Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, all of my counselling services have moved to Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, Skype or the telephone.
As this way of working is still relatively new, I thought it would be helpful to put together a page that answered some of the more common questions about video call counselling. If you did have any other questions or if you wanted to organise a time to have a chat about counselling or if you would like to book, please use the button below to get in touch.
Counselling over video call gives you access to everything that’s good in therapy from the comfort of your own home
How is counselling on video call different to face to face?
For me, the only difference is that you are sat on your own couch rather than mine. The counselling relationship between counsellor and client remains unchanged.
What are the benefits of counselling on video call?
A lot of people find that counselling is more convenient over video call. There’s no need to travel as you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
Another key benefit for yourself as the client, is the larger number of counsellors that you have access to which means you are better able to find a therapist who is the right fit for you.
By accessing therapy from the comfort of your own home, you can create a space that you feel comfortable in. By taking a few moments before the session to make yourself a warm drink and get yourself comfy, you can create yourself a space where you feel safe to be honest about what’s going on for you.
How do I prepare for online therapy?
Set up your own counselling space
It’s key when you come to therapy, that the environment that you and your counsellor share is safe and confidential. If there are others that live with you, have a conversation with them ahead of time to make sure that you aren’t disturbed or overheard. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a room or even a floor of your home to be uninterrupted for an hour.
Have a non-alcoholic drink and some tissues within reach. Not everyone cries in therapy and in my face to face sessions, not everyone wanted a tissue but it felt important that they were there just in case. Having sip of water or tea can allow you a moment to pause if your emotions are running high in the session.
You won’t need it for every session but a pen and paper is also handy to have close by. Just in case.
Before your session, make sure that there are no distractions such as the television or notifications on your phone. If there is background noise, you may find headphones helpful.
Know how to log onto Teams ahead of time
Many people will be practiced at using Teams however, if you haven’t had much experience of Teams meetings, the below article will show you how to log onto a meeting.
I send out a meeting invite the day before each of my sessions. If you are new to Teams or any other video calling platform, I recommend having a practice run before your first counselling session.
To book your first session, click the button below
Are there any downsides to video call counselling?
You can see yourself
When we go to therapy, we go to unpack our baggage, our fears and our hurt. There are times when this can be ugly and occasionally tearful. When counselling over zoom, you can become distracted by seeing yourself rather than just allowing the counsellor to see you and to hold your emotions. If you can turn off the option to see your own face, I recommend doing so.
You are able to run away
This might sound like very appealing to some people but when you feel like making an escape, that’s when the work is happening.
The reason that many people come to counselling is because they have something within themselves that doesn’t feel quite right. In counselling, we take the time to carefully explore and unpick these feelings. There are times when this will feel challenging. Doing this over video call gives you the power to run away when things get tough but it is so important that you don’t. Let your therapist know if things are tough but stick with it. I promise it’ll be worth it in the end.
Counselling over the internet brings with it new challenges. It is rare, but if your power or Wi-Fi goes out and I lose you, I will call you within a couple of minutes to either continue the session over the phone or allow you to reconnect.
It is rare but it can happen from time to time. I always discuss this when we meet during our first session as I don’t want technology to stop you from getting the most out of your time.
What about after the session?
If you have been emotional in your counselling session, many people find it helpful to take a breather after the session. Open the window or if you can, go for a walk around the block. This allows you a few moments to process before you return to normality.
Counselling online should be approached in exactly the same manner as you would if you were going to the counsellor’s office.
You should give the session the importance that it and you deserve and put your phone onto silent and out of reach, sit yourself somewhere comfortable and without distractions.
Don’t get up and start trying to multi-task. The session is for you, everything else can wait because what’s going on for you and how you feel is far more important than anything else.
I really hope that this has answered any questions you had about therapy over video call. If you have any others, please use the buttons below to organise a telephone chat at a time that suits you or, fill out the contact form and I will get back to you as soon as I am able to