Online Therapy and Counselling

I work regularly online, via video call, with clients based in the UK and abroad and have done so for several years. I would like to share with you how it works and why it could be right for you. It’s not for everyone, but it is worth considering if it could be for you, as in my experience, clients working online tend to get the changes they seek.

Is it the same as face to face?

Yes and no is the honest answer.

With everything in life there are pros and cons and so I’ve addressed these here as honestly as I can.

“Rowanne understood me immediately. She presented me from day one with evidence-based strategies rooted in science, combined with a warmth of the soul that I had missed so much while wallowing in that dark place for so long. Her empathy, knowledge and kindness made me feel hopeful for the first time that I might just be ok again one day. I’m extremely grateful for all her help and I can’t recommend her highly enough to those who seek healing, self-understanding and can’t even envision that truly happier times are still possible ahead.” – MB, Online Client

For some people there can be no substitute for the human to human interaction and I agree, totally. But for many, getting support online offers a pragmatic solution. Let’s look at why that might be so and how online support works.

Security & Privacy

We are all aware of the need to be secure online and this applies to your sessions too, which we want to remain as private and confidential, as we would face to face. There are many apps and platforms out there for video calling, but security and quality of call are both essential in working online. As a result, Zoom, VSee and FaceTime are my preferences, but we can discuss what fits your needs and geography.

Technology, whilst not faultless, is increasingly stable and connectivity tends to be strong. I seek to have a second means of working with you online if the first fails so we can move quickly to another platform if needs be. You should however seek to have a good signal/Wi-Fi strength in the location that you choose to be in for our session.

Speaking of your location, you will want to ensure you are in a private, interruption free space, preferably seated in a comfortable chair, at a table or desk rather than in bed, for example. You will also need a pen and paper. Your computer or mobile device should be on a stable surface and your hands free. You can choose to use headphones with a built-in microphone or the speakers/microphone in your device depending upon your circumstances or preference.

How Does it Work?

Very similar to if we were meeting in person. At the appointment time we connect, exchange pleasantries and start to get to work together in exactly the same way as if you came to my office. At the end of the session we book our next, discuss any in-between session work and say goodbye. The main difference is that we are looking at each other via a screen and not in person.

Developing a non-judgemental, supportive, trust relationship is imperative in any therapy session whether we are face to face or online. You can be certain that I will seek to do that however we work.

Accessibility/Flexibility

Working, holding meetings and communicating with our friends and family online is a normal part of life now. Whilst meeting face to face is always preferable (we are human beings and therefore social beings), the pace of life and geography does not always align. Therefore, seeking professional counselling/therapy support online is growing.

There are several reasons for this, but generally it’s about ease, time and flexibility. It cuts travelling time/costs, can be scheduled around other appointments or activities and is often cheaper for the same level of support as face to face. Additionally, the professional you wish to work with may not be in your area or even your country, but this does not have to be a barrier to accessing the help or skillset you want.

How Effective is it?

In my experience, online sessions are as effective as in person – what you lose in one element you gain in another. Ultimately, therapy results are down to how much you want change what isn’t working for you and how much effort you are willing to put into getting that change. And so, when we look at it like that, it maybe doesn’t matter as much whether we meet in person or online.

You get the same service and approach from me and it is still arguably face to face, even if we are not in the same room. I can’t see your entire body language, but I can still see your facial expression, see your upper body and changes in posture; all of which give me a lot of non-verbal information on top of what you say.

I work with some clients online only and with others as mix of in-person and online if they are travelling or unable to make an in-person session for another reason.

COVID-19

Demand for online therapy was growing long before the COVID-19 outbreak, but it is now, more than ever, in focus. These are unprecedented times and the change and impact on our lifestyle is a lot to take in. We need now, more than ever, to look after our mental health as well as our physical health. In these times of isolation, increased worry and lockdown, online support can be a positive way to support ourselves and those around us.