Like most people, after the events of 2020 when lockdown occurred, I have had to adapt and modify the way that counselling is provided, in order to be able to provide a relevant counselling service in the post lockdown world that we find ourselves living in.
What this has meant for me, is that I am now working online much more than seeing people in a face-to-face setting.
While some people are hesitant about online counselling, research has shown that it is equally effective as in person sessions.
Online counselling has a number of positive aspects to it, these include:
- Being able to access therapy from the comfort of your own home, in familiar surroundings with no issues around accessibility.
- No travel costs are involved in you accessing therapy.
- It saves you time, not having to travel for your session and then travel home at the end of it.
- There is much more flexibility in terms of when you can have your sessions (I can offer more appointments to clients at different times of day to what I could previously offer, due to not having to factor my own commute to the office in to my day).
- No risk of being seen entering or leaving a therapists office, offering you peace of mind.
Some concerns that people have are that they may be overheard when living in shared accommodation, some options for working around this is asking the people that you live with to give you space for your sessions, or even taking a walk or sitting in your car to have some private space.
You may also worry that the calls are not secure, however the major video platforms that I use for sessions are encrypted for security. Of course, some do leave a call records, however I clear my call histories on a regular basis and so I do not keep records of who has been called when.
In terms of connectivity, if you struggle with Wi-fi signals, you have the option of using the data plan on your mobile phone or if all else fails, we can always have a telephone call on days when connectivity seems poor. I have worked full time online since March 2020 and have only experienced major connectivity issues on a small number of sessions.
Things to consider about online sessions are:
- Whether you feel comfortable using technology. I use a variety of options to try and find something that works for each individual, but you may not feel comfortable using these platforms.
- Do you have access to a private space that you feel comfortable in?
- Some non-verbal cues can be missed when the session takes place on a platform that is not video based, this can lead to misunderstanding although I would do my best to work through this with you.
- Would you prefer in person counselling?
Prior to the pandemic, I worked predominantly in face-to-face therapy, and while remote sessions may not feel right for everyone, I have seen a number of clients who were initially dubious about online therapy be really surprised at just how effective the sessions have been and how comfortable they have felt in them.
The general consensus is that clients are happy with their therapy being delivered online and that they do not feel that they have lost anything from their sessions from this change.
An initial assessment would give you an opportunity to try online therapy with no obligation to go ahead with counselling. If you would like to book in for an assessment, you can contact me here.