GUEST BLOG reposted with permission from the author, John Silver.
Online Therapy And Counseling Until Midnight
During my private practice years with Counseling Until Midnight, I had learned all I could about Telemedicine. I had obtained Certification in Online Therapy in 2001. I studied what minimal information was available regarding the integration of law and ethics at it applied to online therapy. I developed my own telemedicine informed consent forms, contracts and other documents in order to protect the client and myself. Cable Internet and Skype had evolved so that Webconferencing was available, though the audio and video were primitive at best. There were no clear cut guidelines on the practice of online therapy. Laws were vague or non-existent. Psychological associations were maintaining their distance and would not take a position on the ethics involved. Was Online Therapy even under the purview of my California MFCC license? Since the Internet is accessible world wide, what about counseling across state and national boundaries? What about malpractice? How does one even practice online therapy? How is it similar or different than other modalities?
John Silver, Voyage
Through a consistent and diligent approach of researching best practices in this new world of technology, I spent the next 5 years taking every online course offered, reading all the latest articles on telemedicine and refining my online therapy practice to ensure it met all clinical, ethical and legal standards. At the same time, I became certified in psychoanalysis and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). My combination of clinical skills, coupled with my experience in online therapy, moved my practice forward, and I was able to expand it further by answering hundreds of email questions from around the world. I felt I was qualified to make clinical decisions as to what type of patient and what type of therapy would work for online therapy.
About 5 years ago I noticed that my placement in searches was falling further and further behind. It was time to evolve. I learned the new SEO as it related to Google’s ranking of websites and rebuilt my website. At the same time I was thinking of (semi) retirement. It occurred to me that having an online therapy practice would allow me to practice virtually world wide from wherever I settled. Of course the caveat was to invest the time, energy and resources required to become licensed, certified and compliant with the evolving Laws and Ethics in telebehavioral health.
Since “Counseling Until Midnight” was still coming up in search results, I attached Online Therapy to the name and became ‘”Online Therapy and Counseling Until Midnight”. It took about 2 years of intensive work doing SEO and website composition. As a result of my efforts to monitor my traffic and fine tune my outreach tactics, my company has migrated back to the top in most searches for Online Therapy (in Los Angeles and elsewhere). I had begun during the Wild West of Online Therapy, evolved with the times and now am practicing the art and science of Telemedicine.
John Silver can be reached at Email@DrJohnSilver.Com.
Online Therapy and Counseling Until Midnight
http://www.DrJohnSilver.Com ~ (310) 268-8282 ~ FAX (978) 268-8286 ~Email@DrJohnSilver.Com
2100 Sawtelle Boulevard Suite #204 ~ Los Angeles, CA 90025
Marriage, Family and Child Counselor, M14943
Certified Modern Psychoanalyst, P90366
Certified Online Therapist, #00663