Online or telephone counselling?
Updated: Mar 3, 2021
We live in an age of online communications. So it is, perhaps, not surprising that 75% of therapists offer telephone and online services* . Video call apps, including What's App, Skype, Zoom amongst others, are being utilised by many counsellors, making counselling more accessible, particularly during this difficult time.
You can have video counselling in the comfort of almost any space...
as long as you are safe, cannot be overheard, overlooked or interrupted. There's no need to travel, so no travel costs, which makes the overall cost of accessing therapy more affordable. Appointments can be fitted into almost any schedule.
But what if you're uncomfortable with the idea of video?
If using a video call app seems like virtual reality to you, then perhaps you'd prefer telephone counselling. It may seem like stating the obvious but a counsellor uses their skills differently when counselling via the telephone.
Video counselling can feel more private than conventional counselling, partly because you do not have to venture out into public in order to meet with your counsellor. Instead, your counsellor is conveniently 'beamed' directly into your personal space. To begin with, you may feel self-conscious. But this may change as you relax into the comfort of your chosen space.
Telephone counselling also offers privacy and convenience. But a loss of inhibition may be more the case with telephone counselling. Inhibition and our sense of privacy are usually affected by whether or not we can be seen. If you have any qualms about how you sound on the telephone, you may find that you soon get used to being heard by your counsellor in this way.
According to the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)**, 'disinhibition' can affect the process of therapy in several ways. Part of your counsellor's role will be to monitor and maintain a balance.
Finally, you may find it useful to know that telephone counselling is sometimes more affordable than other counselling services.
Please note: this blog is meant to be helpful and is not promoting any single method of counselling above another.
(*European Association for Counselling, 2020/**BACP 2020)