Online Counselling.


Online Counselling.

       USING A VIDEO LINK FOR COUNSELLING.

Zoom video conferencing software allows us to see each other face to face from your computer or telephone, it may feel a little strange at first but most people find it just as supportive and effective as meeting in person and soon become comfortable with this way of working. 

Using video means we can hear and see each other clearly and enables us both to benefit from the non verbal clues that are a normal but important part of how we communicate with each other. We are able to turn the video off with Zoom if you feel uncomfortable seeing yourself on video so that the link becomes very similar to a phone call but with the benefit of the security of an internet connection. 

If you are not familiar with Zoom I can guide you through the process of downloading the App and getting started, it is a free service and straightforward to use. I prefer to use Zoom over other video conferencing platforms as it allows me to use additional features to enhance online security.

If you decide to work in this way we will arrange a date and time to meet and before then I will send you a confidential email which will contain all the information you need to join the session securely. The email will contain a link which you should click on, as long as you can see the link has come from my email account at the expected time, this link is secure.


  • Advantages of working Online.

    Counselling  online  offers  the convenience  and  comfort  of  working  from your  own home without the need to travel. It offers anonymity in that there is no possibility of you being seen entering a Counselling Practice. You  may  find the  process  of  communicating  from  your own  protected  safe  space  very helpful  in  itself. Some  clients  say  they  actually find  it  easier  to talk about some  things when they're not the in the same  room as their  therapist. I may  be  able to offer you  more flexibility online, for  example if you  have  to change  location for  any reason, you  will still  be able  to continue with your sessions, as long as you have access to your device. 
     


  • Possible Disadvantages or Difficulties of Working Online:      
    Occasionally  technological problems can  arise which  affect the online link. We will discuss alternative means of contact and have an agreed course of action in case this happens. You may find  it confusing to see us  both on the screen at the same time, however we will discuss ways to resolve this should it be a difficult for you.

    You may find yourself exploring things that you wouldn't feel able to say when we're together in person. This might lead to unexpected  heightened  emotional responses both during  the session and  afterwards. It is important  to be  aware of  this and I will explore  this with you regularly as a central and ongoing part of our work together.
               


    THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE WORKING ONLINE. 

  • Are you comfortable using internet technology.?
  • Would you prefer to see your counsellor face to face.?
  • Do you feel your situation is too complex to discuss via the internet?
  • Is there a computer or telephone that you can use privately without interruption?
  • You will be  responsible for ensuring  privacy at  your end. Are  you able to ensure that your device is  up to date with  software updates, virus checkers and firewalls? 
  • Is your device password protected to ensure that your data cannot be accessed by anyone else?
  • Do you have sufficient bandwidth to support a video session?  You may need to ensure that all other use of the internet is shut down while you are having your counselling session.
  • You will need access to a password protected WiFi, a Public WiFi is not suitable as it is open to others and is not considered to be secure.
  • Can you make arrangements for the care of children, pets or expected deliveries so that you can focus without interruption on your counselling session? 
  • Are you able to switch off distracting household appliances and electronic devices such as  the radio, television and phones?   
  • Can you turn off any Alexa or similar devices that may be routinely recording?  

     Online Security: 
    The Online Counselling service I offer takes advantage of the encrypted services offered by Zoom. Access to your online Zoom session is password protected and I am able to use additional features to ensure no-one else is able to enter this meeting. I take all reasonable steps to control and protect your confidentiality with the strict measures and procedures I have in place in my practice, however online security can never be guaranteed 100% secure. There are several things you can and should do to reduce any risk, It is assumed you will take precautions to ensure no-one else can access your sensitive data.

    GDPR Data Protection.
    I am registered with the  information Commissioners  Office and any  data I keep about you, to enable  me to provide  this service, is  anonymised where  possible and will  be securely  stored  in  accordance  with the  GDPR Data  Protection 2018. Please  see my Privacy Statement for more details.