Online counselling, e-therapy or writing therapy offers secure therapeutic support through email, skype or instant messaging. Instant messaging and email is an online communication that enables you to keep a written record of your sessions, which is useful if you like writing or have the time to reflect on what has been said, whereas skype or ichat offers instant messaging or video calls through a secure video link. All counselling web based services are confidential and private with you making the choice of communication that you prefer.
Why online counselling?
Online therapy would suit you if:
- You prefer to have counselling in your own space
- You do shift work or work away from home you can choose a time and date that suits you.
- There is no nearby counselling or psychotherapy service or waiting lists are too long
- You have to fit your life around small children or care for other family or friends.
- You travel frequently
- You have trouble speaking to someone by face to face therapy but feel comfortable talking and using online communication.
- You enjoy expressing yourself through writing and feel writing as therapy would be beneficial.
Therapeutic support via email or instant messaging cannot be offered to anyone feeling suicidal or suffering from a long term mental illness. If you feel suicidal then you should contact the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 who can offer immediate support via the telephone.
Offering a professional service
Counselling online is similar to face to face counselling. You work with a professional counsellor who is registered member of BACP but has also completed an online counselling course. All the counselling services are confidential and secure. There is an online counselling agreement which you sign before any counselling can commence. To download the counselling agreement by double clicking on the link.
How does online counselling work?
This is carried out via hushmail which is a free secure encrypted web based email. This ensures that emails are only read by the intended recipient. It is easy to sign up to hushmail and I can provide step by step help if needed. To sign up to hushmail click here
You decide where and when you write the email. Writing an email enables you to have time to reflect and put your feelings and thoughts down into words and can provide anonymity if you feel this is appropriate for you. Email exchanges are restricted to 1000 words per email. The amount of emails is up to you. Clients often sign up for 3 emails in the beginning.
Skype and ichat
Skype is a free service that can be downloaded onto most computers, laptops and mobile appliances. It offers instant messaging and video calls which are both encrypted. Ichat is also encrypted but only available on Apple devices offering text, audio and video chat.
Instant messaging gives you time to think of your answers but you do receive an instant response from your counsellor. As with email it offer anonymity and allows you to continue your sessions when you are away from home.
Video chat brings a personal touch to online counselling as you can hear and see your counsellor. It allows you to do the counselling from home or when you are away.
With both email, skype and instant messaging you need to ensure you are sat in a private and comfortable area to allow you to express yourself freely and without being disturbed. You will need to sign an online agreement, decide how many sessions you require (the choice is up to you) and make payment before the session commences through paypal.
If you wish to find out more information about online counselling then contact Hazel at firstname.lastname@example.org