As society embraces high-tech healthcare, more and more practitioners are adapting to meet the growing demand for online counseling and e-therapy. From couples counseling and CBT to talk therapy and MBSR, it’s now possible for clients to get guidance in a way that’s affordable, accessible, and most vitally, professional.
If you’re one of the many counselors who’s considered offering their services digitally, this article provides an overview of how doing so will improve the way you help others, as well as a step-by-step guide to getting started with your own counseling software.
Before you dive in, we recommend testing out Quenza’s online counseling software for 30 days for only $1, and access all of its counseling tools.
Quenza’s user-friendly features will help you share HIPAA-compliant interventions and treatments under your professional brand – so that you can take your practice online today.
How To Become The Best Possible Counselor
Whether you’re starting your own private counseling practice or if you are new to blended care, standing out in your field requires certain skills.
For online counseling, specifically, these include soft skills like:
- Trustworthiness: this invites your clients to open up and engage in dialogue,
- Empathy: such as the ability to listen actively, see things from your client’s perspective, and offer new points of view,
- Emotional awareness: or an understanding of how your own words and non-verbal cues influence others, and
- Emotional compartmentalization: the ability to maintain professional boundaries that will allow you to help others more effectively.
Professional practice also involves hard skills, such as:
- Practical communication skills: which will help you build rapport and a productive therapeutic alliance with your clients,
- Note-taking and record-keeping skills: so you can manage your therapy notes in a way that’s HIPAA-compliant and confidential, and
- A strong understanding of ethics.
With years of practice and experience under their belts, these skills can often be second nature to many professional counselors.
But when moving to an online service model, however, even can be somewhat concerned about how to best translate their skills into a digital context.
It’s precisely where digital counseling solutions can play a hugely helpful role.
7 Benefits of Using Digital Counseling Solutions
By helping you apply your skills to their full potential – even without face-to-face interaction – digital counseling solutions are online tools that can enhance your professional efficacy.
For example, using a counseling solution or secure telehealth system can help you:
- Ensure HIPAA compliance: By giving you a centralized, secure place to store therapy notes, practice forms, and assessment results.
- Design online counseling solutions more efficiently: Using specialized tools for personalized exercises, assessments, and interventions is much less time consuming when frequently used content can be saved as templates.
- Share your unique content: Such as your own videos, audio tracks, images, and downloadables.
- Stay in touch with clients between sessions: E.g. with live chat, email, or notifications.
- Build your brand: Good counseling solutions will include features that help you grow your business with outreach programs, promotional content, and more effective client management.
- Monitor client progress and performance: Providing you with everything you need for client tracking and data storage, so you can offer timely feedback and build client engagement.
- Reduce your administrative burden: Sharing materials, treatments, and lessons can greatly reduce paperwork, as well as email back and forth.
Essentially, online counseling software can act as an all-in-one solution that frees up the time you spend on routine, non-core tasks.
This way, you’re more able to concentrate on more specialized, value-creating activities which move the needle for your business.
Counseling Tools: The Best Software For Counselors
Digital counseling solutions are online tools that can enhance your professional efficacy by applying your existing skills to their full potential – virtually.
So what are the specific counseling tools that you should be looking out for if you’re new to online practice?
If you’re on the hunt for the best software, some key features to look out for include:
- Form and Activity Builders – for designing digital interventions, counseling solutions, and practice documents
- Care Pathway Tools – which can organize your content into programs, packages, or treatments, even schedule them for automated delivery
- Live Chat – for real-time interactions with those you help
- Progress Tracking Tools – giving you an overview of your clients’ results, where they might need help or motivation, and how you can improve your content
- White Label Features – for sharing your content under your own practice brand
- Client Engagement Tools – that help you manage your client interactions while building motivation between sessions for better results, and
- A Client Portal – so that your clients can receive and interact with your counseling solutions conveniently, from any connected device.
Quenza is one example of a purpose-built counseling software that includes all these features – as a specialized blended care software, it’s also HIPAA-compliant, lightweight, and easy to use.
In the next section, we’ll use some of its counseling tools to show you how they can help you realize the benefits we’ve just looked at. And ultimately, run your practice from any tablet, smartphone, or laptop.
Using Quenza As An Online Counseling Platform
Ready to use Quenza for professional online counseling with your clients?
