Over the last few years, online counselling has grown rapidly mainly due to clients needing more flexibility in order to be able to attend therapy. However, with the spread of the global pandemic and since the first lockdown in March 2020, this became a necessity for us all, therapists and clients. Like many other professions, we have had to change and adapt quickly, and with the help from national guidance and our professional bodies, we have managed to continue to provide access to therapeutic help with the same level of support and care as previously.
There are several benefits of online/telephone counselling, some of which are: accessibility – more evening and weekend sessions available at the moment due to higher flexibility in working patterns from home for therapists as well as clients, people with disabilities, phobias or some anxiety disorders may find it easier to access online therapy; convenience – not having to travel for therapy, can save you time and money; privacy – some clients can attend therapy from their own room without having to explain to others where they are going for the next hour or so.
Online counselling works on the same principle as face-to-face, whereby we can arrange to have a quick telephone conversation before booking an assessment or arrange the assessment as a first step. Following this, if we decide to work together, we will agree on days and times for sessions. The rules of cancelling sessions or confidentiality are the same as face-to-face counselling and these will be explained in details during our first session. Currently, I see clients on Skype, Zoom and over the phone, and the choice of medium will be yours.
Some things you need to consider before pursuing online counselling are:
- You need to have stable and secure internet service
- Working device (fully charged or with a charger nearby)
- Prior to our session, please make sure your audio and video are working
- A private place from which you can have the session
- Make sure you will not be disturbed by family members, flatmates or pets.
- Phones and other devices should be off or silent.
If you are technology averse and you are not used to all of the above, please feel free to call so we can discuss the best way I can support you.