Online Counselling vs In-Person Counselling
Is On-Line Counselling Right for You?
Due to our ever-changing world, technology and our own lifestyles, the practice of counselling therapy has also evolved. My practice provides the client with an alternative to face-2-face (meeting in the counselling therapist’s office) by working from your computer using the internet. All that is needed access to secure internet, privacy to write or tell your story on your personal computer (to ensure security, this is strongly recommended). Usually, counselling therapy begins when a client chooses an online therapist by locating them through an association (eg. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association https://www.ccpa-accp.ca), a website or a search engine (Google, Bing); and then contacts the counselling therapist via email or telephone or text. In my practice, I generally will reply within 2-3 business days with an initial 15 minute free consultation. Questions may be – what your initial concerns are, how my practice works, information detailing about the process. During this time the client can ask questions and seek clarification on how best we can work together; and if the client believes we are a “good fit” we will schedule an appointment. Prior to our first appointment, I will send some pre-counselling/intake forms and agreements to complete – just as I would do with face-2-face. The relationship between my client and I is the base for moving forward – where my client feels comfortable working together. This relationship is extremely important for an effective outcome.
Reasons for Choosing Online Secure Messaging
Convenience –writing your story when you are ready – no appointment is needed, adapts to your lifestyle, allowing you to write when time works for you at a time that suits you! Allows greater access to counselling if you are housebound or living in rural community.
Flexibility – allows you the time to write and to put them into draft, look at them any time, edit and reflect, make changes if needed. Online allows you the time to tell your story.
Safer for some people – removes some of the anxiety you may feel, no need to worry about missing an appointment. Others may feel safer writing rather than speaking to a counsellor.
Sometimes a person may feel their grief is less than another person’s grief.
Increased anonymity and privacy – no one will know you are seeing a counsellor.
Record of discussion– perfect for reflection, which can help you to find solutions to your issues – like a personal journal. Re-reading can clarify things, remind you of what’s been discussed, sometimes may bring more meaning later.
Time– anytime, anywhere, when the time suits you – IMPORTANT – make sure your site is secure!
“Doing it for Yourself” – writing, reflecting, and revising your story gives youcontrol and ownership– can be very powerful in your healing.
Video & Phone Conferencing
Video Conferencing – a form of online counselling that most closely resembles a face-2-face session. With video conference counselling, both the counsellor and client can view each other by use of an internet video camera.
Phone Conferencing– access to a phone, preferably a cell phone, as one can move to a private area in the home and using headphones that minimize background noise.
Working together in video/phone conferencing can be just as engaging as sitting together in a counselling office, however, unlike online secure messaging an appointment must be made.