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  Frequently Asked Questions  
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  Cancellations     Terms & Conditions     PC Requirements     Greenwich Mean Time  
   
 
   
   
  Frequently Asked Questions
   
 

Q: How effective is Online Counselling?

A: Online counseling is growing fast. More & more therapists are using actually this new tool. Face to face sessions will always be best practice for some problems such as working with suicidal people or people who are actively self-harming. Otherwise, it's an effective alternative to use. Visiting a therapist for the first time it can be a time of some anxiety. Face to face sessions sometimes can seem worse than the problem itself. This can inhibit an individual from seeking a therapy when an issue arises. Being able to stay unseen by the therapist for some people can facilitate the process of seeking a therapy sooner and thus find help faster. Entering therapy in the early stages of any personal difficulty will allow for faster results and less time needed in therapy.

This is an effective way of talking to your therapist being in the comfort of your own setting, Online interaction also gives you the option to reflect or re read your communication with the therapist.

Some people tend to feel embarrassed or not motivated enough to come to the counseling session if it is a face to face.
Counselling online it's convenient, low cost and most importantly comfortable! 

Q: Is Online counselling Confidential?

A: Online Counselling is confidential and it is important to understand the term confidentiality, meaning what information is discussed in the session is not discussed or spoken about in any other setting, because it is a professional secret. The counsellor at all times considers the exchanges confidential & acts accordingly. Dr Karastergiou has a strong commitment and dedication to help people through difficult and challenging times in their lives in a professional strictly confidential manner.. She has been providing this online therapy service the last six years One of the first therapists to use online services, having a very good understanding concerning them.

Q: What Program is used for Online Counseling?

A: The Skype program is used to conduct the counseling sessions. It's a program that is free to use and it's easy to sign up to. It's a popular program and the majority of people are familiar with it. Skype is a free software that allows you to call, chat, make video calls through the internet connection. The best part is that you can make calls for free. For more information and download, please click here.

Q: What payment methods are used for online counseling?

A: PayPal as the system of payment. PayPal is an easy and secure system of payment.  The option of payment by direct deposit is given as well.

Q: Is online counseling for everyone?

A: Online counselling is catered to suit anyone who would like to seek help. Some people may prefer face to face counseling as opposed to online counseling. It will be up to the individual to decide. Online services are not suitable when you are experiencing acute distress or when you recognise that you are in danger of hurting yourself and/or others. In such instances, please call an emergency number, head for a nearest hospital with A&E (Accident & Emergency) facility, or contact your GP, family doctor, or your family member as soon as possible.

Q: Do I have to tell the counselor everything?

A: During the counseling session you may talk about anything you would like, It is up to you to decide what you would like to talk about. You may say to the counselor what you feel uncomfortable discussing. Sometimes though subjects that seem painful or problematic at a first glance once shared with the councelor become easy & banal. Liberating the person from their weight.

Q: what does a normal session look like, especially the first one?

A: Sessions are normally 60 minutes long and are usually once a week, but it is possible to schedule more or less frequent sessions depending on your needs. Some people come in for one-off session to work on a specific issue. Others check back in every few months or so for mental health balance.

In the initial session, your presenting issues , your needs and hope for the sessions, what to look out for during therapy will be discussed. Practical details will be negociated, like the decision to start working together (fact that will be reviewed periodically), payment, discussion and agreement on the form of the joint work, etc.

Following the unique style and experience of each person from moment to moment, trusting the inherent wisdom in you and in the process itself, each session is a creative process and may include one or more of the following approaches where appropriate: talking therapy, silence, art-making, dream analysis & interpretation, guided imagery, movement, role playing

Q: Do I have to stay in counselling for a long time?

A: Not necessarily. For some issues, it is preferable to work over a period of time. It is also possible to work for an agreed time period with specific objectives. Some people book for an occasional single session for a short consultation, a check-in for mental health maintainance... Others prefer regular sessions to use them as reminder and anchor for ongoing self-growth.

Q: What is a Skype session?

A: Skype sessions are just like phone sessions with the difference that if you have a webcam, you can also have video conferencing sessions where you can see your therapist & vice versa.

Q: I am under 18 can you help me?

A: No, the permission of your parent or guardian is needed before.

Q: What happens if I am late?

A: Normally we just continue until what is left of the allotted time is up.

