Sometimes life forces us to ask questions we may not consider otherwise and this is a question that as a counsellor I find my self asking during the Corona-virus outbreak. Does online therapy work as well? and is it a good alternative to maintain a healthy working relationship?
I have always been a face to face person. When I moved in with my best friend she would laugh at me because if she asked me something from another room nine times out of ten I would walk to the room just to see her face when I spoke to her. For me it is about seeing the whole person and not only hearing them but being in their presence. All of a sudden most of us have found ourselves in a world where we cannot be in someone's presence and this notion can feel very unsettling.
First of all what do I mean by Online counselling? Well for this context I am mainly referring to program's such as Facetime, Skype, Zoom or the one I use Vsee. Many counsellors around the world offer this medium as their only point of contact and do not see clients in person. For me this wouldn't be my preferred method of working however it has been proven to be very effective none the less. So lets firstly look at the pro's.
1. You are not bound by location- going online means you can see people from all over the world if you like.
2. You can still 'see' the person meaning you can read each others body language and hear each others tone of voice- something that is vital when building a relationship.
3. If confidentiality is a concern and you have good signal you can choose to meet your therapist any where i.e.- speaking in your car, going out the house for a walk to the park.
4. During the current season we find ourselves in it is super safe and you can still have your sessions, thus maintaining continuity and support.
O.K. the con's
1. You are not in someones direct presence- something that only face to face can offer. This human contact is crucial to our general well-being in the long term.
2. You may have problems with connection and this could hinder. (if a proper back up plan is not in place with your counsellor.)
3. You may worry others will hear you and this can lead you to 'filter' which can hinder the therapeutic process.
4. Doing practical exercises can be a but more tricky- but not insurmountable.
So my conclusion is although face to face counselling is my preferred way of working I feel online is actually an excellent alternative. The wonderful thing is your counsellor can still be present for you in difficult times where you may need the support the most.
I am now offering online counselling and for those that struggle to use this medium I am also offering online chat therapy with Whatsapp. Please contact me via my website or call 07889 026560.