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Online & Telephone Counselling – How does it Work?

Online & Telephone Counselling

Online and Telephone Counselling works in a slightly different way to face to face counselling, and there are a few things that you might need to consider that you previously hadn’t thought about. There is also a difference between Online and Telephone Counselling and you might want to talk through with your counsellor which one would be best for you before you begin.

Online and Telephone Counselling has become particularly popular in the last few months since the advent of COVID, in fact many counsellors are only offering Online or Telephone work for the time being. Below is more information about how Telephone Counselling and Online Counselling Works, some tips to make it work more effectively for you and some further things to think about before deciding to start with a counsellor.

How does Online Counselling Work?

There are lots of different Online Platforms and Apps that can be used for Online Counselling, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Whatsapp and Face Time.

The counsellor will call you at the time of your session or they will send you an invite link by email which you just click onto at the time of the session. You may first go into the counsellors waiting room and they will then allow you into the meeting.

Practical Things to think about when doing Online Counselling

  • Do you use a Mobile Phone, Tablet or PC? Sometimes a phone screen might be too small for you to see the screen clearly. If possible I would recommend a PC or Laptop or Tablet.
  • How is your Wifi Connection? Having reliable Wifi is important so that you don’t get cut off if you need to use mobile data please be aware of the potential cost of this as video can use a lot of data.
  • Test the technology before you begin so that you can be confident with what you are doing.
  • What will you wear when you have online counselling, it is important that you are dressed appropriately.
  • What will be in the background of your video, think about whats appropriate and what you are happy with.
  • Use Headphones for privacy

I use an app called zoom, as it is secure and confidential for video call sessions. It is really easy to use; you download the app, (Mobile, Tablet, PC, or Mac) I send you an email with a link and password in and you just need to follow the link to join the video call. If you have any difficulties, I can walk you through it

How does Telephone Counselling Work?

Telephone counselling is quite straight forward you just need to provide a landline number or mobile number and the counsellor will call you at the arranged time.

Practical Things to think about when doing Telephone Counselling?

  • If you use a landline can you take the phone into a private space so you can talk?
  • If you use a mobile do you have sufficient battery life and minutes (if you call the counsellor)
  • Be by your phone at the agreed appointment time so that you can answer the call. You will need to check with your counsellor what the procedure is if you don’t pick up when they call you. Will they call you again, do you have an opportunity to call back?
  • Use Headphones for privacy

Tips for Effective Online and Telephone Counselling

  1. Treat your online or telephone session as though it were a face to face session. If you wouldn’t do something in a face to face session, don’t do it in an online session. For instance, you wouldn’t be having the session while driving in the car with other people, in a face to face session you wouldn’t be emptying the dishwasher or washing up at the same time. In a face to face session you would be sitting in a chair in a quiet calm space. If you can, replicate this at home or the place that you will have the session.
  2. Make sure you have a confidential space to speak to your counsellor in. Ideally have a room where you can shut the door and not be overheard. If this is not possible maybe think about a time of day for an appointment when people are out or if this is not possible think about an outside space that is safe and confidential, perhaps even in your car. It can be really difficult for you to talk freely if you are worried about being overheard or someone walking in on you.
  3. Where you can ask anyone else in your home to respect the time you have put aside for your counselling, so they should not interrupt you or walk in on you. You shouldn’t be in the same room as someone else while you are having your session.
  4. Allow a few minutes before the session to get yourself ready, set up your space and or your computer, make sure that you are comfortable, get yourself a drink and some tissues, make sure you are warm enough.
  5. After a session give yourself a few minutes before you go back out to be with other people. Normally you would have your journey home to process what you have spoken about. Give yourself time, maybe sit for a while, get yourself a drink try not to rush back into life again.

Further Thoughts

  • You might need to try both Online and Telephone counselling to see which one feels best for you.
  • If you are struggling with Online and Telephone counselling talk to your counsellor about it so that you can explore together what might make it feel better and make it easier for you.
  • Don’t be scared of asking any questions that you need to about how it works so that you can feel comfortable with the process.

The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) have also come up with some ideas on how you can get the most out of your online counselling. If you follow this link you can read more here. The Counselling Directory also share 10 Top Tips for Online Counselling here.

I am currently working exclusively Online and on the telephone if you feel that you would like online support with me please call me for a free 15 minuite consultation. You can also find out more about me and therapy by taking a look at my FAQs and About Me page. I work with a wide range of issues and can offer both short and long term therapy with both couples and individuals. I am currently offering remote support on the telephone or Online Counselling via ZOOM. Please call me on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if I don’t answer I am probably in a session, please leave me a message and I will call you back as soon as I can. I look forward to hearing from you.








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