What is counselling?

As counselling is the core of the services I offer, I’ve devoted a whole page of its own to discussing this question.

What is online counselling?

Online counselling is engaging in counselling using internet technology such as Zoom. Digital platforms like Zoom enable you to see a counsellor from your computer whilst engaging in therapy and means that you get more of the benefits you get from face to face counselling but with the additional benefits of online therapy, such as convenience and accessibility. It gives you the opportunity to select the method of communication you feel most comfortable with. This can be particularly beneficial where you have a health condition or when your work/ home life makes it difficult for you to access therapy in person. It enables us to work together to choose a time, the place and the pace of your counselling to suit your needs. In addition, if you wish you can chose to only work with audio through Zoom and no video camera would then be needed.

Should you chose Zoom counselling with me, I will send you a Zoom link to our first meeting and if you are not already a zoom user, by logging on in advance of that session you will be guided through setting up your own encrypted Zoom account and then we will meet on Zoom at a time that you have previously arranged. These sessions are 50 minutes in length. 

What are the benefits of online counselling?

  • Counselling therapy from your own home at a time that suits you
  • Secure inscription software offers confidentiality and peace of mind
  • No chance that you may be seen entering the counsellors practice
  • Therapy at a time, place and pace that suits you
  • Some find it easier to express their feelings by writing it down using the chat function
  • Access to counselling may be more immediate and flexible

Online counselling does offer these benefits but there are also limitations that are worth bearing in mind when deciding which type of therapy will best suit your needs.

What might I need to consider before starting online counselling?

  • Are you comfortable using internet technology?
  • Would you prefer to see your counsellor face to face?
  • Do you feel your situation is too complex to discuss via the internet?
  • Is there a computer terminal that you can use privately without interruption?
  • Text communication can sometimes be open to misunderstanding.
  • There are less nonverbal cues or body language for you or the counsellor to read  and sometimes this can lead to misunderstanding.

If you choose to have your initial half hour free consultation by Zoom, you will also have the opportunity to experience whether this is a medium that will work for you before committing yourself.

What is writing for wellbeing?

Writing for wellbeing is the practice of using the power of words and writing to enhance our mental health and wellbeing. It encompasses all sorts of creative and expressive writing practices, including writing individually and in groups. The aims of writing together in a group can include participants experiencing the process of being in a group, gaining inner self development, exploring perspectives that improve their relationship with their world and growing their creative expression. For more information on this including references to some of the research into the benefits of writing for wellbeing, check out this blog post where I’ve written in more detail about writing for wellbeing.

Will my information remain confidential between us?

The information you share with me, including in sessions, is held by me in confidentiality and for the purposes of providing counselling and other therapeutic services to you. There are specific exceptions to this confidentiality under the law and ethical guidelines I work to and my full confidentiality policy can be viewed online.

In addition, I take the safety and security of your confidential information seriously and my privacy policy outlines how any information you supply to me is handled in terms of the data protection laws (GDPR).

If you decide to work with me I will discuss these documents with you at the outset of working together so that you have the opportunity to raise any questions you may have and to ensure you understand the contents.