioned, being the sole focus of a counselor’s attention may be jarring or intimidating for some — and blending in with a group to adjust may be beneficial. 

Another potential setback of individual counseling is the lack of perspective. Group counseling sessions open up the floor to multiple vantage points and experiences, which can be a huge positive for certain individuals. 

Group Counseling 

Group counseling can be made up of small or large groups, depending on the type of counseling and severity of the issue. Technically speaking, even two individuals partaking in a counseling session can be considered group counseling. Relationship or marriage counseling is most often comprised of two spouses or partners. However, substance disorder groups may even be in the double digits.

Typically, the recommended group size is between 6-12 participants for non-relationship type counseling. This size of group counseling could be for anger management, substance disorders, or even symptom management counseling. 
Let’s explore some popular motivators for joining group counseling sessions. 

  • A sense of comradery around a shared issue 
  • Developing a feeling of belonging to a group 
  • Understanding that you’re not alone in your struggles 
  • Gaining support from all angles, as fellow group members can act as a broader support system 
  • Feeling confidence opening up about an issue that others are also discussing
  • Gaining multiple perspectives around an issue for better self-awareness 
  • Improving communication skills 
  • Potential lifelong connections

However, just like with individual counseling, group environments may not be suitable for everyone. Compared to individual settings, group counseling lacks focused attention and treatment. There may be situations where an individual doesn’t feel they receive the care they need because other members are taking up the group’s time. 

Confidentiality is also a huge turnoff for those that may be considering counseling sessions. Obviously, group counseling sessions are confidential by nature, and there is an immense emphasis placed on the sentiment that “what is discussed in the group stays in the group.” However, individuals may feel off-put by the idea of other people hearing their stories or issues. 

Another potential downside to group counseling is that the sessions aren’t focused on just one person’s schedule. Instead, group counseling needs to be fit into each individual’s daily life, and this may not work for some due to work, children, or other obligations. 

What’s Right for You?

Figuring out if individual or group counseling is right for you is truthfully a matter of preference. However, there are certainly some stipulations that may limit which choice works. Your schedule, budget, comfortability, and even the issues you’re dealing with themselves may all play a part in which type of counseling is ideal. 

Finding a reliable counseling service near your location is often the best step. The staff will be more than happy to answer questions or steer you toward the counseling environment that’s right for you. 

Kentucky Counseling Center Expansion

Kentucky Counseling Center is excited to announce a major expansion. Two new locations will will open soon in underserved areas of the state including South Louisville and Bowling Green, KY. Both locations will provide counseling, psychiatry, case management, and KCC Direct. As always, Medicaid and commercial insurance will be accepted. More information about these locations can be found on our home page.

KCC is proud to be Kentucky’s leader in mental health care.

KENTUCKY COUNSELING CENTER Ranks No. 92 on the 2019 Inc. 5000 With Three-Year Growth of 3417.6 Percent

Inc. magazine today revealed that Kentucky-based mental health care provider KENTUCKY COUNSELING CENTER is No. 92 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“We want to make it easy for folks to get outpatient mental health services, and I think we are doing a great job with that. We provide counseling, psychiatry, and case management in offices throughout the state, and we also provide online services so people never have to leave their homes for an appointment. This allows us to treat patients in every county in Kentucky. In addition, KCC accepts Medicaid and private insurance, and we don’t have list, so we’ve knocked down just about every barrier to treatment there is. The need for mental health care is largely unmet in Kentucky, and our goal is to meet that need.” says Matt Grammer, Owner & CEO.

Not only have the companies on the 2019 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists. The 2019 Inc. 5000 achieved an astounding three-year average growth of 454 percent, and a median rate of 157 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $237.7 billion in 2018, accounting for 1,216,308 jobs over the past three years.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 have followed so many different paths to success,” says Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter. “There’s no single course you can follow or investment you can take that will guarantee this kind of spectacular growth. But what they have in common is persistence and seizing opportunities.”

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring the companies on the list will be held October 10 to 12, 2019, at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. As always, speakers include some of the greatest innovators and business leaders of our generation.

Kentucky Counseling Center believes that you know yourself best and our mental health professionals empower you to make your own decisions about life. We understand that mental health care is individualized. Whether you seek family counseling, child and adolescent counseling, couples counseling, LGBTQ counseling, addictions counseling, virtual counseling, medication, case management, or something else, Kentucky Counseling Center has the mental health specialist to suit your needs and comfort.

When you want to find a provider that is right for you, call Kentucky Counseling Center at 855-591-0092. Our highly trained mental health clinicians are here to help.

Kentucky Counseling Center CEO Named 2019 Forty Under 40

Louisville Business First names Matt Grammer, CEO of Kentucky Counseling Center 2019 Forty Under 40. Kentucky Counseling Center prides itself on being the largest and most accessible mental health care private practice in the state. We treat depression, anxiety, behavioral disorders, family conflict, and many other issues that most of us experience at some point in our lives.

More About Forty Under 40

Kentucky Counseling Center offers office-based treatment and online services. Whether you’re looking for counseling, psychiatry, or case management, our goal is to provide an appointment for you when you need it without the long wait times. We accept Medicaid and most major insurance plans.

 

 

Kentucky Counseling Center CEO Named 2019 Health Care Heroes Finalist

Kentucky Counseling Center CEO, Matt Grammer wins 2019 Health Care Heroes finalist award, presented by Louisville Business First. Kentucky Counseling Center provides high quality and affordable mental health services in Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Covington, Richmond and London, Kentucky.

More about Health Care Heroes

KCC offers counseling, psychiatry, and targeted case management services for children and adults. Medicaid and most major insurances are accept.

Kentucky Counseling Center is known for the ability to eliminate wait lists so that patients can get the help they need whenever they need it.

For an appointment, call 855-591-0092 or visit us online at kentuckycounselingcenter.com