Online Distance Career Counseling

Online distance career counseling is coaching that is provided at a distance and may accommodate your busy schedule better than traditional office appointments. Career Directions will use a combination of phone and online communications with you throughout the duration of your career counseling process.

All services provided in McWillie Career Directions’ traditional in-person counseling are also available to online distance clients.

  • Individual coaching sessions to clarify career goals
  • Administration and interpretation of formal assessments: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Strong Interest Inventory, FIRO/B Leadership Assessment
  • Informal assessments and skills identification
  • Utilization of career-planning and occupational information systems to research career choices
  • Employment and labor market information from local, state, and national resources
  • Exploratory activities and assignments related to careers of interest
  • Development of an individualized career plan, targeted resume, and cover letter
  • Training in job search strategies and skills

Counseling services may be provided through electronic means as requested by the client, with the client dictating the electronic medium that is most preferred or convenient.

Distance counseling may encompass individual counseling sessions, group counseling sessions, workshops, and seminars. Methods of communication using encrypted technology could include but are not limited to:

  • Email
  • Phone calls
  • Video conferencing or video calling service

Clients will be informed of the encrypted methods used to ensure the security of counselor/client communications, as well as the potential hazards of utilizing distance counseling methodologies that are unsecured. Clients will also be informed as to what type of session data is preserved and for how long, as well as the procedures and permissions required to receive and release confidential client information to third parties via the internet or other electronic sources.

Clients should be aware that there are differences between face-to-face counseling sessions versus distance counseling sessions, such as the presence/absence of verbal and nonverbal cues, that may affect the counseling process. The counselor will ensure that the client is educated on potential misunderstandings that could arise from the chosen counseling medium, such as lack of visual cues/body language in telephone counseling sessions.

As with face-to-face counseling, the counselor/client relationship will include:

  • Verification of client identity, which can include, but is not limited to, using code words, numbers, graphics, or other nondescript identifiers during electronic communications
  • Informed consent (to include counselor’s distance counseling credentials, physical location of practice, and contact information)
  • Confidentiality, including individuals who may have authorized or unauthorized access to client records and transmissions (colleagues, employees, information technologists, etc.)
  • Risks and benefits of engaging in distance counseling, including possible denial of insurance benefits for distance counseling services rendered
  • Intake forms with required signatures, such as consent to treat, release of information, etc. (these may be scanned or faxed)
  • Fees and financial arrangements
  • Procedures for contact outside of scheduled sessions and anticipated response time
  • Alternate means of communication and service delivery as needed in the event of a technology failure
  • Identifying local emergency services, support services/resources and appropriately trained professionals if needed
  • Discussion of cultural and/or language differences that may affect delivery of services

Betty McWillie is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Tennessee. In the event that the counselor provides counseling services electronically to an out-of-state client, it is the counselor’s responsibility to ensure compliance with the laws and rules of the other state, as well as with the state of Tennessee.