Online Counselling refers to sessions that take place either via some form of video conferencing service, such as Zoom, or sessions that are held on the telephone.
For many, the convenience of being able to conduct the therapy from the comfort of their own home is seen as a big advantage.
I am a member of the Association of Counselling and Therapy Online (ACTO). This means I have undertaken specialised training to work more effectively with clients either on video or telephone. I felt this was essential at a time when people are preferring to have their therapy from home. Although a majority of my work is still face to face, you can be confident that I am fully trained to still offer you the very best therapy if you prefer to conduct your sessions remotely
How do we start Online Counselling?
The process is made as simple and stress free as possible for you.
Well in advance of our agreed session time I will email you with the instructions on how to start the software we are going to use.
You will not need to download anything to your computer. You will simply click on the link that I send you and it will automatically open up everything you need.
The session will be password protected so you will receive that at the same time.
I know what it is like to try new technology for the first time so I will ensure I explain things in the simplest terms possible, just in case you are concerned in that respect.
If you need a little extra time or help in adjusting your own display to get it just right then I can walk you through that too.
We will then have the counselling session just as if we were talking face to face.
For telephone counselling the process is simply as it suggests. We speak on the telephone. We will have our pre-arranged time slot and I call you when it's time to start.
Online Counselling has been around for a long time but it seems that people were not necessarily aware of it until we were all forced to 'social distance'. It was then that many therapists and clients fully realised the potential of Online Counselling and it is set to become just as common as the more traditional face to face. It is equally effective as any other form of counselling and, for some people, even more so.
Frequently asked questions
Is Online Counselling secure?
I use Zoom software to conduct the sessions. It's the same platform that the British Government uses for it's cabinet meetings and conference calls.
What about privacy while we are talking?
Confidentiality and privacy are my number one priorities for any counselling client, no matter how the sessions are conducted. For online sessions I will be in a private room, using earphones so that you cannot be overheard at my end and also ensuring my own voice cannot be eavesdropped on.
What if we get disconnected?
In the event of a technology failure I will immediately try to reconnect with you on the same device we had previously been using. If our sessions had been via video chat and we cannot re-establish our connection I will call you. If that does not work and I have your mobile number I will try text message. Finally, if that is unsucccessful I will email you.
Is Online Counselling as good as Face to Face?
There are many factors that go into whether counselling is effective. For many people, being able to stay at home, where they feel safe, means they feel more relaxed and at ease about exploring their problems.
Can we have Couples Counselling online?
As long as we are using the Video software, absolutely. The same procedures are followed as with personal counselling. You will sit there together with me on the screen working with you.
Does it matter where I live?
If, like me, you live in the UK, then it doesn't matter which part of the UK you are. As long as we can establish the connection, the counselling can happen.
Can I switch to Online Counselling if we have started face to face sessions?
No problem at all. As long as it's arrangeed in advance to ensure availability and continuity, we will work in the way that best suits your needs.
Do I need a specially qualified Online Counsellor?
The short answer is no. However, a counsellor that has undertaken specific additional training for working online, such as myself, may have a better appreciation for the differences and how they can adversely affect a client's therapy. Having this extra level of knowledge and awareness means they could be better placed to provide the most effective therapy for those preferring to work online.