top of page

What is Online Counselling?

What is Online Counselling?

With recent changes in working patterns, where many of us now work from home, either full or part time, online counselling has become an established feature of the counselling profession. Before Covid, online counselling was rare, and somewhat unusual. Now it is far more mainstream and has established a track record of being just as effective and successful as face to face counselling.

I’ll explain here the different types of online offerings, as well as describing the key benefits associated with working this way.

How does online counselling work?

Online counselling is sometimes known as video or telephone counselling, or e-counselling. This type of therapy and support is provided through digital platforms, such as Teams, WhatsApp, Zoom, email, or phone calls.

Online therapy has gained huge popularity in recent years due to its convenience, accessibility, and effectiveness in addressing various mental health concerns.

Types of Online Counselling

There are several types of online counselling, each catering to different preferences and needs:

  1. Video Counselling - where clients and therapists communicate in real-time through video conferencing software. This format closely resembles traditional face-to-face therapy sessions, allowing for visual cues and non-verbal communication. Here at Stone in my Boot, we have successfully used this method of working for a number of years.

  2. Text-Based Counselling - this involves exchanging written messages between the client and therapist via secure online platforms. This method offers flexibility in communication, allowing clients to express themselves through written words at their own pace.

  3. Phone Counselling – this involves therapeutic sessions conducted over the phone. While lacking visual cues, this format provides a sense of anonymity which some clients prefer and can be more convenient for individuals with busy schedules or those uncomfortable with video-based interactions. Again, we have used this successfully with a number of clients.

  4. Email Counselling - this allows clients to communicate with their therapist through email exchanges. The time delay with this format allows clients time and breathing space to reflect on their thoughts and emotions, before composing messages, offering a structured approach to therapy.

Online counselling benefits

Let's explore the benefits of online counselling compared to traditional face-to-face counselling:

  1. Accessibility - Online counselling breaks down geographical barriers, allowing individuals to access mental health support from anywhere with an internet connection. This is particularly beneficial for those living in remote areas or with limited mobility. We usually meet with clients in the Lake District for a retreat, and then continue to work with them online, although they live miles away. Our furthest client to date was living in Kuwait!

  2. Convenience - Online counselling eliminates the need for travel to therapy appointments, saving travel costs, time and reducing stress associated with commuting. Clients can schedule sessions at times that suit their busy lifestyles, including evenings and weekends. We find many clients prefer to work with us during quieter times for them, in the evenings, or weekends.

  3. Anonymity and Privacy - Some individuals may feel more comfortable discussing sensitive topics or seeking help anonymously through online platforms, whist being safely in their homes. The sense of anonymity can reduce feelings of shame or embarrassment, allowing more open and honest communication with the therapist. A current client prefers to use WhatsApp whilst sitting in his car, because it is a private and safe place, where he cannot be overheard. He has found his safe space.

  4. Flexibility in Communication - every client is unique, which means different online communication methods can cater for diverse communication preferences. Whether through video, text, phone, or email, clients can choose the format that aligns best with their comfort level and communication style.

  5. Continuity of Care - Online counselling provides continuity of care for individuals who may travel frequently for their work, or maybe change locations, say for example because they have a role as carer. Clients can maintain therapeutic relationships with their counsellors regardless of their physical location, ensuring consistent support. Although we prefer to keep to fixed appointment times every week, working online can also easily accommodate unexpected changes in a client’s availability.

In conclusion, online counselling offers a flexible and accessible approach to mental health treatment, with various communication methods to suit individual preferences and needs.

Its benefits, including convenience, affordability, and anonymity, make it a valuable option for those seeking support and guidance on their mental health journey. In terms of Stone in my Boot, having worked face to face with clients for three days, working online allows us to work flexibly with clients wherever they live in the UK.

In Stone in My Boot we offer Online counselling. Our clients are only a call away!

33 views0 comments


bottom of page