Online counselling – email

If you have always enjoyed writing things down and feel that you are quite good at expressing yourself in writing, then counselling via email may be something to consider.

Perhaps you have already been writing things down in your diary and find something very therapeutic in writing about your thoughts and feelings. You will probably know the feeling of looking back days, weeks or months later at what you had written, and reflecting on how you felt at that one moment. It can then feel quite powerful to compare those feelings to how you are feeling now. Do you still feel the same? Has anything changed? What do you think it might be? Is there anything you can do? Pondering these questions can often be a very therapeutic process in itself. 

If writing things down helps you more than just thinking about them, or talking about them, and you are thinking of starting counselling, you may want to consider the option of email counselling.

Always make sure to check that the counsellor you choose has the relevant training and experience in providing email counselling. It is obviously quite different than face to face counselling, and different than other online counselling methods, so you want to make sure that you are in good hands. Counsellors will normally state what experience they have in online working on their websites or various directories, and if you cannot find this information, feel free to ask. 

A counsellor will always need to establish if the issues that you want to bring to counselling are suitable for this type of working, and if they are, you can start. 

Advantages of email counselling

There are many advantages to email counselling, to name just a few:

  • Your geographical location is irrelevant; you can find a counsellor based solely on your preference, regardless of where they are based.
  • You don’t have to leave your house.
  • It can be less stressful: you may find it an easier and less stressful experience, at least to begin with. Communicating your feelings in writing may seem less daunting than talking about them face to face with a counsellor.
  • You only need a computer or a smartphone: if your internet connection is a bit shaky, this will not be a big problem, as you only need to be able to send an email.
  • You don't need to worry about being overheard: If you don’t have access to a soundproof, confidential space, and you worry about being overheard, writing an email will eliminate this problem – nobody in your household will even have to know that you are receiving counselling.
  • You can get support anywhere you go: If you need to go away, are on holiday, or even move out from your area, you can still receive support and ‘attend’ your session if you so wish.
  • You can re-read your sessions: You will have access to your email sessions at any time, so you can read and re-read them as often as you like.
  • There's more time to reflect: you will have more time to think about the session you had, and more time to prepare what you want to write next.
  • You can write when convenient to you: you can write your email when you have time, and you don’t have to write it all in ‘one sitting’.
  • You can choose the number of sessions: you can agree with your counsellor in advance about how many sessions you would like to have in a week, to suit your individual needs.
  • You can commit to as many or as few sessions as you like: you may start by having just one email session, and then, based on that, you can decide if you want to work with that counsellor, and, if so, how many sessions you would like. A counsellor may also make some suggestions in that regard.
  • It's secure: your counsellor will recommend a secure and encrypted email service for all your email exchanges, before you start.
  • You can agree a timeframe: your counsellor will propose a time frame for your email exchanges, so you know exactly what to expect and when.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Dartford, Kent, DA1

Written by Alexandra Kubit-Hope

Dartford, Kent, DA1

I am a qualified integrative counsellor who works in private practice in Kent. I have experience in a wide range of issues including bereavement, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts and emotional abuse. I hold MSc in Therapeutic Counselling from the University of Greenwich, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology.

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