Do you offer therapy?
No, I do not offer psychotherapy; I offer personal counseling. I can provide you with referrals to psychotherapists in Switzerland and in the USA. My education, including my Master's degree, provided me a strong foundation to work as a therapist on which I can capitalize now in my work. As a counselor, gained professional training that equips me to handle various types of difficult situations and issues. Yet, at this point, what I offer is emotional support, a listening presence, and a reflective partner.
Is online counseling as effective as face-to-face counseling?
The effects of online psychotherapy outlasted the results of face-to-face counseling. At a study at the University of Zurich a group of 62 patients was divided in half. They found that depression was eased in 53% of those given online therapy, compared to 50% who had in-person counseling. Three months after, 57% of online patients showed no signs of depression compared to 42% with conventional therapy (Journal of Affective Disorders 2013)
Online therapy significantly lowered the number of hospital visits among veterans. In a four-year Johns Hopkins study that included close to 100,000 veterans, the number of days that patients were hospitalized dropped by 25 percent if they chose online counseling. This is slightly higher than the number of hospital visits experienced by patients who used face-to-face counseling. (Psychiatric Services, April 2012)
A Canadian study shows that online therapy delivers the same satisfaction at slightly less the cost. Patients in Ontario, Canada were assigned to face-to-face or live video counseling and experienced statistically the same clinical outcome and level of patient satisfaction. The only difference was that the cost of providing the online service was 10% less per patient. (American Psychiatric Association, 2007)
Online therapy may be an efficient way to provide PTSD treatment to a large group of people. A pilot study compared the effectiveness of online cognitive behavioral therapy and in-person supportive therapy in 45 Defense service members suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the September 11th attack. After eight weeks those receiving online therapy showed greater improvement. Six months after their first meeting those who had received online therapy continued to show improvement, in direct contrast to the in-person group. (American Journal of Psychiatry, November 2007)
Why might a non-religious/non-spiritual person benefit from Humanist/Interfaith Spiritual Care?
Good question. Spirituality can be defined in numerous ways. The definition of spirituality I got acquainted with in my spiritual care training and one that is prevalent today in spiritual care is very inclusive and open. Spirituality is defined as a universal and innate aspect of our humanness:
"Spirituality is the way you find meaning, hope, comfort, and inner peace in your life. Many people find spirituality through religion. Some people find it through music, art, or a connection with nature. Others find it in their values and principles." (American Academy of Family Physicians, 2000)
"Spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred." (Puchalski & al., 2009)
Each person has sources of strengths (partner, family, pet, music, arts, religion, nature, etc.) , things that matter to them. They are existential and individual. Particularly in challenging times, these sources can help us significantly to feel and get better, alleviate pain and discomfort. As a caregiver I aim to help individuals to get connected to your sources of strengths and to provide them time and a place to share their concerns, hopes and joys.
My Interfaith/Humanist approach and what I am here for as a caregiver is pretty much how Jason Callahan, the first nationally board-certified Humanist Chaplain describes beautifully in a podcast interview with Bart Campolo: "How many people are in this world? A really good chaplain speaks seven billion different languages (...). If prayer is the language that the person needs in order to be comforted, then that's what you use. (...) I am not threatened by religion. I work with religion and I embrace other people's faith for them."
What is your spiritual orientation? Are you religious? What is your worldview?
As much as I can imagine a world without supernaturalism, I can believe that something greater than ourselves does exist. From a theological perspective, I am a pluralist with an existential-humanistic approach to life. And, I feel very similar to the Transcendentalists like Thoreau and Emerson when being in nature. I feel connected to the universe/Ultimate/God.
when walking along the lake or beach, sauntering through meadows, and contemplating waves.
Ultimately, what concerns me the most is how I lead this life and how to make the best of it.
Cultivating kindness and compassion, and living with a sense of gratitude and wonder.