Redeemer Counseling Newsletter

Remote Counseling: Preparing for Emergencies

Remote meetings are now a part of life since the pandemic hit over a year ago. As pastors and ministry leaders that give care to people over the internet, it is important to consider the best practices of counseling online. Due to social distancing, many live in relative isolation or might have moved more than once over the past 15 months. Because people in our care have fewer direct physical connections with others, it is important to think through issues of safety ahead of time.

Since the pandemic has begun to decline, there has also been an alarming rise in the need for mental health care and soul care. Not only is there an increase in symptoms such as anxiety, depression and trauma, but there has also been an increase in the severity of symptoms. After so much grief and loss, many people are wrestling with the deeper questions of their personal identity and the meaning of their lives. When such topics come up in online counseling, it is important to screen and care well for those who may be in danger to themselves. They might make comments such as, "I just don't see the point in life anymore and why I'm here," or "I wish I could just disappear."

When people confess dark thoughts or feelings in a session, it can be overwhelming and frightening to know what to do, especially if it is remote. This month's toolkit will be a brief overview of how to be prepared and care for people that have suicidal thoughts when you are counseling them online.

Jyothi James, Counselor LMHC

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TOOLKIT

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