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  • Writer's pictureSusan Stubbings

Changing face of counselling

Updated: Feb 11, 2022

On-line counselling came into its own at the start of the Corona virus sweeping through the world, true to form, threatening all of us to extinction, rendering us all to feel a sense of insecurity, threat and inducing fear.

At a time when we all needed more support in-person counselling sessions became almost none existent. This gave the on-line modalities opportunity to come into its own; since many counsellors wanted to offer on-going support to their client's.

In response to the pandemic counsellors all over the world adapted to the needs of their clients and tried to offer them consistency in their support by jumping to the online modalities of counselling.

Gradually the pandemic restrictions are reducing as we enter a new year and counsellors and supporters are returning to face-to-face meetings, and this has been welcomed by many.

With the arrival of the pandemic we have got used to using technology and may people find doing so has been incorporated into a 'new normal' into their dally living. This new normal has changed the face of accessing emotional and mental health support forever - On-line counselling exploded to meet the needs of clients and it is here to stay and can be as effective in its own unique way as in-person support.

All you need is an internet connection, a computer such as a desktop, tablet or mobile phone.

Here are several benefits to working on-line with a counsellor:

The biggest benefit - to online counselling is of course social distancing as part and parcel of this modality of counselling, we’re not meeting a therapist in-person so there is no risk to catching any infection or viruses, and in this respect, it is completely safe.

Anonymity – That is, as a client you can access counselling via the telephone, text and Instant messaging and some counsellors offer email support (known as asynchronous communication). This means that the counsellor does not know what you look like. This is favourable to some people who wish to work through their difficulties and remain unseen, this can help the client to be more open, honest more quickly and to overcome difficulties with shyness, embarrassment, or shame for example. Supporting the healing of difficult emotions, and may reduce the amount of sessions needed. On-line counselling can also help build skills on the telephone or computer as a natural part of engaging in your counselling sessions. The counsellor will support you to get the best from your on-line experience.

Asynchronous communication modalities - without the expectation of an immediate response, since communication does not happen in a real time frame, messages can be sent at varying times, and you’re not tied to any particular time frame. This can support those clients who suffer with social anxieties and those who have difficulty with face-to-face communicating.

Videocall - online video calls or synchronous communication is any form of contact that takes place in real-time. For example face-to-face counselling sessions. Online platforms such as Zoom, or WhatsApp can offer you the best all round counselling support. Offering all of these benefits whilst speaking with a therapist. Meeting and talking in real time whilst seeing the counsellor face-to-face via a webcam. This has proven to be very effective, accessible, convenient, and practical. You may meet with a therapist during your lunch break or in the evenings, before you start work or at a time that is best for you. You are in your own surrounding whilst talking in your session and this has proven (in my sessions) to be more calming and can help the client to feel confident, secure and relaxed since they have control over their environment.

Accessibility - is easier, you don’t need to stay in the area you live and can choose a counsellor from any area or country. This means you have a wider cohort of expertise to choose from, rather than those just within travelling distance, time is used more productively than scheduling time to travel as well as your session time. This can reduce stress sat in busy traffic, or finding parking spaces. You may find a practitioner who matches better with your specific needs or difficulties, for example, if your needs are for more specialist or experienced practitioner with specialist awareness, skills and knowledge.

Mobility - clients who are impaired, have physical disabilities or housebound, have no reason to suffer alone, since online support is accessible. People living in rural, remote areas, online support is in easy reach; if you don’t have access to a vehicle or good public transport networks you can benefit from working online with a counsellor. Accessing support from the comfort of your own home with all your familiar things around you, is less nerve racking, and less time consuming.

Convenient – We all lead busy full lives and online counselling is very convenient, it can be engaged in when you travel you don’t have to be in the same town as your therapist, for example on a business trip or overnight stay. You can maintain regular contact with your therapist so no missed session when you’re in the middle of a breakthrough in your work together. There’s no traveling involved think about leaving work and travelling to your session in the rush hour, no going out in all weathers or being late to session because the bus didn’t turn up, losing you valuable 'me time'.

Privacy – No one needs to know you are engaging in therapy, unless you choose to tell them, because you don’t need to leave your home, there is no risk of bumping into someone on your way to and from your sessions and feel the need to answer those awkward questions “where are you going” or "where have you been". This can reduce the sense of experiencing social stigma around mental health issues.

If you are struggling alone with your life's challenges why not give online support a try you may be very surprised at how you begin to heal and reach your desired goals.

Make contact today by email at - telephone, text or WhatsApp on 07867938630.

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