Online Therapy FAQ
If you travel a lot, have busy days or struggle to leave home then you may find online counselling a helpful way to attend therapy. Perhaps you may simply prefer the convenience of online therapy. I offer remote counselling and psychotherapy sessions. We can connect by telephone and online by video or voice.
Would online therapy sessions suit me?
The experience of working therapeutically online is different to face-to-face. However, research shows it can be just as effective. What matters is that we’re able to make a connection and you feel comfortable to share your experiences.
However, working remotely may not suit everyone. Some people may struggle to make a connection and form a relationship at a distance. Also, there are some problems for which online therapy is not suitable. Where there is a high degree of risk or you are in crisis, in-person support may be a better fit for your needs. I will advise you if I think face-to-face therapy or another form of support would be more suitable. If so, I will endeavour to assist you with a referral.
What are the benefits of working online compared to in-person therapy?
Some of the benefits of online or telephone therapy, compared to in-person sessions include:
- Accessibility – attend therapy from home or a space that is comfortable and convenient for you.
- Anonymity – no risk of someone seeing you enter or leave a therapist’s office. You may prefer being more anonymous to the therapist.
- Convenience – fit therapy around your daily routine, with no travel time or parking costs.
- Choice – choose the medium that best suits you: telephone call, internet video or audio.
- Ease of expression – the lack of physical presence may mean you find it easier to talk and express yourself.
How do we manage any drawbacks to working online?
There are some limitations to working together online. However, with good working practices we can manage these and minimise any risk of things going wrong.
- Confidentiality and Privacy – Communicating via the internet always has some risk to privacy. However, we can minimise any risk by each taking responsibility to secure the devices and systems we use and attending sessions from a private, uninterrupted space.
- Unreliable Technology – There are times when technology breaks down. We’ll agree a back up plan in case things fail and we can’t connect in the usual way.
- Fewer or no visual clues – We may have to use more explanations, descriptions and clarification than in face-to-face work.
I understand that finding a private space may not be straightforward for everyone. Also that some people struggle with technology. Within the limitations of my role as a therapist, I can offer some guidance and support. This may be to help you create a private space from which to attend therapy or to manage the security of your devices and email. I encourage you to raise any concerns you may have in this area.
What do I need to connect with you for online therapy?
For us to connect online you’ll need:
- A safe, secure, confidential space – a place where you feel comfortable to talk.
- Any device with a webcam and microphone – desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
- A good internet connection – if you can stream Netflix or YouTube your connection should work fine for us to work by video.
How do we meet online?
For online sessions I use Zoom, an application that is very reliable and secure for online meetings. If you prefer, we can use Signal, an app for secure online communication. We’ll be able to connect using video or voice only, as you prefer and suits your needs. Both Zoom and Signal are free to use.
With Zoom, before each session I send you a link to join the Zoom meeting. To join, click on the link and follow the instructions. If you’ve not used Zoom before, there are a wide range of tutorials online, but please let me know if you have any difficulties. To ensure your privacy, I set up Zoom sessions with a waiting room and end-to-end encryption.
For telephone working, and when using Signal, I generally suggest that you call me at the scheduled time. This means you can start the session at the moment you feel ready.
Not sure if online therapy is right for you?
I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about working online or by telephone. If you’re not sure how comfortable you’ll be working remotely, or if you have other concerns about working online you’d like to discuss, please get in touch.