Online Counselling simply means connecting with a therapist via a computer, tablet or smart phone, using voice, video, email or messaging.
The right therapy for you
Research shows that successful outcomes in online therapy are similar to outcomes from face to face therapy. Outcomes are dependent on the quality of the relationship and the rapport that is built up between a client and a counsellor, rather than the type of therapy.
I have been working successfully in an ‘online’ capacity for around a decade. And although I know it can feel strange to change the way you participate in therapy, I would like to let you know that many people who have tried online counselling have been surprised by how ‘supported’ and ‘comfortable’ they have felt during sessions.
I offer online counselling sessions via a video link, such as Zoom or Skype. You will need a stable, high speed internet connection for this to be effective. And I recommend wearing headphones during sessions to aid with sound quality. You can decide whether you wish to connect with or without video.
Accessing counselling via the messaging element of Skype is an alternative method of contact and works well for those who feel at home using messaging apps.
I also offer email based sessions – Email based session are structured, they are good for those who are able to communicate well through the written word, and for people who are good at managing their time and responses. People who access therapy through email tend to work unsocial hours, have restraints on their time, have a weak or interrupted internet signal, are unable to access counselling any other way.
Setting up is important
It is necessary to establish some ground rules for online work, in order for your sessions not just to work, but to "work well…"
This means it's important that you find a quiet place to talk, free from distractions and somewhere you are not overheard. Connecting in a public space, a library for instance is not going to work. As already mentioned above, wearing of headphones will improve both confidentiality and the sound quality in session, because feedback, if you do not have earphones, is inevitable. It is also important that you are able to find time to dedicate to you sessions.
It is important to have a good internet connection. Many people are used to using Skype or Zoom for video chatting with family and friends may have experienced a weak signal or a complete drop out. This can happen less frequently from an internet provider. In keeping you secure in your online counselling session, it is better therefore, to use a home hub.
In case of any technical difficulties arising during the session, it is also important to have an alternative plan. Having a fixed alternative, whether that would be telephone or messaging, ensures your session continues and you are not left stranded.
I know the first step is often the hardest but be assured that I will do my best to support you throughout the process.