Whilst for many years I have used video conferencing for my own clinical supervision as well as supervising other counsellors, until March 2020, my private client practice was solely face to face. With the pandemic I have had extensive online training to ACTO Level 2 and am registered on their professional register.
I provide online counselling via secure video conferencing to your home such as Zoom or Skype, as well as to your office and at times people have used their car. You just need to ensure you have full privacy, a good internet connection and good visibility on either your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Headphones or earphones can increase the feeling of privacy and improve sound quality.
Research consistently shows that online therapy is as effective as in person therapy and In having worked for the past 18 months solely online, I am encouraged to find that this is so. Reassuringly, I have found that there is the same level of in-depth therapeutic trust, connectedness and authenticity with online as with face-to-face.
Online therapy isn’t without its challenges
Internet breakdown which can be unpredictable. To manage this, I discuss a plan of action as to what I and you might do to overcome this and make any interruption as non-interrupting as possible.
People sometimes are concerned about lack of visual contact; on meeting I will explain how we can set up our devices for eye contact and maximise cameras generally to view the top half of ourselves.
When the session ends, I will help you think through your transition into everyday life – so that you are not immediately dealing with family or work. Ten minutes relaxing with a cuppa is essential.
We can also trouble shoot potential interruptions such a door bell ringing or people arriving unexpectedly to protect your time with me.
Benefits of online counselling
One of the greatest benefits is therapy anywhere that is comfortable and convenient for you
You can make your own space how you need it to be
Accessibility, e.g., those with disabilities, limited transport, distance - you can stay at home
Flexibility of times and convenience
Appointments may be more immediate
Being in separate locations may be less inhibiting
Remote nature may alleviate isolation
Confidentiality – no waiting rooms being seen arriving or leaving counselling premises
You have a greater choice of therapists than if you were restricted by location
I am able to provide continuous support even when one of us is travelling I can be more flexible with scheduling than I can for my practice in person
No navigating transport or traffic and additional time onto your session
Lastly, we don’t need to worry about transmitting an airborne virus via the internet so online therapy has provided consistency and accessible support throughout the pandemic. I really welcome that fact I was able to continue with my on-going clients maintaining regular and dependable contact as well as meet new clients that in person would not have allowed me to do so.