Six years ago I began to extend my face-to-face counseling practice to include people who are beyond my geographic location. I have done this by making my practice known throughout the Internet and by using the telephone as the medium for my counseling, teaching, and mentoring. Over this length of time, I have had the opportunity and privilege of counseling people not only within my own state of California, but also from Australia, England, Ireland, Japan, Pakistan, Mexico, Africa, Afghanistan, Hawaii, Alaska, and several other states within the USA. My clients are now equally distributed between face-to-face counseling and worldwide telephone counseling.
When I first started telephone counseling with clients, I was concerned that not having visual cues from clients and not being able to have an immediate physical presence with them might make the counseling and training difficult, less productive, and therefore, less beneficial. However, just the opposite has occured. Over these years, I have found that my telephone counseling clients are equal to, and sometimes out-distance, my face-to-face clients in their ability 1) to quickly learn the breathing and mindfulness techniques associated with the bodily forms of seated and engaged meditation, 2) to implement the behavioral and cognitive skills of stress counseling with effectiveness and competency, 3) to actualize and refine their daily practice of personal and interpersonal growth, 4) to work insight fully with their character development and spiritual integration, 5) to expand their consciousness and freedom of choice even amidst conditioned patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior, 6) to accept the change, impermanence, and wisdom of their only moment body, 7) and to open themselves with courage, faith, and integrity to their journey of life transformation. Thus, I have found working with clients by telephone can be just as effective, and sometimes more effective, than face-to-face counseling, training, and mentoring. The only draw back and regret that I have found thus far is my own inability to speak in the beauty of other world languages. Because of my own ignorance of other international languages, my global clients are limited to those who are able to speak the English language with some degree of fluency.