Online Counselling Information

Online/Telephone therapy refers to counselling conducted via the internet or telephone. Some people may prefer to use video conferencing so that we can see each other as we speak, and some may prefer to use just audio. I encourage you to try video conferencing and I will support you in the transition by answering any questions and making it as easy a process as possible.

Benefits and Challenges

  • Some things you may enjoy about therapy online/via telephone are:
  • You can create a comfortable and private space in your own home from which to attend therapy.
  • You may find it easy to talk, focus and express yourself.
  • You may enjoy wearing comfortable clothes, bringing a cup of tea and avoiding a commute after a therapy session.
  • We may be able to be more flexible about scheduling.
  • Research shows that online/telephone therapy is as effective as in-person therapy.

A challenge could be that we do not see the whole of each other as our cameras generally limit the view to the top half of our bodies. We will have to use more verbal explanations as a result.

It may be quite a demanding experience, especially for those using computer screens in everyday life. We may spend some time building resources and developing a self-care plan to support you.

Guidance

  • I encourage you to treat the online session as you would an in-person session and implement as many of the same boundaries as possible.
  • Find a comfortable space with privacy. This could be a comfortable armchair, your office desk, garden, parked car or the living room floor. I suggest sitting on something where your back is supported and encourage you to get up and move if you start to feel uncomfortable.
  • You may wish to put a note on the door of the room requesting that other people not disturb you except in an emergency.
  • I encourage you to use headphones or earphones. This keeps the content of our sessions private, improves sound quality and also minimises distractions.
  • Please close other applications and browser windows on your device, and put your phone on silent or turn it off just as we do in person.
  • You are welcome to bring water or a cup of tea or coffee with you to the session. Please avoid alcohol and drugs prior to and during the session and please do not smoke or vape during the session.
  • Give yourself time after the session to process the session before re-joining your family, working or making other call.

Technical Instructions

  • I use a secure video conferencing platform called Zoom in order to protect our privacy and confidentiality. Our calls cannot be intercepted or recorded.
  • When you book an appointment, you will receive an email from me containing the link for you to join the session at the scheduled time. I will also include instructions for using Zoom.
  • You may like to download Zoom prior to our session in preparation, however no prior download is necessary and you may connect directly from the link provided in your confirmation emails.

Bandwidth Requirements
The call quality on Zoom is usually very good. It can be improved by you using an Ethernet connection as opposed to Wi-Fi, however, Wi-Fi or 3G/4G will usually work well too. Usually, if your internet is good enough to stream YouTube or Netflix, it is good enough for video conferencing.

I recommend closing all other browser windows and programmes running in the background to make the call quality as good as possible.

Troubleshooting
In the event that it is not possible to connect using a video conferencing platform, I suggest trying to reconnect three times and then communicating via text / phone in order to decide whether to reschedule or try a different method of communication. If in the event we get cut off mid-session I will always make contact with you via telephone to reconnect.