When I got my first job as a counsellor it was almost thirty years ago. The phrase “online counselling” hadn’t even been invented. We didn’t even know what “online” meant. The idea that in the year 2020 counselling would be conducted through a computer with people who were hundreds if not thousands of miles away would have seemed like something from George Orwell’s, Brave New World.
In many ways, counselling is made for being online. As we have all recently learnt, so much of what we do, can be done, often more effectively, easily and more environmentally friendly, through a lap top screen or phone screen. Counselling is no exception. Although we have been offering online counselling for the past 15 years it has only really taken off in a big way since the beginning of the current pandemic. It’s a bit like counselling itself, in that, it often takes something outside of us to be able to see things in a totally different way. In this case the recent health crisis has made us all re-evaluate almost everything we do, and also how we do it.
So, what difference is there between online face to face counselling and old fashioned “in person” face to face counselling?
The short answer is, not a lot.
Counselling is often referred to as “talking therapy” and as such is not adversely effected at all by being conducted online, especially when our faces and bodies are visible through video. In many ways it makes the process easier; it’s easier to focus as there are usually no distractions working online . There’s no awkward interruptions from the outside world, it’s a more controlled environment.
It also feels more safe and private, if you know what I mean. There’s no sense that somebody maybe able to hear whats going on in the other counselling office next door, or suddenly stumble through the wrong office door. The online sessions are usually focused and calm with little interruption. It’s an ideal working environment.
Because of this I have a feeling that we can get through more material; work more efficiently. I have no evidence of course and it would be a nightmare to measure (how on earth would you measure the speed of counselling)but it just feels like we are moving at a more steady and rapid pace. Perhaps the screen concentrates our minds on the job in hand.
The other obvious advantage with online-counselling over traditional face to face work is that it is more convenient and requires no travelling or having to find a parking space. You literally don’t have to leave the comfort of your front room. The counselling comes to you.
Of course it’s not for everyone, but during these difficult times the world of online counselling has exploded and we have all learnt that actually, counselling via zoom or messenger or any one of the online video conferencing platforms, is just as effective and has some wonderful hidden benefits as old fashioned face to face counselling.
If you are interested in our online counselling programmes have a look at this which will explain exactly how they work.
While we all face uncertain times we have introduced a reduced lockdown rate.
Please just let us know your situation and we’ll let you know how we can help.
Thanks for reading.