Why I'll always prefer doing therapy in person

I want to share why, despite the convenience of online counselling, I firmly believe in the power of face-to-face interaction when it comes to therapy.

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The value of human connection

Let's start by acknowledging the positives of online counselling. In our fast-paced world, it offers incredible flexibility. Clients can connect with their counsellors from the comfort of their homes, during lunch breaks at work, or while travelling. This accessibility has undoubtedly made counselling more approachable for many people who might otherwise struggle to fit it into their busy lives. It's a fantastic option, especially for those who live in remote areas or have mobility issues.

However, as a humanistic counsellor, my practice is deeply rooted in the value of human connection. There's something profound about being physically present with someone in the same room, sharing a space that feels safe and supportive. When we meet face-to-face, we can observe body language, facial expressions, and other subtle cues that are crucial in understanding and empathising with each other.

Think about it this way: imagine a client who is feeling overwhelmed or distressed. Sitting across from them, I can offer a reassuring look or a comforting presence that transcends words. In-person sessions allow for a deeper level of emotional connection and intimacy that can be transformative in the therapeutic process.

Another aspect that I cherish about in-person counselling is the environment it creates. My office in Ashford is designed to be warm, welcoming, and conducive to healing conversations. The setting plays a significant role in therapy, providing a physical space where clients can feel safe to explore their thoughts and emotions openly.

Furthermore, face-to-face sessions often feel more grounded and focused. There are fewer distractions compared to online interactions, where technical glitches or external noises can sometimes disrupt the flow of conversation. Being physically present allows us to fully immerse ourselves in the therapeutic experience without external interruptions. I've been frustrated more than once by ill-timed tech issues as a client opened up during a pandemic-enforced online session. 

Let's not forget about the power of non-verbal communication. As a humanistic counsellor, I believe that words only scratch the surface of our emotions. A lot of what we communicate comes from our tone of voice, posture, and gestures. These nuances are more effectively conveyed and understood in person, enabling a deeper level of empathy and connection between counsellor and client.

Another critical aspect of in-person counselling is the sense of ritual and commitment it creates. When clients come to my office, they are making a deliberate choice to prioritise their mental health. The act of physically going to therapy can be empowering and affirming—it signals a willingness to engage fully in the process of self-discovery and healing.

Of course, I understand that online counselling is here to stay and has its own set of advantages. It's an excellent option for certain situations and individuals. However, for me personally, the depth of connection and the richness of the therapeutic experience that comes with in-person sessions cannot be replaced by virtual interactions.

Ultimately, whether online or in person, what matters most is finding a therapeutic approach that feels right for you. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and supported in your counselling journey.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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ASHFORD, Kent, TN23 3QQ
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Written by Darren Sharpe, MBACP (Accred) Dip
ASHFORD, Kent, TN23 3QQ

Darren is a person-centred counsellor working from the humanistic tradition. Darren works from his counselling room in Ashford, Kent. Further information can be found at www.kingsnorthcounselling.com

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