   
   
 
 
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  Fees
   
 

The fee for the initial consultation online is 120.00 euros for a 2 hour session.
The hourly online counseling fee is 60.00 euros per 60 minutes.

This fee is for online counseling or psychotherapy, phone counseling or Raw Essence Coaching Sessions.

Payment is to be made through PayPal at a fee according to the length of time of the service provided (therapy session online, raw essence coaching, retreat, seminar, workshop etc). Payment may also be made through direct deposit. It has to be made before a session begins.

   
 

The fee for the face-to-face initial consultation is 180.00 euros for a 2 hour session.
The hourly face-to-face fee is 90.00 euros per 60 minutes.

(Online Counseling is inexpensive in comparison to face-to-face counselling)

   
   
 
 
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  Payment for online/phone sessions
   
 

The current rate for a 60 minute session is 60 euros.
(For the latest exchange rate for your currency, please go to Yahoo Finance.)

Payment is to be made through Paypal, at a fee of 60.00 euros per one hour service (60 minutes).
Payment may also be made through direct deposit.
Payment is needed to be made before a session begins.

You can click the link below to pay directly through Paypal, or your credit card, in a secure online environment. Please fill in the appropriate time that your session will take in the Paypal page, so that you will be charged correctly.

 
   
  Once you have paid, please send an email to mariakarastergiou@gmail.com, with your payment confirmation, and write "session payment confirmation for (date of your session)" in the email's subject box. This keeps your email from being treated as spam. Please note that your appointment is only valid once payment is confirmed.
   
   
 
 
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  Booking
   
  For booking an online or phone session please follow those 2 steps:
   
  1. Click here to book the preferred date and time for your session.
   
  2. Please email Dr. Maria Karastergiou at mariakarastergiou@gmail.com with the following information:

  • your name and your Skype name
  • phone number where I can reach you on the day of session
  • address and email address
  • day and time for your session
  • a very brief summary (less than 300 words) of the reason you would like to have a session/consultation

Please write "session enquiry" or "session request" in the email’s subject box. This keeps your email from being treated as spam. I normally answer emails within two days. If three days pass, and you have not heard from me, please be patient and try again. It’s possible that the Internet provider failed to deliver either your email or mine.

Please note that the appointment is only valid after the payment is confirmed. 

Once your payment confirmation is received the appointment is complete.

If I feel I cannot be of support for your issues or conditions, I will suggest an alternative or refer you to a professional who would be of better service to you.
When you are experiencing an acute body symptom or you recognize that you are in danger of hurting yourself and/or others, please call an emergency number, head for a nearest hospital with A&E (Accident & Emergency) facility, or contact your GP, family doctor, or your family member as soon as possible. 
   
   
 
 
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  Cancellations
   
 

Payment can be made by Pay Pal before the beginning of each session. Please give at least 48 hours cancellation notice. Cancelled sessions with less than 48 hour notice or missed sessions are charged fully, with no refund, unless it involves circumstances that both parts agree are an emergency.

   
   
 
 
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  Terms and Conditions
   
  The following Initial Therapy Session Agreement document contains important information about professional therapy and counseling services provided by Dr Karastergiou. Please read it carefully and jot down any questions you might have so that they can be discussed in the first session. After signing this document, it will represent an agreement between you & Dr Karastergiou. This is a requirement for her to begin either online or in office therapy sessions or counseling.
   
   
  Initial Therapy Session Agreement
   
 

SERVICES
Therapy is not easily described in general statements. It varies depending on the personalities, the various methods of the therapist, the particular issues an individual brings forward, etc. There are many different methods however, any effective therapy treatment requires participation and effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be effective, you may be required to complete homework assignments in-between sessions. There is much empirical evidence suggesting that psychotherapy offers many benefits for people who work consciously towards harmony, wellness awareness. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, significant reductions in feelings of distress, harmony.

The first session will include a 60 minute initial consultation assessment session that will assist you in determining if you are comfortable working with Dr Karastergiou, as well as whether she believes she can assist you with your issues & concerns. If both parts agree to proceed, the next session will involve an evaluation of your needs (assessment diagnosis, and treatment plan). By the end of the evaluation, she will provide you with a brief summary of her impressions, as well as what the joint work will include. You evaluate this information along with your own opinions of whether you feel comfortable working with her. Therapy involves a large commitment of time, money, and energy, so you should be comfortable with and confident in the therapist's ability to assist you in evolving.If you have questions about her procedures, they can be discussed whenever they arise.

