Online counselling can be a preferable option to some people. Tech is a part of modern life and, especially since the Covid-19 outbreak, I have provided remote counselling support, in the form of video calls only. My personal and professional experience of it has been very positive, and my clients’ feedback has confirmed to me that remote counselling can be a valuable alternative to traditional office-based support.
Remote counselling can be a personal preference or sometimes it is the only solution for people who struggle to travel for various reasons. It can also be appealing to busy people who struggle to make time because of family or work commitments.
Ultimately, as per the BACP endorsement “An important part of counselling is that you feel heard and understood. This is no different for face-to-face, online and telephone counselling […] Many people find online counselling useful as another way to express themselves”. Personally, I have made the decision not to use telephone, emails or chats services, as I feel that eye contact remains important in building a therapeutic relationship.
In remote therapy, it is paramount that clients are able to find a space in which they feel their privacy is protected during the conversation, which means that nobody can overhear them or interrupt the session in any way. Also, it is important they can rely on a good internet connection.
The therapeutic arrangement is practically the same to face-to-face. In the first session, the assessment, we will get a feel for each other and will explore whether online sessions are appropriate. After that, sessions will be booked usually on a weekly basis, and can be rearranged with at least 48 hours notice.
As well as counselling, I have had good results with the use of online EMDR for trauma work. Likewise, in my coaching practice remote work has also proved to be effective.
I use secure platforms which are free for clients and easy to access. I review these tools periodically to guarantee electronic safety and GDPR compliance. Similarly to face-to-face sessions, online support is fully confidential.