Working online provides a degree of freedom and flexibility over traditional face to face counselling.
There are different approaches, and you might find one works for you, or you might like to try a combination. The main online approaches I use are as follows:
I work online from my confidential office space, primarily using Zoom video conferencing software, which is recommended by ACTO. This is the closest to regular face-to-face therapy as we will be sitting as if opposite each other and talking for 50-minutes. This option is good if you would like to have regular face-to-face therapy without the hassle of having to travel to appointments, and with the ability to choose the therapist who is the best fit for you, not just the closest.
As a certified online web therapist, I am proficient in using online video systems to have confidential sessions with clients. When we meet I will provide the same confidential and uninterrupted 50 minutes that you would expect in a traditional face-to-face therapy session. I am fully IT literate and follow the latest industry guidelines on software and hardware to ensure conversations are always encrypted, private and GDPR compliant.
For video sessions you will need to ensure you have a confidential space where you will be uninterrupted for the duration of your session, a good internet connection, and a device with a camera and microphone.
Email therapy may suit you if you feel comfortable writing about your feelings and issues. It can be ideal if you would find it hard to find a confidential space for a video session, or do not have reliable internet connection for this. Clients often value the ability to have their session emails to read over and go back to in-between sessions, as well as the ability to send several messages during the week, as things occur to them.
If you have chosen to have therapy by email then we will be communicating via ProtonMail providing security and encryption to our messages. If we work by email then I will dedicate the same 50-minute time frame to reading and replying to your messages as I would to a live therapy session.
For email you will need time and privacy to read and write your emails, access to the internet to send and receive, and be mindful of ensuring your accounts and passwords are private and secure.
Some people prefer to work without video, just using audio. This can also be an option where internet connections are unstable at times and you may struggle with video. Here, the same 50-minute session will be us talking and listening to each other, just without the visual. I use Zoom for this, as we have an option to turn off cameras and just talk. Clients prefer this method when they find it easier to think and talk without having video.
For audio sessions you will need to ensure you have a confidential space where you will be uninterrupted for the duration of your session, a good internet connection, and a device with a microphone.
Message based therapy is a live-chat option where we will use Zoom to send messages back and forth for your therapy session. Clients might prefer this where they feel they would struggle to find the privacy for video or audio conversation, or where they feel they communicate better via text. Unlike email, we would be speaking to each other live which feels more conversational.
For message based sessions you will need to ensure you have a confidential space where you will be uninterrupted for the duration of your session, and a good internet connection.