New Orleans, LA, October 25, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- In years past, popular pay-per-usage telephone services were phone psychics, and phone chat lines. The rates were high, and the services were poor. Needless to say, their popularity soon faded along with the rubix cube and magic 8-ball.
Lately, a new professional service has emerged over the telephone with a similar pay-per-usage model, only this one seems like it may stick. Online phone counseling
has become available over the internet and is becoming widely accepted. On some websites, like Phone-Counseling.org, the visitor can choose from a list of therapists who are available for chat or phone counseling. The list can have 20 or more therapists, along with pictures and a short statement from the counselor. Next to the therapist listing, there will be an "Online" statement that indicates whether or not that therapist is currently available.
The systems that make this type of live, on-demand service possible are provided by a company called Kasamba. Kasamba does more than just phone counseling though; consulting in many different forms is available through their network of "experts." Kasamba's experts have a program installed that can indicate their online status and be used for chat. Their servers house the system that takes care of billing and all of the back-end operations. It is a very unique and robust application. When a consumer decides to contact a live therapist, all they have to do is click the "contact live" button and fill in some basic information to create an account. From there, they will be assigned a phone number to call that will connect them with the therapist of their choice.
Phone counselors can be from many different educational backgrounds, but all should be licensed by the state in which they practice. Some typical credentials one may see behind a therapist's name are: LCSW, Ph.D., MA, LPC, LMFT and LMHC. In that order, the credentials stand for "Licensed Clinical Social Worker," "Doctor of Philosophy" (Psychologist), "Master of Arts (in counseling)," "Licensed Practicing Counselor," "Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist," and "Licensed Mental Health counselor." All of these educational backgrounds can vary in their degree of training on different expertise. Specialties even exist amongst each individual from the same educational background. That's why it can be very helpful to inquire about a therapist's training in the area you need help with. Ideally, if a therapist doesn't have the necessary experience to work effectively with the issues you are facing, they will refer you to someone who does.
Phone counseling presents a new and more accessible way for therapists to connect with patients. Kasamba's network has been successful in their implementation of this service, so who knows where it may one day lead? There may come a day when we can do physician referrals over the internet and telephone rather than waiting in a crowded doctor's office. Phone counseling has many uses, for people who don't have access to transportation or therapists within their area - to people suffering from severe anxiety or depression who need someone to speak to right away. Visit Phone-Counseling.org, for more information.