Following the advice from professional counselling bodies, I'm currently only working online. Despite being virtual, online therapy can still feel very immediate, read on for things to consider about online therapy.
You’ll see me sitting in the counselling room as you would in a normal session.
Six Things to consider:
1. Where is the best place for you to be?
Ideally somewhere you can sit comfortably with your device camera placed so I can see the top half of your body if possible. A dining room /lounge/ kitchen or somewhere set up for home working is preferable. If you live with other people and can’t get a confidential feeling space then sitting in a car is an option. Make sure your device is charged or is connected to a charger.
2. What to do about interruptions?
Try and set up a space and time where interruptions aren’t likely. Ideally ensure deliveries aren’t scheduled for during a session, we can rearrange a session time if needed. If you’re expecting a delivery please let me know at the start of the session and we can prepare to pause when it arrives. Have any pets in a different room if possible. If you have a Do Not Disturb mode or similar on your device do use it to ensure that notifications popping up don’t get in the way during a session.
3. Using headphones?
This is a personal preference, it can help with the feeling of confidentiality if you live with anyone else. If you have headphones you might want to try out how it feels with or without.
4. Internet/service drop out.
This can happen and it’s worth being prepared. It may just be short pauses in the connection and we can talk about how that feels and ways of working around it. If it’s happening frequently during a session we may need to use an alternative such as phone to complete a session or use audio only. It can be helpful to close extra tabs or apps running in the background for best video speed.
5. Technology failure.
This is a possibility and we’ll need to agree what to do depending on the circumstances. Zoom is normally a reliable platform but due to high demand we can discuss a preferred alternative. We can switch to phone if possible. If a session is unable to continue the fee is £30 after the first 10 minutes if we’ve had less than half a session or full price if we’ve had more than half.
6. What to do at the end of a session?
It’s worth noticing that usually you’d have the space of a car ride home to process after a session. Ending an online session can feel more abrupt. It’s worth planning what you’ll do after the session such as going out for your daily exercise, into the garden or doing a circuit of the house. Plan something for 10 minutes at the end of the session.
Zoom is a recommended platform for online work as it has good security and data protection standards. You may already be familiar with Zoom, if you aren’t it’s worth downloading the app in advance of the session. I’ll send you a link for the session to use. If there is another platform you prefer to use such Skype or WhatApps then let me know as long as you are happy with the level of security and their terms and conditions of use then we can try using them for sessions.
If you have any questions or concerns then please let me know. I offer a free initial consultation for online work partly to check and ensure this technology works for you.