From Summer 2020 I will be offering Online Counselling and Online Coaching to my clients.
During June 2020 I completed intense courses on the best practice for working online, so that you can be assured that I am working according to industry standards.
Initially, this additional way of working was going to be introduced in 2021, but as we have all been effected to some degree by the Covid-19 Coronavirus Lockdown measures, it made sense to bring this option forward to that it could be offered sooner.
The benefits to you of working online are:
Things for you to think about if you want to work online are:
For counselling, we may spend some of our time building resources and developing a self-care plan to support you.
We will work on and individual, on-to-one basis.
Whether working face-to-face or online, I invite you to advise me of any limitations that may impact our work in advance so that I can take these into account and cater for your needs to the best of my abilities.
We can conduct counselling or sessions in a variety of ways, depending on what is most practical and suitable for you:
For Encrypted video-conferencing, if the signal is poor or you are having trouble verbalising we may revert to a combination of video-conferencing and text-chat.
If we loose signal completely I will contact you by phone unless we agree another way in advance - this will be our Plan B.
We can work in additional ways for counselling:
I will invite you to advise me of any limitations that may impact our work: this may include things such as hearing or sight impairments, mobility difficulties, dyslexia, autism, epilepsy, diabetes, a heart condition, etc. that will either inform how we work together or the information I will need to give on your behalf in an emergency situation.
I will need to know your GP details as a precautionary measure in order to help keep you safe.
If we are working online I will also need to know the contact details for you nominated emergency contact. This is someone I will contact if you do not attend without notice of lateness or cancellation, to check on your whereabouts and personal safety. It is helpful to let your nominated emergency contact know that they have been nominated so that a call doesn't come as a surprise to them. What we discuss will not be shared with them.
There is something called the 'online disinhibition effect' - if I find that I am working online with you and I notice that you over-share, disclosing things sooner than you'd be prepared to do if we were working face-to-face I will conciously step in to manage and slow down the pace of the session.
I usually include the following information for clients who have decided they'd prefer to work online in an e-mail along with the link to use. I have decided to add this information to this section so that it is easy for everyone to find.
I can ensure confidentiality from this end. For where you wish to speak from you will need a space where:
Having some water to drink is often helpful to have.
If you think you may become emotional have some tissues nearby.
Note that we tend to focus our eyes more intensely during video calls. You may feel tired sooner than you expected after a video call.
It is often helpful to have 10-15 minutes diffusion time after a counselling session, particularly if it happens online. It can be helpful to have that me-time to let yourself settle after a call before moving onto the next thing. Some people find it helpful to stretch and/or go for a short walk afterwards.
I look forward to meeting and working with you.
Babies and children are not permitted to attend a session with you. They are very receptive and may feed off your emotional state. They can also be a source of distraction for you during session time. Please arrange for childcare in advance.
Apart from official service dogs such as guide dogs, dogs and other pets are not permitted to attend a face-to-face session with you. If you are accompanied by a pet whilst having online counselling please ensure that they are not disruptive.
Encrypted messages to non-ProtonMail recipients will expire in 28 days, the default retention period.
If working online, I can provide a space for me to work from that is private and confidential, free from interruption. You will need to find a similarly private and confidential space to work from, free from distractions and interruption from other adults, children or disruptive pets.
I am based in south Wales in the UK and as that is the case I work according to the laws of the land as they stand in England and Wales.
Although I am be insured to deliver counselling anywhere except to the USA and to Canada, due to the use of protected titles and licensing requirements in those places, I will be focussing my counselling service delivery to within the UK only.
This is because the law of the land where the client resides, or is visiting, comes into force. If the miminum requirements for a counsellor to be called a counsellor in that country are not met, or there is unfamiliarity about how the foreign legal system applies to therapy then this can get very messy.
Lack of awareness is not a legitimate excuse for illegal or legally questionable practice.