There are some situations in which having counselling face-to-face is not possible, in which case we can use a secure video link via the internet. The current “lockdown”, due to the Covid-19 regulations, is clearly one of those times.
There are various advantages and disadvantages to working this way, but the important thing is that I am still using the same skills, experience and personal qualities, whether online or in the counselling room.
Things to consider, before deciding to have online counselling sessions:
- Do you have a suitable device you can use? Do check that the camera and microphone are working.
- Do you have a private environment in which to talk, that will be free of interruptions, where your internet use is not monitored?
- Do you have a good, stable internet connection?
- The payment method will be by direct bank transfer. Failing that, I can send an invoice by SMS for payment by credit card.
Preparation before sessions:
- It is best to download the Zoom app or client (depending on your device / platform) before the meeting, from here.
- Take care to protect your password and other login details.
- I shall send you a meeting invitation by email. You simply need to click on the link, just before our session is due to begin.
- Many people are used to online communications being relatively casual. However, the counselling process will be most effective when we both approach sessions as if we were meeting in person.
- The time normally spent travelling to and from sessions in my counselling room can be useful in mentally preparing before, and winding down afterward. This will tend not to be the case online, so I encourage you to create some deliberate process to make the switch from therapeutic work back to the everyday.
What happens when our appointment time arrives?
I intend to be ready for you when you arrive in the waiting room, whereupon I shall invite you in. Note that although Zoom has the facility to record sessions, this feature will not be used by either of us.
As well as ensuring that you have privacy, please also remember to switch off all notifications, etc. while we are working together.
At the end of our time online, remember to end the videocall and shut down any windows, when we have said goodbye. Ensure you close all Internet pages that relate to our time together to maintain your privacy. You may also wish to erase your browser history.
If there are technical problems:
If our session is affected by technological problems that affect our ability to communicate, we should both:
- Log out of the system
- Wait a few minutes
- Attempt to log back in:
- If this successful, we will continue
- If this doesn’t work, I will contact you as soon as possible to reschedule, and you will not be charged for the disrupted session
Fees and appointment times are the same as shown here.
The online counselling contract is slightly different from the standard one.