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Online counselling offers individuals the same level of support and confidentiality as that of meeting face to face with a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist, but in addition can also offer suitable solutions to some of the difficulties associated with receiving treatment in a traditional therapeutic setting:
- Convenience – These services mean that you are able to receive support from the comfort of your own home, or wherever it is that you are – a hugely beneficial aspect for the following individuals in particular:
- Housebound and/or disabled individuals.
- Carers who are unable to take a break from their responsibilities even for a short time.
- Parents who can’t afford childcare.
- Employee’s who travel frequently or are too busy to commit to regular face to face appointments.
- People living in remote areas who are far from a therapist’s office.
- Hearing impaired – instant chat and email counselling mean that an interpreter will not be required.
- Flexibility – A reduced crossover period between clients in combination with a series of additional factors often mean that these services can be offered at more flexible times than face to face counselling.
Video call counselling
An increasingly popular option for those who can’t make face-to-face counselling or therapy sessions is video call counselling. Zoom is a computer program that enables you to video chat in real time with other people over the Internet. The software itself is free and is easy to download. If your computer doesn’t have a webcam or microphone, you will have to purchase these too, however they are relatively inexpensive. Alternatively you can use your smart phone or tablet for video calls.
The beauty of Zoom is that you are able to physically see your therapist, a factor that people often miss during email or telephone counselling. Just like these other methods however, Zoom counselling allows you to attend a session from the comfort of your own home and you can talk to a therapist from anywhere in the world. At Talk in the Bay we have decided to use Zoom because it is a secure platform that is easily accessible on all devices.
How does video call counselling work?
Usually you will contact the bookings team or a therapist via email or telephone in the first instance to arrange an initial consultation. Together you will plan a suitable time for you to “meet” for an initial assessment and discuss what you are seeking help with. Our online therapist, Sonia, can offer free 15 minute consultations should you be unsure about online sessions.
Once you have arranged an initial online session your therapist will contact you to provide details of how to begin the video call. If Zoom is used you will need to download the app although you do not have to create an account. You will be provided with a link which when clicked will start Zoom and you click ‘join meeting’ to start the video call.
Before your first session you may want to ensure you are alone and won’t be disturbed. It is also a good idea to make yourself comfortable and check you have good internet connection before you start.
During your initial consultation you can check that the technology is working correctly and that you feel comfortable receiving counselling or therapy in this way. This is also your opportunity to get to know your therapist and ensure that you are happy with their style of working.
In terms of payment, you will be required to pay via bank deposit payment before the session.