Online Therapy

Here are some points to consider, helping you to get the most out of our counselling sessions. Feel free to discuss any thoughts/concerns with me before, during or after our sessions.

Self-care

  • Have a think about being somewhere comfortable for our session, as being in the same position can become unpleasant. Feel free to move around within our session if you like
  • Some people may like to have a drink and maybe a box of tissues handy
  • It might be useful to think about what you may need immediately after our session. Perhaps you would like to plan in some quiet time, go for a walk, play some music or do a few stretches whilst you reflect on our session before re-entering the “real world”
  • Try to find a space away from other people where you are not overheard or interrupted. This could be at home, in a car or perhaps somewhere outside
  • If you share your device (mobile/laptop/PC/tablet), you may wish to delete your internet history afterwards
  • Neither of us may record or share our sessions or emails with anyone else and this includes on social media – this helps keep our work together confidential

Benefits of Online Counselling

  • Comfortable – Our sessions are held in the familiarity of your own home (or you may prefer your car/ a quiet park or garden)
  • Efficient – Online sessions save you time and the costs of travel/parking for our sessions
  • Convenient – I can offer more flexible “out of hours” appointments
  • Accessible – Online sessions may suit people who struggle physically or have certain anxieties
  • Secure – I use a safe video platform (Zoom) with maximum security settings for our work together, ProtonMail has end to end encryption which ensures our emails are kept private
  • Discreet – There is no risk of bumping into people in a physical building and waiting room
  • Quality – I have extended my training to be fully qualified in working online and I remain a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy abiding to their ethical framework

Possible weaknesses of Online Counselling

  • Poor internet connection may lead to us disconnecting mid-session, we can often mitigate this by using phones as a backup
  • Less visual cues (we may only be able to see each other’s head and shoulders, or with email therapy no body language at all), taking time to clarify what we mean may help with this

Using Zoom

  • If this is your first time using Zoom, then you will need to download the Zoom installer found here: https://zoom.us/support/download Once downloaded you can familiarise yourself, but don’t worry you don’t actually need to learn anything for our sessions. You will be simply following a link I send you by email
  • Check your device has enough charge (or can be plugged in) for the entire 1-hour session
  • Check the location before the session to see if you have a good internet or mobile coverage
  • Close as many tabs as possible to improve your connection
  • Consider silencing notifications to reduce distractions
  • Click on the link I send you (by email) a few minutes before our session begins. This allows you to enter the “Waiting room” and check your connections, including audio and video
  • If our connection breaks or is poor, we should try reconnecting. If this fails we can switch to using phones and I will call you (if you agree to this)
  • Zoom has a lot of support on their website, you may like to check some out, like this one https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362033-Getting-Started-on-Windows-and-Mac

Email Therapy

I offer email therapy using ProtonMail and strongly advise you to also set up a free ProtonMail email address to enhance the security of our emails.

  • You can email at a pace and time that suits you, your emails can be as long or as short as you like
  • I reply within 2 working days and you are charged for the time I take to consider and respond to your emails. Typically, there is an exchange of 2 email replies per hour. We can discuss in advance your preference for in-depth or shorter replies