What is remote or online counselling?
Many names describe the offering of counselling or therapy online. Some of the most common are online therapy, remote therapy or virtual therapy, internet counselling, remote counselling or e-counselling, and distance or web therapy. It can be via phone call, video call or email. Sometimes it is also known as text therapy, which may involve phone messaging.
I offer video sessions to clients living and residents in the UK.
Research suggests that online therapy generates equal positive outcomes for those who attended in-person therapy.
Why should you contact an online psychotherapist?
Aside from the present exceptional circumstances caused by the Covid pandemic, there are many valid reasons to have an online counsellor.
Here are some:
- you are uncomfortable with in-person therapy
- you need flexibility around your busy life
- you may find it difficult to afford childcare, but you can spare 50 min for yourself from home
- you cannot or don’t want to travel
- you prefer a bit more control over the process
- you might have many other good reasons relevant to you only
When is online therapy NOT recommended?
There are circumstances when online therapy is not appropriate: in case of acute crisis; high level of suicide risk; or severe mental health issues, for example, people with current symptoms of psychosis or significant vulnerability to relapse due to a history of psychosis (unless diagnosis doubtful or a long time ago with a considerable period of stability since), or people with bipolar affective disorder / borderline or antisocial personality disorder.
Such needs will be better met elsewhere by a specialist service. It is always best to talk with your GP, and I will recommend you do so if this is the case.
How can I access online counselling?
We will schedule our therapy time via Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom, or phone call. During our initial call, we will think about your options and preferences.
I will also ask you to fill in some details before our session. My strict policy is to work only if those details have been gathered before the first meeting.
What do you need?
You can use your phone, iPad or computer (PC or Mac). I usually recommend using headsets as they help to keep privacy. A good internet connection is needed for Skype and WhatsApp. We will have already worked out a backup plan in case of interruptions due to connection issues.
Please allow yourself to find a quiet and private place from where you will call or log in.
However, I do empathise with those finding it challenging to have home privacy, so there is some room for flexibility. We can discuss how to find the right place in our initial call.
Please do not take another call halfway through or engage in other activities like watching TV, eating etc.
Time to call
When it is time to get in touch with me in the agreed manner, I will be waiting for you to initiate the session.
Keep your mobile close; we may need it in case of internet or technical issues.
Please be aware that I will ask where you are at the beginning of each session for safety reasons. I need a complete address.
Towards the end of your therapy time
You will be reminded when it is time for the session to end.
After the meeting, ensure you have closed the app related to our time together to maintain our privacy from other people in your environment.
A note on technological interruptions
Interruptions may happen during our remote sessions together; we both agree that we will be active in trying to minimise this.
If we have problems connecting, please wait a couple of minutes and try to get in touch again with me, e.g. after restarting the video app.
We will agree on an alternative way to get in touch if the video calls stall or if reception on a phone call is lost, e.g. another phone number.
If this still doesn’t work, I will contact you to arrange a new date for the session, and you will not be charged for the current session.