Considering online counselling?
As a result of COVID-19, you may have become more used to speaking with people remotely by telephone or video (who would have guessed that Zoom meetings would become the norm?). During this time, we have become used to work meetings, school lessons, dance classes and even socialising being held via video.
And so online counselling has also become part of the new normal. While it might seem a little daunting at first, it opens the door for people who might not have considered it before. Remote counselling by telephone or secure video-link is an effective, accessible and convenient option to getting counselling. There is more flexibility regarding time and location, and you can speak with the counsellor that can really help with your specific issue without having to worry about public transport or parking. You can find the counsellor that suits your needs, rather than your geography.
What to expect
Confidentiality is absolutely key to counselling, so you can feel comfortable and safe talking about whatever you need to talk about. Sessions are scheduled for a set time using a secure internet connection on an encrypted web platform and the counsellor will be holding the session in a quiet, private room.
It is also important that you are sitting comfortably for the session. Find a comfortable chair in a private room and make sure you have all the supplies you need (perhaps a cup of tea and some tissues). Counselling sessions often last around 50 minutes so you might want to use headphones, so you don’t have to worry about holding a phone or iPad up for best part of an hour.
This is time that is dedicated to you so you might want to think about putting your phone on silent and sit somewhere nice and quiet and confidential. Counsellors are aware of the challenges of home working and will talk with you about how any potential interruptions will be handled.
It can be odd seeing yourself on a screen (you will get used to it but it may take a while!) so let your counsellor know if you feel like this so that you can discuss it. It is usually best if the webcam is placed so that your top half is visible so you can see each other’s body language. With online couples’ therapy, you and your partner can either sit together or both login from different locations at the same time.
The relationship is key
One of the most important indicators of how effective counselling will be is the relationship between the counsellor and the client. Finding the right counsellor for you is so important to how effective it is. Find a counsellor who has experience of delivering counselling remotely and who you feel comfortable with. I have found the connection formed remotely with clients is likely to be a positive one as we are both in the comfort of our own homes.
Online counselling can help you get the support you are looking for, whether it's individual or couple’s counselling. Don't let the thought of counselling remotely put you off. It gives you the choice of working with the right counsellor for you, regardless of where you are. Lots of counsellors offer a free initial consultation to help you discover whether you feel able and comfortable to work together. Find the person that you connect with and who you think you will work with well to help with your issue and let that be the factor that helps you decide.