Since the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing restrictions of lockdown, most Counsellors and Psychotherapists have had to move their practice to online or ‘remote’ video counselling.
So what is online video counselling?
Online counselling is offered remotely via an internet connection through an online platform such as Zoom. It can be just as effective as in person counselling and is conducted within the same parameters as in person counselling, such as a safe and confidential space.
The remote aspect of online counselling can seem really strange when you feel the need to speak intimately and confidentially to someone about your personal thoughts and feelings. The idea of providing counselling via a screen felt unnatural to me too. I wondered if it would be difficult since I had always seen my clients in person and this had allowed us to develop a connection and rapport. However, now that I have had time to adapt my practice, I have realised the many benefits to online counselling and the ability to establish a therapeutic connection can be just as strong as it is when meeting in person.
Noticeable benefits to online counselling are:
Accessibility: being online has actually made it easy for many people to access counselling; this is especially true for those with impaired or reduced mobility. In addition, swift and easy access to online support means it is suitable for those with a busy schedule and limited time.
Convenience: there is a lot more flexibility with arranging times due to the nature of online counselling. Without the added travel time of in person counselling, you can arrange a time that is mutually suitable and in the familiar environment of your home environment.
It is important to be aware of additional issues to consider for online counselling. Internet Connection: Sometimes, for whatever reason, the connection can be poor or become interrupted. I will always discuss a back up plan if this does happen to minimise any disruption to our work together.
Devices: You will need to access to a webcam and/or microphone, and most laptops and tablets have these built in. If you have a smart phone this could also be an option.
Confidentiality: It is important to find a space that is private and undisturbed for the duration of the session. This includes minimising all distractions that can come from tv’s, phones, doorbell (that amazon delivery you have been waiting for all day) and any beloved pets, where possible.
Online video counselling is an excellent option for accessing professional support during these difficult times. For many people, including those who don’t want to travel, who have been shielding or who are working from home it is a natural selection. If you are feeling anxious about accessing counselling you can discuss this prior to our session and request a short test session to ensure technical issues do not encroach upon your counselling session.