Coronavirus and Online Counseling: Special Report with Clay Cockrell

Coronavirus and Online Counseling: Special Report with Clay Cockrell

How are you able to run your private practice in a time where people are afraid to leave their house because of Coronavirus? Are you looking for a safe way to connect with your clients with a global pandemic on our doorstep? How can online counseling help you expand your practice and service your clients during a time they need it the most?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks to Clay Cockrell about online counseling and how you can continue serving your clients by moving your counseling online during these uncertain times brought on by the Coronavirus and beyond.

Meet Clay Cockrel

Clay Cockrell, LCSW is the founder of – a listing directory with the mission of helping clients all over the world to find the therapist or life coach that will best meet their needs.  The site also works through their educational resources and podcasts to help counselors work online in an ethical, responsible and legal manner.  This is a site for online therapists developed by an online therapist.  Originally from Kentucky, Clay moved to New York City with his wife in 1997 and started the concept of Walk and Talk Therapy – he walks with his clients in Central Park instead of meeting in an office.  He has been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS’s The Doctors.  He has also been profiled in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio.

Find out more about Clay on his website and LinkedIn.

In This Podcast


  • Getting started with online counseling
  • Things to remember when getting set up
  • Why online counseling is important
  • Things to do during a slump
  • Online counseling resources to look into

Getting started with online counseling

Therapy is hard enough, it’s just challenging, it’s hard. Going to therapy should not be.

You can get started with online counseling by:

  • Setting up a video chat program (not Skype or Facetime) that is HIPAA compliant: (no download required), Vsee (download required) Zoom (Zoom needs to sign a BAA with you first) and iTherapy.
  • If you have an existing client who has completed all your traditional paperwork you would also want them to sign a Release of Information Consent Form which states that you will be meeting online. Find paperwork support here.
  • Set up a digital signature on Adobe.
  • Have a secure payment method set up.

Get listed at for free by clicking here (note that if you choose the free option you will need to have a certified badge on your website).

Things to remember when getting set up

  • Make sure that you do not have a window in your background, instead make sure you have lighting positioned towards your face.
  • Ensure that the area behind you is professional and not untidy.
  • Use wired earphones as it helps with connection and sound.
  • When you are meeting with your client suggest to them that they close all other browser windows (same applies to you) so that you can have a great connection.
  • Ideally use a wired connection instead of your wifi to ensure that your connection is steady.

Why online counseling is important

People are in need of your services, they are afraid, they are panicking. They need to talk to their therapist, you need to have an income, so this is a viable alternative for face-to-face in office counseling.

  • Therapeutically it is more effective because of the comfort level where clients are sitting in their own space and their defenses are down.
  • With the shortage of mental health professionals in the world you are able to work with clients internationally instead of only just working with clients in the state you are registered.

Things to do during a slump

  • Create a blog
  • Add a welcome video to your website
  • Start a YouTube channel
  • Work on a podcast
  • Join BNI

Online counseling resources to look into

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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