For all types of counselling, we would usually work together weekly, during term time. I do not usually work during school holidays, though I can sometimes offer email sessions.
Term time can vary between counties and countries, so I would clarify with you in advance any dates I am not available. If you have additional dates you cannot do, I would ask you to let me know as you can.
What is online counselling?
Online counselling is a way for you to engage in counselling using Internet technology such as Zoom, email or instant messaging. You choose the method of communication you feel most comfortable with. Every effort is made to provide a safe and secure environment for your online therapy with encryption software to protect your confidentiality and privacy.
As an example, we might use Zoom. I would send you a meeting invitation and you would log in at a pre-agreed time. I would then join you so that we could message one another, in ‘real time’. It would be obvious to us both when the other has joined. The session would be confidential and secure. Your session time would be 50 minutes.
- You will need access to a private device with Zoom installed, somewhere you know you will not be disturbed or overheard.
- This may be for you if you find it easier to communicate in writing or by removing the face-to-face element, but would like instant reactions and replies from your therapist.
- We would need to agree an alternative, should we experience a breakdown in technology. For example, would I call you on the telephone or would you prefer to continue via email?
For audio only counselling, we could either use the telephone, or we could use audio within Zoom. For telephone, I would call you on a pre-agreed time and day. For an audio Zoom call, I would send you a meeting invitation and you would log in at a pre-agreed time. I would join you so that we could speak to one another for an audio-only session. The meeting would be confidential and secure. If using audio only with Zoom, you do not need a webcam.
- You will either need access to a private telephone or to an electronic device with Zoom installed, and you will need a space where you know you will not be disturbed or overheard.
- This may be for you if you find it easier to communicate by removing the face-to-face element, but you want to hear my voice and be able to speak with me.
- We would need to agree an alternative, should we experience a breakdown in technology. For example, if using the telephone, would you prefer to continue via instant messaging or by sending an email? If using Zoom, would I call you on the telephone?
For video counselling, we would use Zoom. I would send you a meeting invitation and you would log in at a pre-agreed time. I would then join you so that we could speak to one another for a video counselling session. The meeting would be confidential and secure.
- You will need access to a device with Zoom installed, and you will need to have a private space where you know you will not be disturbed or overheard.
- This type of counselling may be for you if you want to see me face-to-face, but from the convenience of your computer, tablet or Smartphone.
- We would need to agree an alternative, should we experience a breakdown in technology. For example, would I call you via telephone, or would you prefer to continue via email or instant messaging?
With email counselling, you can write your email whenever and wherever suits you best. I would suggest setting aside the same time and day each week, to give yourself the same structure as a ‘real time’ session. However, you know yourself best, and you may prefer to edit a draft email throughout the week as you find new thoughts or feelings you wish to share. We would agree on which day I would respond to you, and I would spend 50 minutes replying to your email on that day.
If your email is very long, I may not have time to reply to every point. This is important to consider when you draft your email.
I would usually email ‘in line’. This means I would insert my replies within your original email text, breaking the text up into relevant chunks, so I can respond to your thoughts separately, one by one. You can either do the same in your reply, or send a new email. You are welcome to give me feedback on what works best for you.
- Counselling using email gives you a chance to consider what you wish to say before you send your message. It also provides time between exchanges to reflect on the information you have received. It might be suitable for you if you like time to consider what you say or if you like time between replies. It is not for you if you feel you need immediate replies.
- You will need to have a private space where you can compose your email in peace. You will also need to think about the security of the email that you use. For example, some of the most common email services such as Gmail or Hotmail have been hacked from time to time. If you use a Smartphone, you may also wish to consider whether a family member will be able to access your emails and could therefore come across what you or I have sent. You would need to think about whether you are happy with this level of security, or whether you wish to use an email system such as Hushmail or Protonmail.
If you have any questions or would like to book a first session, please contact me through the webform on this page.