Tel. 07944 034 403
Offices in :
- Burnham on Crouch
- Chelmsford City Centre
"Skype" is free computer software that allows people to chat face-to-face, in real-time, through their computer screens. Skype is speedy to download, and as long as you have a web camera and microphone, you will be able to be seen and heard by anyone at any point in the world for free if they also have the programme and equipment in place.
Not all client issues may be appropriate for counselling via video link and being in the same room with your counsellor will generally be many clients’ first preference. However, time restrictions and other commitments at home such as young children and childcare costs mean it can be difficult for people to arrange regular counselling sessions.
Advantages of counselling via Skype
•Rather than being limited to a local counsellor that you can travel to easily, you can choose to see a counsellor anywhere. The quality of the relationship between client and counsellor is one of the most important factors in client improvement. Without the restrictions of geographical location, it’s much easier for clients to pick a counsellor who truly suits their needs.
•Skype counselling saves you time and money, as you don’t have to factor in the duration and cost of travelling to and from the session. Shut the door, switch on your computer, log on to Skype and there you are – having your counselling session from the comfort of your own home!
•You see your counsellor in familiar surroundings, rather than in their office. As long as you have a quiet space and a good internet connection, you can have your counselling session from any location, including your place of work if that suits you.
•Online counselling opens up this form of help to groups of people who previously would find it difficult if not impossible to travel to a face-to-face meeting, such as those who have restricted mobility, are housebound for any reason, live in remote areas, or do not have childcare.
•If you happen to be away from home, you can still have your counselling session as long as you have the technology set up.
•Clients who have had counselling via Skype say that seeing the counsellor from home makes them feel more relaxed, safe and in control of the process, allowing them to open up to the counsellor more readily. It can feel less intimidating than being directly face-to-face with the counsellor, and easier to discuss problems that you may find embarrassing.
•Your counsellor will speak to you from a private room and the usual rules of confidentiality apply to what passes between you, the same as in a normal one-to-one therapy session. Payment is usually made before the session, via an online, secure payment system such as PayPal.
•A big advantage with choosing a therapist who doesn’t live locally is that you know you’re not going to bump into them when you’re out shopping.
Online counselling: factors to consider
•Skype counselling is not suitable for those who are at risk of suicide, in acute crisis, or have serious mental health issues; there are limits to what a counsellor can do remotely. In such cases, your GP is always your first port of call. I do not offer couples counselling via Skype.
•For your safety, check that whichever online counsellor you use is experienced and properly accredited. Your counsellor’s literature/website will say which professional body they belong to, and you can go online and check they are on the register. Counsellors working via Skype are bound by the codes of ethics of their professional accrediting organisation, same as in face-to-face work.
•For Skype counselling, you need a high-speed broadband connection, plus a web cam and microphone on your computer. These can be purchased fairly inexpensively if your machine doesn’t have them. In the initial online meeting, we will check that you have a sufficiently good internet connection for counselling to take place. If you are only seeing my face in pixelated form, counselling online will be a struggle.
•You have to ensure you can be online at the appointed time, in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted or overheard.
•Bear in mind there is always going to be a risk of the technology failing, which would be especially alarming if it occurred at a critical point in the session. We will agree what to do in the event of a technical glitch.
•Skype counselling isn’t for everyone. If you don’t feel it’s working after a few sessions, we might conclude that you need a different type of help.