MEETINGS
Once there's an agreement to proceed with therapy from both parts, you will usually schedule one 60-minute session per week. However, session's schedules will vary according to each individual's need. Once an appointment time is scheduled, you will be expected to pay the session unless you provide notice of cancellation minimum 48 hours in advance (unless there's an agreement that you were unable to attend due to circumstances beyond your control. - If possible, the appointment will be rescheduled).

PROFESSIONAL FEES
The fee for the initial consultation online is 120.00 euros (a 2 hr session). The counselling fee is 60.00 euros per 60 minutes. Payment is to be made through PayPal at a fee according to the length of time of the service provided (therapy session online, raw essence coaching, retreat, seminar, workshop etc). Payment may also be made through direct deposit. It has to be made before a session begins.

The fee for the face-to-face initial consultation is 180.00 euros (a 2 hr session). The face-to-face fee is 90.00 euros per 60 minutes.

Online Counselling or Psychotherapy, Phone counseling or Raw Essence Coaching Sessions are: 60.00 euros /60 minutes:  
Face to face counseling : 90.00 euros/ 60 minutes

Payment is to be made through www.paypal.com at a fee of 60.00 euros for one hour service (60 minutes). Payment may also be made through direct deposit. Payment is needed to be made before a session begins.

Please note that the appointment is only valid once payment is confirmed. Once your payment confirmation is received the appointment is complete. Please write "session payment confirmation" in the email's subject box, in your email to Dr. Maria Karastergiou with your booking details. This keeps your email from being treated as spam.

PAYMENT AND CANCELLATIONS
Payment can be made by Pay Pal at the beginning of each session. Please give at least 48 hours cancellation notice. Please note that cancelled sessions with less than 48 hour notice or missed sessions are charged fully, with no refund, unless it involves circumstances that both parts agree are an emergency.

BILLING AND PAYMENTS
You will be expected to pay for each session in advance. Payment schedules for other professional services will be agreed to when they are requested.

CONTACTING Dr KARASTERGIOU
She's frequently not immediately available by telephone because she's not taking calls during sessions. You may leave a message on the telephone (0030) 2106779293. When unavailable, the telephone is answered by an answering service voice mail. She will make every effort to return your call. It will be returned on the same day, with the exception of weekends and holidays. If you are difficult to reach, please inform of some times when you will be available. If you are unable to reach Dr Kaeastergiou and feel that you cannot wait for her to return your call, please call 911 for emergency assistance. If she will be unavailable for an extended time, she will provide you with the name of a colleague to contact, if you request so in writing before her departure.

PROFESSIONAL RECORDS
The laws and standards of the profession require that a therapist keeps treatment records. You are entitled to receive a brief summary, or send them to a mental health professional of your choice.

MINORS
If you are under eighteen years of age, please be aware that the law may provide your parents the right to examine your treatment records. Dr Karastergiou requests an agreement from parents that they give up access to your records. If they agree, she will provide them only with general information about her work with you, unless she feels there is a high risk that you will seriously harm yourself or someone else. In this case, she will notify them of her concern. She will also provide them with a summary of your treatment when it is complete. Before giving them any information, she will discuss the matter with you, if possible, and do her best to handle any objections you may have with what she's prepared to discuss.

CONFIDENTIALITY
In general, law protects the privacy of all communications between a patient and a therapist, and Dr Karastergiou can only release information about her work to others with your written permission. However, there are a few exceptions to confidentiality. In most legal proceedings, you have the right to prevent her from providing any information about your treatment. In some proceedings involving child custody & abuse and those in which your emotional condition is an important issue, a judge may order her testimony if he/she determines that the issues demand it.

There are some situations in which she's legally obligated to take action to protect others from harm, even if she has to reveal some information about a patient's treatment. For example, if she believes that a child [elderly person, or disabled person] is being abused, she must file a report with the appropriate state agency. If she believes that a patient is threatening serious bodily harm to another, she [may be] required to take protective actions. These actions may include notifying the potential victim, contacting the police, or seeking hospitalization for the patient. If the patient threatens to harm himself/herself, she may be obligated to seek hospitalization for him/her or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection.