As a GDPR- and HIPAA-compliant counseling solution, all communication that takes place between you and your patients on Quenza’s platform is securely encrypted. This applies to the assessments and exercises you send, your clients’ responses, and all the therapy notes you create and store on your web or mobile app:
For additional security, your Quenza mobile app is locked with your own private password as shown.
Simply unlock your smartphone app to access your Dashboard to add clients, access all your Quenza’s features, and run your practice from any connected device.
If you’re new to e-psychology or online counseling, creating your own intake forms is by far one of the best ways to get started.
- Informed Consent Documents
- Coaching Agreements
- Telehealth Consent Forms
- Initial Assessments, and more means you can send them securely in a few clicks to any and all clients you onboard.
Very quickly, this can greatly streamline your intake sessions.
With Quenza’s drag-and-drop Activity Builder, these are quick to create by dragging and dropping custom elements from your Builder menu to insert text-based fields for information, check boxes and drop-down menus for questions, or even copy-pasting from any existing Word templates on your computer.
As shown above, Quenza formats these automatically for a readable, click-through experience on your counseling clients’ private Portal.
If you’re designing from scratch, you might create your own therapy notes templates, such as SOAP notes or BIRP notes structures – all of these can be branded with your corporate logo for a professional finish:
Simply upload your image files using Quenza’s White Label feature, shown above, to create professional-looking documents that your clients can download as PDFs when they receive an Activity, survey, assessment, exercise, lesson or form.
Pre-Made Exercises, Activities, and Assessments
Your Activity Builder is ideal for creating unique counseling exercises, which can be designed from scratch or modified from Quenza’s free Expansion Library of templates, shown below:
In your Expansion Library, you’ll be able to browse by Activity type to find Lessons, Reflections, Evaluations, and more based on your clients’ treatment plan.
To filter by application, browse different Tags such as Coping, Acceptance, Awareness, and other key counseling areas. As with your custom Activities, all modified counseling templates can be upgraded with your own unique videos, MP3s, images, or downloadables, as pictured:
Including your Vimeo or YouTube videos can be a particularly useful way to engage clients if you’re sharing psychoeducational interventions for the start of a counseling journey, or demonstrating exercises like Deep Breathing or Progressive Muscle Relaxation with a practical element to them.
Craft Counseling Pathways
All of your therapy materials can be shared instantly with clients, or you can assemble them into treatment pathways using Quenza’s specialized Pathway Builder, shown below.
Here, you can create entire care pathways from intake and assessment to evaluation, discharge, and feedback.
To create a program, course, or treatment plan, for example, simply head into the Pathway Builder to pick the steps you’d like to include from your Activity Library.
Once you’ve decided on the most relevant flow for your activities, you can schedule them for delivery by choosing the custom intervals pictured above.
This is especially useful for activities like behavior diaries, mood trackers, habit logs, or any regularly recurring exercises. To help you stay on top of your client engagement, you’ll find all their results and progress are updated in real time in your Dashboard, shown here:
This is a useful way to know whether it’s time to prompt your client, or check in using Quenza Chat.
4+ Unique Tools Quenza Offers To Counselors
If this all seems like a lot to take in, don’t be put off.
Creating all your activities, assessments, homework items, lessons, treatments, and more is all done using Quenza’s user-friendly but versatile counseling tools; in a nutshell, they are your:
- Activity Builder – for digitalizing existing content or building personalized from-scratch Activities
- Pathway Builder – where you can assemble your Activities into a sequence for automated delivery
- Quenza Chat – your live, private, and secure way to check in with clients
- Expansion Library – your go-to for validated assessments, commonly used counseling templates, and other practical exercises.
Creating a digital version of any existing counseling materials you have is a brilliant way to get familiar with your online counseling software. If you’re looking for new exercises to create, you’ll find some inspiring templates in our article on Using Digital Tools For Psychoeducation Therapy Interventions.
The right counseling software can vastly amplify the impact of your expertise and experience when you’re helping clients – so don’t be put off by a confusing product search.
Take a little time to get used to the new tools and features of your chosen system, and in no time you’ll open up a world of ways to share your own online solutions.
We hope you enjoyed this guide. Why not share your own engaging Activities with Quenza’s easy-to-use online counseling tools when you start your $1 trial?
Our counseling software will help you treat your clients securely and professionally online, and give you all you need to help them enhance their wellbeing with your unique solutions.