Counselling by e-mail - are you sitting comfortably?
Counselling comes in a variety of forms and delivery, possibly something to suit everyone these days.
A lot of the counselling that is available comes from the traditional one-to-one session in the consulting room, but this does not suit everybody. For some people the idea of talking about deep and often painful and upsetting issues with another person sat right there in front of them is uncomfortable and unsettling – too personal, too intrusive, too embarrassing!
It is probably true that while women can often respond well to the one-to-one session, for some men it can be trickier.
In my practice I have found that men often find it easier to explore their thoughts and feelings while being at a distance, sometimes by telephone counselling but more usually by e-mail. Men often find the circumstances easier to deal with, yes, it might be less personal but it can also be less scarey. Men can find even gentle questions from a counsellor awkward to respond to and may even find them threatening, so the written word has much to commend it.
The client who chooses counselling by e-mail has the time to consider the question, to sit comfortably and think about the issue and they have the perceived privacy to write about what they think and how they feel in a reflective and considered manner. The feedback received from the counsellor can then be read and thought over quietly before the next e-mail is due.
Counselling by e-mail has other advantages too, distance is no object. If you want to talk to a specialist in any particular field and there is no-one in your area then you have the freedom to select a counsellor anywhere in the world. You are also not tied to a regime of appointments during working hours, your therapy can be tailored to suit your needs and working hours.
Writing about feelings can be a powerful way to address problems, there has been much research done and finding have been positive (e.g. Expressive Writing - Words That Heal: James Pennebaker and John Evans). If you think that you would like some help but don’t like the idea of a traditional setting perhaps you might give counselling by e-mail a try, I think you’ll find it surprisingly effective.
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