Why would I choose online counselling?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Alison Sutcliffe MBACP Accred & ACTO Member
18th January, 20160 Comments
Why might you be looking for online counselling rather than face-to-face counselling?
You can experience online counselling without leaving your house/office/room. This might be a real plus for you if you:
- work away from home a lot
- find it difficult to leave the house for any reason
- live in a remote location.
Maybe speaking to a face-to-face counsellor about a private and sensitive issue might feel overwhelming for you. What can be experienced as the relative anonymity of online work might leave you feeling more able to broach difficult subjects.
Maybe speaking to a face-to-face counsellor about anything at all might feel overwhelming for you?
Beyond this, you might just prefer to express what you’re feeling via the written word rather than by speaking? Maybe you find writing therapeutic? Maybe you find it easier due an element of your health e.g. a hearing difficulty?
Does it work?
Whatever might appeal to you about online counselling you need to know that it works! Research is building in this area and research by the University of Zurich states that online psychotherapy is as effective as conventional therapy.
Do I need to be a techie to make it work for me?
You don’t have to be a technical whizz to make it work for you - you need basic computer skills. Your online counsellor will need to align to the BACP’s recommendations and talk to you about very important topics such as the privacy of your communications. If any guidance is needed here your online counsellor’s additional specialist training (another BACP recommendation) will have equipped them to work through this with you in easy-to-grasp ways.
How is online counselling carried out?
As new technology emerges, the ways in which you can experience online counselling increases.
Right now this can happen via email (secure email is strongly recommended by the BACP) or via online chat through many of the well known applications out there. If you want to be seen and to see your counsellor, video can also be utilised.
And in the future maybe you’d like the idea of creating an avatar version of yourself and having a therapeutic experience in Second Life?
About the author
Alison Sutcliffe is a registered member of the BACP and has been practising as a counsellor since 2009. Alison has completed specialist online training in order to provide online counselling.
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