I’ve been on our local news station’s noon Newstalk quite a few times for my part time job, but yesterday was the first time I was representing myself. Talk about nerves! I was sitting in the conference room waiting for my time to go in and recognized how my body was reacting. Rapid heart rate? Check. Sweaty palms? Check. Shallow breathing? Check. Yep. Stress. Then I decided to do what I’m always suggesting others do: stay in THIS moment. So, I took a deep breath and engaged in some positive self talk. “This is my business. I know it better than anyone else. No one but me knows what I’m going to say so no one will know if I mess up. I’ve created some ‘talking points’ and I’m prepared. Another deep breath. I’ve got this.”
My talking points included the three words in the cute little graphic at the top of this page. Telephone counseling is available, convenient and private.
Available: it doesn’t matter where you live (country, city, US or overseas), whether or not you drive or what the weather is outside, this service is available to you.
Convenience: Counseling is in the comfort of your own home without worrying about traffic patterns, weather, what you look like, or adding time to your already busy schedule. Also, if you choose to utilize the video chat, you have the option to record the session and refer back to it whenever you like.
Privacy: Counseling is provided from a private office in my own home. Any documentation is on word documents only, not in a cloud, and I have redundant security on my computer so no one can access your account but me. The video service I use is secure. Though I wish there wasn’t a stigma attached to counseling, there is. Some people prefer not to be seen going into or out of a counseling practice or worrying who they will run into in the waiting room. And I keep my mouth shut. I do not share any information with anyone. Not your name, the details of your story, or any other information…ever.
Some other points made during the interview:
Is there an advantage to face to face counseling? Yes…and no. We all give off non-verbal cues and it does help to be able to read those cues, especially in the early stages of grief. However, I’ve been telephone counseling for years now and have developed a particular skill set to be able to read between the lines. That lack of eye contact is an advantage in that people are more likely to be open and honest when it’s missing. Ever try to talk to a teenager? The best way to have meaningful talks is to go for a walk or a drive. No eye contact.
Does telephone counseling work? Yes. Definitely. I know this because I’ve been doing it for years. Do a search and you will find a few studies on line. The one I mentioned yesterday can be found here. Not only does it work, but it is often the case that we need fewer sessions to achieve your goals thus making it less expensive in the long run. My fees are lower than they would be if I had the overhead of a physical office.
What I neglected to say: a) My counseling services are available for any adult who has had a loved one or pet die. b)Translating Grief is on Facebook. c) I’m always willing to have a conversation with you via email (email@example.com) to discuss any questions or concerns you have prior to making an appointment.
Copyright 2014 Lisa B. Wolfe, Translating Grief, LLC