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?
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.