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 or during our session.
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- Saves 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
- DISCREET- 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
Possible drawbacks of Online Counselling
- Poor internet connection may lead to us disconnecting mid-session. We can mitigate this by using phones as a backup
- Less visual cues (we may only able to see each other’s head and shoulders)
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 48 hours and you are charged for the amount of 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.
- 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.
- Do not share or record our sessions.
- 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 moments 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
- Have a think about being somewhere comfortable for our session, as being in the same position can become uncomfortable. 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 the session. Perhaps you would like some quiet time, to go for a walk, play some music or do a few stretches whilst you reflect on our session before re-entering the “real world”.