Online and Telephone Counselling
You may feel that working remotely suits you better, whether that’s for greater flexibility or practical reasons.
Telephone or online video counselling (using platforms such as Skype, Zoom or FaceTime for example) generally works in a similar fashion to counselling, but of course you are not in the same room as your counsellor. This can have great benefits in terms of the flexibility it offers, but there are a few extra considerations to bear in mind.
The Counselling Agreement
The boundaries under which counselling operates are the same as they would be normally. You will have an agreed appointment day and time to stick to, and the work is kept confidential in the same manner. It is not usual to have contact with your counsellor between sessions, unless arranged for a very specific reason.
Being in your home or other environment can carry great benefits for counselling, but also potentially some extra challenges. There is greater opportunity for interruption or distraction, you may not want your counsellor to be able to see your home or you may fear being overheard by those you live with. It is worth considering before starting therapy any ways you can think of to minimise this and of course you can discuss ideas with your counsellor to help you too (e.g. having a pre-arranged signal if you fear you are being overheard). Having a safe, comfortable and private space is so important to therapy for many reasons.
Even with the best preparation using technology will inevitably present its own challenges! Consider making sure your device is fully charged or charging during the counselling session. Try to find somewhere with good reception and have a plan in place with your counsellor should signal cut out.
And finally, it can be difficult to make that transition back to the rest of life once you have ended your session of counselling in your own home. Counselling can stir up strong thoughts and emotions and you don’t have that journey time you would have should you be travelling meet your counsellor, which can be important for processing some of this. Find rituals to ‘end’ the session for yourself once you have ended the call with your counsellor – this could be jotting down some thoughts or reflections perhaps, taking a walk or doing some stretches. Have a chat to your counsellor for some ideas and find what works for you.