Online video counselling is growing in popularity. It offers access to therapy when you might not be able to travel to have face to face therapy in the counselling room. In most ways it is just the same as face to face therapy. Confidentiality and boundaries are just as important, with a clear contract for weekly, regular, sessions. Payment is done by bank transfer before each session.
You must be sure that you have a private space, where you won’t be disturbed or feel overheard. A good internet connection is essential, so that communication is good and a trusting relationship can be formed. I see my online clients from my counselling room/office and won’t allow interruptions or distractions, just as I wouldn’t allow them for face to face clients.
I can work with clients via skype from other parts of the country and sometimes from abroad. People have different reasons for choosing to have therapy online. Many clients don’t want to be limited to counsellors within their area, especially if they are looking for a particular area of expertise. Sometimes living in a rural area can make finding a counsellor difficult, or you may want more discretion because you live in a small community. It may be that you have transport or mobility issues or childcare difficulties.
Teenagers take to skype counselling very well, perhaps because they are so much more comfortable with the digital world. It can be very helpful for families to know that their daughter or son is able to access counselling, safely and independently, rather than needing to be driven, with parents waiting around to take them home. Arranging privacy at home is imperative and young people may need support with finding a time and place when the family is out, or not able to overhear.
Skype counselling isn’t right for everyone, so the first session will be an opportunity to assess your suitability and needs. We might arrange, where possible, to have one or more face to face sessions to begin with and then move to skyping once we’ve both had a chance to see if it would be the right way forward.