Online Counselling Information for Clients
Online counselling therapy is a way for you to engage in counselling using internet technology such as email, online chat, telephone or webcam video.
You direct your counselling by selecting the method of communication you feel most comfortable with. You choose the time, the place and the pace of your counselling to suit your needs.
Every effort is made to provide a safe and secure environment for your online therapy with encryption software to protect your confidentiality and secure.
Zoom is a way for you to see your counsellor face-to-face from your computer whilst engaging in therapy. You will be guided through setting up your own encrypted Zoom account and you will meet your counsellor on Zoom at a time that you have previously arranged. Sessions are 50 or 60 minutes in length. Being able to see your counsellor gives you more of the benefits you get from face-to- face counselling but with the convenience of online therapy. By talking you hear tone of voice which is a way to convey empathy and with video you see non- verbal communications such as facial expressions.
This is similar to webcam counselling as it happens through the Zoom system, or via a handset, but without the visual aspects. You can choose to remain anonymous and the conversation is encrypted if held on Zoom.
An advantage of telephone counselling is that non-verbal communication can be carried in you tone of voice or the pace of speech which can be picked up by your counsellor.
A disadvantage of telephone counselling is that you need a private room where you will not be overheard.
Online counselling offers certain benefits but there are also limitations that are worth bearing in mind when deciding which type of therapy will best suit your needs.
- Counselling therapy from your own home at a time that suits you
- Secure inscription software offers confidentiality and peace of mind
- No chance that you may be seen entering the counsellors practice
- When using email or online chat, you are able to review what you are saying before sending
- Therapy at a time, place and pace that suits you
- Some find it easier to express their feelings by writing it down
- Access to counselling may be more immediate
- Flexibility to chose the technology you feel is best for you: telephone, email,
live chat or webcam
Things to consider
- Are you comfortable using internet technology?
- Would you prefer to see your counsellor face-to-face?
- Do you feel you can express your feelings effectively using words?
- Do you feel your situation is too complex to discuss via the internet?
- Is there a computer terminal that you can use privately without interruption?
- Text communication can sometimes be open to misunderstanding
- There are no nonverbal cues or body language for you or the counsellor to read this can lead to misunderstanding
Online counselling therapy take place within a secure, encrypted environment to offer you confidentiality and safety. Email correspondence is encouraged through a secure mail server and you will be instructed on how to set up a confidential email account for your counselling therapy.
Telephone and webcam counselling take advantage of the encrypted services offered by Zoom and your counsellor will guide you through setting up a free account for your therapy.