- instant messaging
- voice (VOIP)
Online counselling provides a different experience to face to face counselling. For example, if you find writing easier to express yourself than talking then online counselling may be for you? Online counselling also has the benefits of being more easily accessible if you have difficulties accessing face to face therapy. There are many advantages to online counselling such as accessibility, cost, time and location but there are also some risks that you need to be aware of:
• Online therapy such as email and instant messaging does not allow for visual or audio interaction and so there is a risk that communication may be misunderstood or that subtle changes in how you are feeling may not be so easily picked up.
• It is important that your computer/tablet/phone that you are using for online counselling allows for you to be in a safe and private environment so that our work together remains confidential.
• If you are feeling suicidal or in extreme distress then online counselling is not recommended. If you need urgent help and are in crisis now please contact either www.befrienders.org or www.samaritans.org. If you are in the UK you can call Samaritans for free on 116123.
How to access online counselling
1. For your safety and confidentiality I use a secure encrypted platform called ‘VSee‘ for my online counselling which is free to download and use.
2. Prior to starting our work together online, you are required to read and agree to the Online Counselling Agreement that will be sent to you.
3. You will need to create a free client account with VSee which is easily set up but if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. We will use VSee for all of our communication for our online work.
4. After you have read and agreed to the Online Counselling Agreement you are required to fill in a New Client Questionnaire that will be sent to you via VSee.
5. After I have received your New Client Questionnaire I will be able to assess your suitability for working online and my ability to be able to work with your issues. This is to help ensure we can work together in a safe and ethical way.
6. You can use VSee for any communication with me if you need to change or amend an appointment.