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"Hi, my name is Alex. Anything you would like to tell me about yourself, I would be very happy to hear."
That was the first thing that I wrote in iCarol, the online chat service that we use at IMAlive to respond to suicidal patients. I have to do four more trial chats and then submit them to the QPR Institute for evaluation. After that, I will be a certified online counselor.
The chat went okay but I can tell that there are some areas that I should improve on. I hit all of the points on the form but I should probably take my time when it comes to the referral section.
Also, it’s kind of hard not to get too wrapped up in what the person is saying. I think that by allowing them to talk openly, I can answer most of the questions that we need to document. The problem is when I become more concerned about the situation than coming up with a “solution.”
I feel like the solution is sometimes fake. Odds are, there won’t be a single solution. Pointing them in the right direction feels good though and being able to share their pain for a little moment is also rewarding.
Regardless, I look forward to more practice chats and getting trained in taking phone calls.