Individual & Couples Counselling
What is online counselling?
Online counselling provides an opportunity to engage in a therapeutic relationship, exploring personal issues in the privacy of your home or safe space. As with any type of counselling, be it face to face or by telephone, online counselling enables you to work through your difficulties within the same protected space, at an agreed and protected time. By using encrypted platforms, this enables you and I to share a dialogue by use of either Instant Message or email. This means that if you are unable to make face to face appointments because of time, work or family commitments, you can still have a meaningful session online and work through a process of change at a time that is convenient for you. Please contact me if you have any queries regarding this or any other issue that you feel you need to discuss in more detail.
Why Online Counselling Will Help You:
- Easy access to a qualified therapist through email or live chat
- Connect with your counsellor from anywhere in the world
- Convenience – takes place in your home or wherever you are 24 hours a day 7 days a week
- Cheaper than other platforms of counselling
- Flexibility – you can get quick answers or guidance to problems or you can schedule regular sessions
- Anonymity and security
Can any counsellor provide therapy online?
Any therapist or counsellor providing online therapeutic support should have a suitable qualification in order to deliver this safely. There are various differences around the online process that aren’t as simple as simply logging-on and chatting. Online and telephone counselling are both a specialist field that require additional training and experience, since the dynamics of this work are quite different to those face to face. To check if a therapist is appropriately qualified to work online, check the information they provide on their website first. Whilst this is as yet unregulated, the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) provide guidelines around what therapists should be doing to provide a safe and authentic service. In addition, ACTO (Association for Counselling and Therapy Online) also provide a Code of Ethics which support this.
How online counselling works:
There are several options available to you, all of which are explained below. You can choose between counselling via encrypted email, secure instant messaging, or secure video conferencing. If you live in the UK you also have the additional option of telephone counselling.
Secure instant messaging:
With this option we agree on a fixed 50 minute appointment slot, during which we will talk to each other via a free instant text messaging service, just like in an online chat session. The platform we use for this is a securely encrypted service (VSee). For this option you will need to download and install VSee onto your computer or tablet. VSee is available free of charge through your App Store and download and set up are easy. Initially, you may prefer to contact me via email (below) or telephone in order that we can agree a regular time to chat. I will also send you a contract of work that protects both you and I moving forward in our therapeutic relationship. Once you are ready to begin, you simply contact me by text to send me an initial message.
If you choose email counselling, we will agree on a set appointment time when I will respond to your email. You can write your part of the email at a time that’s most convenient to you, but bear in mind that I will need adequate time to respond to you appropriately. We will discuss this in our initial contact. I would suggest that you spend 50 minutes writing your email. This way we can ensure that our email exchanges mimic the process face to face counselling as much as possible. I will in return spend 50 minutes on reading your email and composing my reply to you. In order to ensure that our email exchanges remain completely confidential, you will have to send your messages via ProtonMail. This is a fully encrypted secure web-mail service that is available free of charge at https://protonmail.com Setting up a free ProtonMail account is very easy and only takes a few minutes. Please note that exchanging our counselling emails via an encrypted service is a mandatory step in order to comply with the BACP’s guidelines for online counselling. Once you are ready to begin, contact me in the boxes below to send me an initial message. You can give as much or as little information as you would like in that first message, and in fact it is probably best not to go into too much detail at this stage. I would suggest that you keep your initial enquiry message somewhere between 100 and 300 words. I will then email you our counselling agreement, which you will need to complete and sign before we book in our first appointment.
If you are UK based, you may choose to use telephone counselling if you prefer to hear a voice during your session. You will need to provide me with a telephone number where I can call you at our fixed appointment time. In order to book a telephone counselling appointment, contact me in the boxes below to send me an initial message. You can give as much or as little information as you would like in that first message, but I would suggest that you keep your initial enquiry message somewhere between 100 and 300 words. I will then email you our counselling agreement, which you will need to complete and sign before we book in our first appointment.
Counselling via secure video conference:
This option is probably most like face to face counselling. If you choose this option we will also agree a fixed 50 minute appointment slot, during which we meet via a secure video conference service (VSee). VSee is a securely encrypted service that is available free of charge here its download and set up are easy. Once you are ready to begin, contact me in the boxes below to send me an initial message. You can give as much or as little information as you would like in that first message, but I would suggest that you keep your initial enquiry message somewhere between 100 and 300 words. I will then email you our counselling agreement, which you will need to complete and sign before we book in our first appointment.
I have undertaken a Diploma in Online Counselling Services and Training in order to be able to offer online counselling, in addition to face-to-face, because I feel it is important to work with my clients in the way that makes them most comfortable. The important thing is that I can support you on your journey.