Although these situations have rarely occurred in her practice, if a similar situation occurs, she will make every effort to discuss it with you before taking any action. She may occasionally find it helpful to consult other professionals about a case. During a consultation, she makes every effort to avoid revealing the identity of the person. The consultant is also legally bound to keep the information confidential. If you don't object, she will not tell you about these consultations While this written summary of exceptions to confidentiality should prove helpful in informing you about potential problems, it is important that there's a discussion on any questions or concerns that you may have at the next meeting.

EMERGENCY
All counselors and psychotherapists working through any medium are required by law to break the confidentiality if they feel that clients are in danger of hurting themselves or someone else. In case that you are expressing a need for emergency support during your work, your permission will be requested to contact an emergency, your medical doctor or a family member and/or recommend alternative forms of support to psychotherapy / counseling to ensure the best level of care for you.

Online services are not suitable when you are experiencing acute distress or when you recognise that you are in danger of hurting yourself and/or others. In such instances, please call an emergency number, head for a nearest hospital with A&E (Accident & Emergency) facility, or contact your GP, family doctor, or your family member as soon as possible.

DATA PROTECTION
At the end of each session, all material is removed from the computer and treated in complete confidence & stored securely with no identifying names on a password protected memory stick.

DISCLAIMER
This website is provided for the purpose of providing counseling & therapy to individuals. The service is for anybody as long as the individual is able to understand and acknowledge what is involved in this service and is willing to follow terms and conditions.

LIABILITY
Dr Karastergiou holds no liability if the connection with the website becomes unavailable. She does not accept any liability for any injury, loss, costs, damage or false information given. She holds no resonsibility to a user's computer system, software and data technical difficulty occuring during the online session.

Dr Karastergiou will email each individual an informed consent/therapy contract form to sign before online therapy takes place. Individuals are asked to fax back the form to Fax Number: (0030) 2106779293 or scan and email the form to mariakarastergiou@gmail.com. Online therapy will begin after the form has been signed and sent back to her.

COPYRIGHT
The material on this website is copyright to Dr Maria Karastergiou.

   
   
 
 
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  PC Requirements
   
   
 

In order to have online therapy video sessions with Dr Karastergiou, your PC needs to be equipped with the following:

  • The Skype software. You can download it free-of-charge from this link: download Skype for Windows
  • A web camera, preferably one without a built-in microphone. If you do not have one, you can purchase it for under 25 euros and install it in minutes.
  • A headset (preferable), or microphone & speakers. A head set is recommended, some people have poor hearing and turning up the speakers can risk others overhearing the conversation, so by using headphones this helps remove this possibility and the sound is usually better quality.
  • High-speed internet connection, for the sound and video. The recommended minimum bandwidth is 512Kb/sec downstream and 256Kb/sec upstream. If you are not sure what these mean, you can call your ISP (Internet Service Provider) support desk and ask for help.
You can use the following links to test the speed of your internet connection:

Speedtest.net - The Global Broadband Speed Test
Speed Test - dslreports.com
Test My Connection Speed
Test My Connection for VoIP Quality
(You need to have Javascript enabled, in order to view this site and the menus correctly)

   
   
  IMPORTANT- Please read
   
 

A Skype call is secure and private, no one can pick up an extension phone and listen in. All calls are now encrypted to a very high universal standard with Skype. Anywhere you can connect to the Internet, you can connect via the software, over a laptop or other Internet enabled device like a mobile phone.

But you must understand that there is some risk to privacy if you do not use security software and understand the implications of sharing a computer with others. You are responsible for securing your equipment. Keeping your PC up to date regarding the software you use and the antivirus and firewall security is important.

You must also understand that online communications are reliant on software and hardware and this can lead to an abrupt end to a session. This will never happen because the therapist has ended the call, but you need to remember that although this is very uncommon it is possible and must be understood that it is beyond any control that the therapist has.

   
   
 
 
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  Greenwich Mean Time
   
 

GMT is international time, basis of the world time clock. All appointments are set according to GMT.

Here is a list of Current local times around the globe.

Other resources for GMT:

GMT: Greenwich Mean Time - World Time / Time in every Time Zone

GMT time - Greenwich Mean Time

Greenwich Mean Time from Wikipedia

   
   
   
 
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