Online Counselling in the UK is a relatively new thing. It burst upon the scene last year as the only available therapeutic antidote to the perils of lock down. Almost overnight, online counselling in the UK was in massive demand, and for some very good reasons doesn’t look like it’s about to start declining in popularity any time soon.
In many ways, just as snooker is perfect for screening on TV, counselling is perfect for offering online. The benefits of online counselling may just tip the balance in its favour when compared to traditional face to face counselling. I guess, in reality, there’s enough room for both, but I am surprised how good online counselling actually is.
At first, being rather old fashioned, as I am, I thought that online counselling would be a poor relation to the real thing, but in actual fact there is hardly any difference between them, and there are some real benefits of working online rather than the traditional weekly haul along to the counsellors office.
So without any further pre-amble, here are ten very good reasons why Online Counselling in the UK is here to stay:
Online Counselling In The UK Is The New Counselling
The first reason that online counselling in the UK is here to stay has to be the absence of the need to travel. Aside from all the environmental downsides of most forms of transport, the journey to the counsellors office and back each week is an extra journey that many can do without. If you can cut one journey out of your week, every week, then that must be a good result.
Working from home is cheaper than working from an office, and counselling is no exception. Without all the extra overheads of hiring a counselling office, travelling to and from work, lunch, teas and coffees and the all important snacks in between the cost of a standard counselling session goes down, which in turn is passed on to customers. Online counselling in the UK has never been more affordable. No longer the preserve of the rich and famous, normal people can now afford top level counselling at very reasonable prices. The winds of change must be blowing strongly through the rarefied, and now empty counselling offices of Harley Street.
No Waiting Room Anxiety
I always thought that meeting someone you knew in the counsellors waiting room must be one of the most awkward situations. Online counselling has of course put a complete stop to this. I think there is something inherently stressful about any waiting room, whether its the dentist, counsellor or solicitor, the act of waiting is stressful, especially in an environment which you cannot control.
I know it may seem a trivial point, but my appointments with my counselling supervisor were a nightmare, not because of the sessions themselves but because there was nowhere to park. I used to arrive at least half an hour before the session started and circle the neighbourhood waiting for a parking space to come free. If I was unlucky this might take longer than the 30 minutes and would eat into the precious time with my supervisor. Sometimes, by the time I found a parking space and then ran down up the hill to the office I would be in a terrible state. Thank heavens there’s no virtual equivalent of finding a parking space for your online counselling session.
Many online counselling services in the UK provide an online booking system which enables you to book in when you want and if necessary change your booking up to 24 hours before your counselling session. In the old days of traditional face to face counselling, changing your appointment would need a whole series of complicated and often embarrassing phone calls with your counsellor, and lots of stumbled apologies and long suspicious sounding excuses. Goodbye to all that.
Easy Follow Up and Availability
Due to the nature of online counselling in the UK many services, including our own online counselling service, offer customers the opportunity to text/ email their counsellor in between sessions. This provides a whole different relationship where your counsellor is available to you not only in the scheduled counselling sessions but also in between sessions, like an invisible coach, or rather a fairy Godmother (or Godfather…or God Person not otherwise specified).
During the strange and challenging course oi last year we all discovered the joys of being able to stay home. Pre-covid the image of staying home was the duff option compared to the racy idea of going to the office. And then Covid happened and we all had to stay home and suddenly everyone discovered how wonderful it was to be able to work from home, do a bit of gardening in between, have a stroll round the block and through the park.
Everything has become available online and more convenient in the process, including therapy, coaching and counselling support. Everything is beamed into our homes rather than having to drag ourselves from pillar to post, including counselling support.
Online Counselling in the UK Takes Less Time
So how long did old style counselling take? However long the counselling session was it was preceded by the time it took to get their and then after the session to get back home or to work. If you are working with your counsellor online the whole process is speeded up. The counselling session no longer takes the best part of a morning or afternoon, it is what it is, 40-45 mins and that’s it. This leaves time to fit more in, or not, either way we are able to get more of our own time back, which must be a positive whichever way it’s looked at.
Free Trail and Greater Choice
Most online counselling in the UK offer a free or reduced cost trail session similar to the standard face to face counselling process, the difference is that many services offer a much great range of counsellors and therapists and its easier to swap to another counsellor if you feel that things aren’t going the way you want them to. Also, you can have more flexibility over the length and scheduling of your sessions.
Many services, including our own offer sessions of different lengths and frequency depending upon your needs. If you want a 2 hour session once a month, no problem, or 30 mins every day, no problem. The most important thing is that it is more flexible and you have greater choice
Fairy Godmother Effect
Having an online counsellor is a little like having an invisible safety net in your life. It doesn’t matter how stressful life becomes there is always help and support just an email or text away. Many online services operate an emergency counselling option where you can access help, support and advice at any time, 24/7. It’s a way of shock-proofing your life. Who wouldn’t want that option in their life.
So there are 10 very good reasons why online counselling in the UK is here to stay and why online counselling will almost certainly become the new counselling.
Read more about our programmes and how we moved to Thailand just here: Books and Resources
Thanks for reading.