Online Therapy is when counselling session takes place via video calls. With the ever-evolving internet & the increase in improved technology, online counselling is both effective & straightforward.
More counsellors & therapists are embracing online counselling, which has a number of benefits to both them & the client.
Types of Online Therapy
Online counselling can be accessed in different ways. Some examples are:
Video / conference calling – Platforms such as Zoom (http://zoom.us) Doxy.me (https://doxy.me) Skype (https://www.skype.com/en/) or Whatsapp (https://www.whatsapp.com). These provide a way to speak online via video. The counsellor & client are therefore able to see each-other so it can feel very personal & connected.
It’s important to be aware of security / confidentiality issues when using any of these. Try to become familiar with their individual privacy policies. Unlike face-to-face counselling, there is a clearer risk of confidentiality being breached as you are talking over the internet.
Other methods can include:
- VOIP (where you talk over the internet but without the video)
- Emailing therapy
- Text messaging / instant messaging.
Finally, telephone counselling is also offered by many counsellors. This can again feel very accessible for those who prefer to talk over the phone rather than face-to-face.
Face to face sessions may feel too overwhelming or exposing for some. It can feel much less daunting for a person to access counselling remotely – therefore this is a fantastic alternative.
Isolation or location of the client / counsellor can mean that accessing a counsellor in person is too difficult. Online counselling gives the opportunity for them to reach out for support from wherever they are.
Online counselling can be better suited to those who work odd shifts – lots of counsellors will practice in the evening / early morning to cater for clients needs.
For those who have a physical disability online counselling may be the only way that they are able to freely & confidentially seek counselling. Not having to rely on others to drive them to appointments enables this to be as private as they would like it to be. Being able to access support from home can be an enormous help for many.
People with mental health issues who find leaving home an issue can also continue to access counselling through the online sessions. This can help to decrease the feelings of isolation & provide much needed support at difficult times.
All forms of online / telephone / text counselling will have their benefits as well as their negatives. If it is the way that you feel most comfortable with then I strongly believe that that is okay! Counselling needs to be accessible for everyone – and if this is helpful for some then I can only see it as a positive.
As somebody who has lived with chronic illnesses, I am now very aware of how isolating & helpless it can feel for somebody who would love to be able to reach out to a counsellor but who is simply unable to.
I have experience of both online & telephone counselling. Both myself & clients have found it to be both useful & effective. It has felt different – but that is to be expected!
To book an online counselling session, please follow his link: Contact Me
It’s accessible – it’s inclusive – it may ‘fit’ people better – it’s valuable & not a 2nd best form of counselling – it’s all about choice!
Lynsey Wall, 2019