Counselling requires a safe environment in order to develop a secure and compassionate therapeutic relationship. This enables understanding and working with the issues or dilemmas you are experiencing. We will explore feelings, thoughts and beliefs as well as patterns of behaviour that may trip you up. We will look at your personal history, name your issues and identify your goals and strengths. This will help us to discover alternative perspectives and experiment with different ways of responding to difficulties. Our work may involve putting in place new skills and strategies that will support change. It may involve developing acceptance of what is, without clinging onto what should be.
I am currently seeing clients online or offering telephone counselling only. You may be wondering whether this is as effective as face to face therapy. Whilst it is a different experience, it has many advantages. It enables access to counselling to individuals who are not able to travel or live in remote areas. Clients whose schedule, work engagements or family responsibilities would preclude them from attending, can now attend their session remotely from a different location, sometimes even a different country.
I use the videoconferencing platform Zoom which is not only user-friendly but enables sharing resources and is secure and end to end encrypted. Clearly, in the context of the current pandemic, it also means that vulnerable, isolated, anxious or grieving individuals who are self-isolating can continue to be supported therapeutically. It has been my experience that building a therapeutic connection has not been negatively impacted by working in this manner. I would be more than happy to discuss any reservations you may have.
To make the most of the experience, it is important that you are able to have your remote sessions in a room where you feel safe and where you will not be interrupted or overheard. I would suggest you have a drink of water nearby and have a pen and paper in order to take notes if you wish to. Remote counselling may not be suitable for anyone currently sharing a home with an abusive partner as this may put you at further risk of harm. If you are feeling actively suicidal, you should seek immediate support from your GP or your local A&E as this is not a crisis service. You can find additional details in the Useful Information section of this website.