What is online counselling?
Online counselling is a way for you to engage in counselling using internet technology such as Zoom.
How it works
Zoom is a way for you to see me face to face from your computer whilst engaging in therapy. Should you chose Zoom counselling, you will be guided through setting up your own encrypted Zoom account and we will meet on Zoom at a time that you have previously arranged.
Sessions are 50 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 by video you see non-verbal communications such as facial expressions. If you wish you can choose to only work with audio through Zoom and no video camera would then be needed
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
- Therapy at a time, place and pace that suits you
- Access to counselling may be more immediate
- Flexibility to choose the technology you feel is best for you: Zoom or telephone
Things to consider
- Are you comfortable using internet technology?
- Would you prefer to see your counsellor face to face?
- 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?
- There are no body language clues for you or the counsellor to read this can lead to misunderstanding.
I offer telephone counselling if that is your preference.
I will call you at an agreed time and date and the sessions last for 50 minutes.
Confidentiality and Security
The information shared with me is held in strict confidence and all electronically stored information is stored on a password protected drive.
In adherence with the ACC and BACP ethical code, I am obliged to break confidentiality if you were to disclose involvement in or knowledge of an act of terrorism, money laundering and drugs trafficking. In addition, I have a legal obligation to report harm or abuse to a minor or vulnerable adult.
Elements of our sessions are taken to supervision, no identifying information such as your name is used. My supervisor also follows the same procedures for confidentiality as I have outlined.
Audio or audio video counselling takes advantage of the encrypted services offered by Zoom and should you choose this method of counselling, I you will guide you through setting up a free account for your therapy. You do not need a webcam to use Zoom counselling.
At the end of our counselling agreement any paper documents will be shredded after three years.
In addition, if at any point during the counselling you were in need of emergency support, I may ask for your consent to contact your GP if possible or recommend alternative avenues of support other than online counselling.
In an emergency
Online counselling is not sufficient support if you feel you are in crisis.
Signs of crisis may be feelings of wanting to commit suicide or harm yourself or another. In this case please consider contacting your local accident and emergency department at your nearest hospital and ask to speak to someone from the crisis team.
If you feel you need immediate assistance you may consider contacting the Samaritans, they are available by telephone on 116 123 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
FACE TO FACE COUNSELLING
I also offer face to face counselling. You may feel more at home sitting with me in the counselling room, having that space separate from your home or work where you can be assured of confidentiality and experience the therapeutic relationship through the “in the room” connection.